whats the best way to carry my sup paddle when hiking to remote paddling locations
whats the best way to carry my sup paddle when hiking to remote paddling locations

Looking to explore remote paddling spots and wondering how to carry your SUP paddle? We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll share some ingenious ways to transport your paddle while hiking to those hidden gem locations. No more cumbersome or uncomfortable journeys – we’ve got the tips and tricks to ensure your paddle is secure, comfortable, and ready for your next adventurous paddleboarding expedition. So, grab your gear and get ready to learn the best way to carry your SUP paddle!

Different Carrying Methods

When it comes to carrying a SUP paddle while hiking to remote paddling locations, there are several options to choose from. Each carrying method has its own benefits and considerations, so it’s important to understand the different options available before deciding which one is best for you. In this article, we will explore four popular carrying methods: over the shoulder, in hand, on a backpack, and in a paddle bag.

Considerations for Choosing a Carrying Method

Before diving into the specifics of each carrying method, it’s important to consider a few factors that can influence your decision. These factors include the length of your hike, the terrain you will be traversing, the level of comfort you desire, and the safety precautions you need to take. By taking these considerations into account, you’ll be better equipped to choose the carrying method that suits your needs.

Over the Shoulder

Carrying the SUP paddle over the shoulder is a popular method for shorter hikes or when you want to keep your hands free. This method allows for easy access to the paddle and provides a comfortable way to carry it.


One of the key benefits of carrying the paddle over the shoulder is that it distributes the weight evenly across your back and shoulders. This helps to minimize fatigue and strain on your arms and hands, making it easier to hike longer distances. Additionally, carrying the paddle in this way leaves your hands free to navigate rough terrain or carry additional gear.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Start by positioning the paddle parallel to your body, with the blade facing downward and the handle facing up.
  2. Place one end of the paddle over your shoulder, allowing it to rest diagonally across your back.
  3. Use your hand to hold onto the handle, securing the paddle in place.
  4. Adjust the length of the strap or leash if needed, ensuring that the paddle is comfortable and secure.

In Hand

Carrying the SUP paddle in hand is a simple and straightforward method that may be preferred for shorter hikes or when you want to keep the paddle within reach.


Carrying the paddle in hand provides quick and easy access, allowing you to be ready to paddle as soon as you reach your destination. This method also offers a greater sense of control over the paddle, as it remains within your grip at all times.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Hold the paddle with one hand near the center of the shaft.
  2. Position the blade in front of you, facing away from your body.
  3. Keep your grip secure as you hike, making sure the paddle doesn’t swing or drag on the ground.
  4. If needed, switch hands periodically to distribute the weight and prevent fatigue.

On a Backpack

If you prefer to have both hands free while hiking, carrying the SUP paddle on a backpack can be a convenient option. This method allows you to evenly distribute the weight and keep your paddle secure during the hike.


Carrying the paddle on a backpack frees up your hands and prevents them from becoming fatigued during long hikes. Additionally, it provides a stable and secure way to transport the paddle, minimizing the risk of loss or damage.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Place the paddle horizontally across the top of your backpack, ensuring that the blade and handle are positioned securely.
  2. Use straps or bungee cords to secure the paddle in place, ensuring that it is tight and won’t move during your hike.
  3. Adjust the straps or cords as needed to ensure a comfortable fit and proper weight distribution.
  4. Double-check the security of the paddle before starting your hike, ensuring that it remains in place throughout your journey.

In a Paddle Bag

Using a paddle bag to carry your SUP paddle is an excellent option if you want to protect your paddle from scratches or damage while hiking. This method provides a secure and convenient way to transport your paddle.


Carrying the paddle in a paddle bag offers protection from the elements and potential impacts during the hike. It also allows for easy storage and transport when not in use. Additionally, some paddle bags come with shoulder straps, making it easier to carry the paddle on longer hikes.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Insert the SUP paddle into the paddle bag, ensuring that the blade and handle are securely placed.
  2. Zip or fasten the bag securely, making sure it is snug and won’t open during the hike.
  3. If your paddle bag has shoulder straps, adjust them for a comfortable fit.
  4. Wear the paddle bag on your back, ensuring that it is secure and doesn’t slide around during the hike.

