Holiday Shopping Guide for Dragon Boaters – 2018 Edition

It’s that time of year again (doesn’t it seem like this year went by WAY too fast?!?!). So right about now your friends and family are asking you what you’d like as a gift for the holiday season. Instead of getting some awful sweater from your Great Aunt Mildred or a bunch of other useless items, why not get something that every paddler would love? Pass this holiday shopping guide on to your gift-giving people and hopefully you will be the recipient of some gifts that every paddler can appreciate.

Holiday Shopping Guide

1) Sheepskin Boots

As a native Californian, I remember surfers wearing these boots after a cold surf session at least 30 years ago. The idea of slipping your freezing cold feet into warm shearling boots is pretty genius, you’ve got to admit. After that cold spring or fall paddle session when your feet feel like popsicles, imagine encasing them in luxurious sheepskin. And they come in so many beautiful colors, you’re sure to find something to match your personality. I have the chocolate colored ones because I love brown and I bought the Bear Paws brand because they were more cost-effective for my budget, but the Ugg brand boots are nice if you’re able to splurge a bit.


2) NRS Hydroskin pants

For years I have recommended these pants for paddling in colder weather. They have updated the fit and functionality of these since I first bought mine, but they are still as good as ever. Lightweight wetsuit material is ideal for keeping you warm and for drying quickly. These are available in both women’s and men’s sizing.


3) Knockaround Sunglasses

Knockaround sunglasses


I discovered these sunglasses this past summer and I’m super excited about them. Low-cost, polarized, impact-resistant lenses, super lightweight polycarbonate material and free shipping. What’s not to love? I have the Paso Robles frames and they fit my small face really well.

4) Awesome Bombas Socks

A friend of mine recommended these Bombas socks and at first I was skeptical. I mean, socks are socks, aren’t they? Not so. They’ve got all sorts of styles, from athletic socks to dress socks, and they come in many sizes, so whether you’ve got tiny feet or big feet, you are sure to find comfy socks for whatever activity you’re doing. And with this link, you’ll save 25% on your first order of socks!



5) Merino Wool Buff Gaiter

The functionality of this gaiter will keep your neck and head warm, no matter how you wear it. The merino wool gives you extra warmth and stays warm even if it gets wet. There are so many different ways to wear this. You can get some suggestions from this YouTube video.


6) Nike Shoes

I bought these Nike shoes and absolutely adore them. I had been fairly loyal to my Aisics, but I think I’ve been converted. If you know me you know that I adore my flip flops, so actually getting shoes on my feet is quite a task. My toes simply don’t enjoy being cooped up. But these shoes are somehow comfortable on my feet so I can get to the gym, go for a run, and hop on the erg. I have the grey and pink ones.

Nike shoes


7) Paddle Jewelry

I was first introduced to this awesome jewelry last spring and I fell in love. I wear my paddle heart pendant nearly every day and I get so many compliments on it. It’s a subtle nod to our sport, while still looking classy. Those who know me, know I’m not really into jewelry at all, but I really love Strokeside’s pieces. They have bracelets, earrings, necklaces and more! Make sure to use the discount code PADDLECHICA for your discount.

Paddle heart pendant


8) Drybag

I’ve had a giant Quiksilver drybag for years, but I can appreciate this smaller drybag from Hornet. It holds smaller items like your phone, keys, a spare jersey, etc. and it is small enough to take on the boat with you.

Hornet drybag


9) Amazon Prime Membership

While it’s not exactly something your loved ones can wrap up for you, an Amazon Prime membership is an absolutely amazing gift. My brother gave me a membership years ago and the benefits of free shipping are great! Plus you get instant access to video streaming, on-demand ad-free music streaming, unlimited reading on any device, audio books, unlimited photo storage, and many more perks.

