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Gear

Summer Gear List: Paddling

All the gear you need to get out on the water this summer whether you're kayaking, SUPing, or tubing.

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Fast, maneuverable, and surprisingly stable, the SL 12 is the most fun raft we paddled all summer. At only 12 feet long, it isn’t the boat for…

Fast, maneuverable, and surprisingly stable, the SL 12 is the most fun raft we paddled all summer. At only 12 feet long, it isn’t the boat for serious multi-day trips, but it’s exciting in big water, easy to maneuver on steep, creeky runs, and roomier than it looks.
$4,428; sotar.com

Teva designed the Gnarkosi for wakeskaters, but we’ve seen raft guides and other people of questionable hygiene, but undeniable river-worthiness…

Teva designed the Gnarkosi for wakeskaters, but we’ve seen raft guides and other people of questionable hygiene, but undeniable river-worthiness rocking them on the river and at the bar.  It’s a non-dorky looking water shoe. Yeah, we said it. 

$100; www.teva.com

The Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI) teamed up with the Johns Hopkins University Engineering and Public Health schools, to make the…

The Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (WRSI) teamed up with the Johns Hopkins University Engineering and Public Health schools, to make the safest multi-impact helmet on the market. The resulting helmet, the Current, has four layers of protection, but is still lightweight, and, because WRSI wanted people to actually use their helmets, reasonably priced.

$80-100; www.wrsisafety.com

Modeled after super low-profile freestyle kayaking PFDs, the Willis’ minimalist design gives you plenty of paddling mobility, but still provides 15.5…

Modeled after super low-profile freestyle kayaking PFDs, the Willis’ minimalist design gives you plenty of paddling mobility, but still provides 15.5 pounds of flotation. If you do happen to end up in the river, the foam in the jacket wraps all the way around your sides and back— Astral calls that “flotection”— so your spine and ribs are protected. The equivalent women’s style, the Bella, comes with a built-in sports bra.

$149; www.astralbuoyancy.com

Jackson’s Fun isn’t new, the basic design has been around since 2004, but they keep tweaking the boat to make it lighter, more comfortable, and less…

Jackson’s Fun isn’t new, the basic design has been around since 2004, but they keep tweaking the boat to make it lighter, more comfortable, and less edgy. It’s not the most dynamic play boat, or fastest downriver boat on the market, but if you’ve only got space (and dollars) for one boat to do it all this is our pick.
$1,049-1,199; jacksonkayak.com

Werner’s largest-bladed whitewater paddle, the Sho-Gun is light, tough, and powerful. Werner offers two diameter option, as well as a straight or…

Werner’s largest-bladed whitewater paddle, the Sho-Gun is light, tough, and powerful. Werner offers two diameter option, as well as a straight or bent shafts, so paddlers with small hands and weak shoulders (like us) can stay comfortable.

$340 for a straight shaft; Wernerpaddles.com

When it comes to boardies simpler is better. Design wise, these are super minimal, but they’re also water repellent, stretchy and made from recycled…

When it comes to boardies simpler is better. Design wise, these are super minimal, but they’re also water repellent, stretchy and made from recycled materials.

$60; www.billabong.com