Length of Hike

Considering the length of your hike is crucial when choosing a carrying method for your SUP paddle. Shorter hikes may allow for more flexibility in carrying options, while longer hikes require methods that provide comfort and weight distribution over a prolonged period of time.

Short Hikes

For shorter hikes, carrying the SUP paddle in hand or over the shoulder may be more convenient and accessible options. These methods allow for quick and easy access to the paddle, making it easier to transition between hiking and paddling.

Long Hikes

On the other hand, longer hikes may necessitate methods that offer more comfort and weight distribution. Carrying the paddle on a backpack or in a paddle bag can help you evenly distribute the weight and prevent fatigue during extended periods of hiking.


The terrain you will be traversing is another important factor to consider when choosing a carrying method for your SUP paddle. The type of terrain can affect the stability and ease of carrying, as well as the potential risks involved.

Flat Terrain

When hiking on flat terrain, all carrying methods can generally be suitable. However, carrying the paddle in hand or on a backpack may be preferable, as they provide a more secure and stable way to transport the paddle. These methods also offer better control and maneuverability, which can be advantageous on flat surfaces.

Steep Terrain

On the other hand, if you anticipate hiking on steep or uneven terrain, it’s important to choose a carrying method that offers optimal stability. Carrying the paddle on a backpack or in a paddle bag can help keep your hands free and maintain your balance during challenging ascents or descents.


Ensuring your own comfort during the hike is essential for an enjoyable outdoor experience. Considerations such as weight distribution and padding can greatly impact your comfort level while carrying the SUP paddle.

Weight Distribution

Methods that evenly distribute the weight of the paddle across your body, such as carrying over the shoulder or on a backpack, can help minimize strain and fatigue. By spreading the load, you’ll be able to hike more comfortably and for longer distances without feeling burdened.


Incorporating padding into your chosen carrying method can provide additional comfort and protection. Some backpacks and paddle bags come with padded straps or cushioned compartments, helping to reduce strain and prevent damage to the paddle.


Prioritizing safety is paramount when hiking to remote paddling locations. Considering factors such as securing the paddle and ensuring visibility can help prevent accidents and ensure a safe journey.

Securing the Paddle

No matter which carrying method you choose, it’s important to ensure that the paddle is securely fastened and won’t become loose during the hike. Double-check the straps, bungee cords, or zippers to ensure that they are tight and won’t come undone.


When hiking in areas with limited visibility, such as dense forests or during low-light conditions, it’s essential to make yourself and your paddle visible. Using reflective tape or bright colors on your paddle or backpack can help others spot you from a distance, reducing the risk of accidents or getting lost.

In conclusion, choosing the best carrying method for your SUP paddle when hiking to remote paddling locations involves considering several factors. By evaluating the length of your hike, the terrain you’ll encounter, your desired level of comfort, and the necessary safety precautions, you’ll be able to select a carrying method that suits your needs. Whether you opt to carry the paddle over the shoulder, in hand, on a backpack, or in a paddle bag, remember to prioritize comfort, security, and protection for an enjoyable and safe hiking experience.

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Jake Walker
Hi, I'm Jake Walker, a passionate outdoor sports enthusiast and SUP Board expert. With years of experience in the field, I have gained extensive knowledge and expertise in all things related to SUP Boards. I am dedicated to providing valuable tips and advice to help fellow enthusiasts make informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right SUP Board gear. Throughout my journey in the SUP Board community, I have been recognized for my contributions and have received several prizes and rewards for my expertise. These accolades have further motivated me to continue sharing my knowledge and helping others navigate the exciting world of SUP Boarding. I believe in the transformative power of outdoor sports and how they can enhance our connection with nature. My writing philosophy revolves around inspiring individuals to embark on their own SUP Board adventures and embrace the thrill of exploring new waters. When it comes to my writing style, I strive to inject a personal touch into every piece I create. I want my readers to feel like they're having a conversation with a friend, providing them with relatable and practical advice that they can apply to their own SUP Boarding experiences. I am excited to be a part of SUPBoardGear.com, where I can engage with a community of like-minded individuals who share the same passion for SUP Boarding. Connect with me on this platform, and together, let's explore the world of SUP Boarding and make unforgettable memories on the water. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance in choosing the perfect SUP Board gear for your next adventure. Let's embark on this incredible journey together!