Amazon Prime Membership


10) GoPro

You know I love my GoPro. I’ve got a really old model (I didn’t even realize they have a GoPro 8 now!), but I still love it. I have the Hero 3+, and I certainly see the benefits of the newer models. Mine doesn’t have an LCD screen on the back of the camera, which would be a huge help. I would recommend a GoPro 4 or GoPro 5 because they are reasonably priced and still have important features like the LCD screen. Unless you need something really fancy, these will do the trick. I also suggest getting a floaty to attach to your new GoPro because while your GoPro may be waterproof, if you drop it, it will sink to the bottom of the ocean/lake/river faster than your dreams of capturing epic paddling shots. So make sure to keep your GoPro at the surface by attaching a floaty.

GoPro Hero 5


GoPro Floaty


11) Hornet Paddle

You know I love my Hornet paddles. The lightweight carbon fiber as well as the hybrid T-grip make this a great IDBF-approved competitive paddle. My favorite designs are the hibiscus and the artist dragon, though every year Hornet impresses me with some amazing designs. And their design contest is sure to produce even more this year! Did you know that unlike other paddle manufacturers, Hornet prints directly on the carbon fiber? Check out their cool SUP paddle designs, too! Make sure to use the code PADDLECHICA for a discount on your new Hornet paddle.

Hornet paddles


12) Custom Paddle Bag

Last year I recommended these custom paddle bags handmade in San Diego by Stefanie at Aloha Designs. Full of wonderful aloha vibes, you get to choose your favorite Hawaiian print for the accent fabric and you can feel good knowing you’re supporting a small business owner. Optional add-ons like backpack straps or personalized embroidery are also available. Tell her Paddlechica sent you!

Aloha Designs paddle bag


13) A Massage

What paddler wouldn’t want a massage to soothe those sore and aching muscles? Finding a good masseuse who specializes in sports massage is key, and if they are a paddler, even better! They know all those areas that are barking at us after a training session and can really work out those knots.

Benefits of Massage


Stocking Stuffers:

1) Burt’s Bees All Weather Lip Balm

I used to love Burt’s Bees Lifeguard’s Choice and when they stopped making it, I was so sad. Thankfully I found Burt’s All Weather as a new alternative last spring, so I spent all summer with happy and healthy lips. Good for your lips even in the winter, Burt’s Bees All Weather lip balm has SPF 15 protection with clear zinc so it doesn’t leave your lips all white and it doesn’t taste funky. I’m super picky about my lip protection, and I hate the taste of most sunscreen lip balms, but this one rocks my world.

Burt's Bees All Weather Lip Balm


2) Nuun Electrolyte Tabs

Portable and easy to travel with, these electrolyte tabs are great to keep in your purse or gym bag. You can pop one into your water bottle without worrying about the messiness of a scoop of powder.

Nuun tablets


3) Magnetic Air Vent Mount for Your Phone

Most of us use the GPS on our phones nowadays, but unless you have a good mount in your car, you find yourself juggling your phone while driving, or hoping it stays put somewhere along the dashboard. This super inexpensive mount is magnetic and attaches to your air vents. Then, you either use the thin adhesive magnet to stick to the back of your phone, or you slip the thin magnet between the back of your phone and your case, and your phone will magically “stick” to the mount, no matter which way you orient it (horizontal or vertical). So, when you are trying to find your way to your next regatta, you’ll have your phone GPS in a great position to be visible at all times.

Magnetic air vent mount


4) Paddle Tip Guard

Our paddle is our most expensive tool, so why wouldn’t we protect it? This tip guard helps prevent cracks, chips and scratches that happen when we rest our paddle tip on the ground.

paddle tip guard


5) HoldFast Grip

These grips are an excellent way to keep a firm grip on your paddle shaft. I used to use wax and Gorilla Grip, but those are just too messy. HoldFast grips attach to your paddle shaft with an adhesive sticker and have thousands of tiny, soft, flexible gel-like fingers to provide an even better grip. They come in three colors and I have tried all three. You’d think that they would be the same, but I have found the clear one to be a bit rougher than the others, so my recommendation is to get either the pink or the black.

Holdfast Grips


For more ideas, check out my Holiday Gift Guides from 2017, 2016, and 2015. Do you have a suggestion for the holiday gift wish list? I’d love to hear what your favorite things are!

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