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Creative Holiday Gift Ideas For Paddlers Who Have ‘Everything’

The holiday season is a period buzzing with activities, obligations, and shopping. There is always another holiday party, friends gathering, or family function popping up in your calendar every time you look at it. This season is also the time for last-minute holiday shopping for the special people in your life you haven’t gotten a gift for yet. Last-minute holiday shopping isn’t always a procrastination thing either. Sometimes the person you haven’t bought a gift for just seems to have it all. This is particularly true for some well-prepared paddlers.

Many paddlers are ready for everything. The more passionate a kayaker, SUP boarder, or canoe lover is about this hobby, the more gear and gadgets the paddler has. This might be great for paddling adventures and safety, but it can make shopping for the person particularly challenging. But even if the paddler in your life already seems to have everything, there are still some great paddling-themed holiday gift ideas at various price points that every paddler is destined to love.

Quick dry towels, neoprene socks, and facial sunscreen make great gifts for paddlers who have everything, as they need replenishment frequently. Some outside-the-box holiday gifts for paddlers include water bottles with built-in filtration, a dry bag or backpack, or a waterproof portable speaker. Consider giving the gift of safety in the form of a personal AIS beacon, or a PFD upgrade.

Creative Holiday Gifts For Paddlers Who Already Have It All

1. A PFD Upgrade

Every paddler, regardless of skill level, should have a PFD. In many places, this is the law, and even if it isn’t it is still a good idea to wear one. This means the odds are the paddler you are shopping for already has at least one PFD, and possibly several. But purchasing a PFD upgrade is still often a fantastic idea.

For one, the odds are a paddler will upgrade with fun accessories before upgrading a PFD unless the PFD is particularly uncomfortable. Secondly, like with anything you wear, life jackets show signs of wear over time. Consider purchasing a great PFD upgrade, like a waist-inflatable life vest. Or get a PFD that will be both safe and much more comfortable than the current one. This is a thoughtful gift that shows you care about the person’s safety and comfort on the water.

Check out the Khimera Dual Floatation PFD

2. An Eco-Friendly Cooler Bag

The odds are that the paddler in your life has a cooler or cooler bag of some sort already. But unless it’s a top-notch and expensive YETI or custom paddling cooler, then the odds are it could use some upgrading. Also, cooler needs vary based on the length and goal of the journey.

This is why a cooler or cooler bag is a great gift, even if the paddler you are shopping for has everything. In addition to a variety of sizes and styles, you can also choose a more eco-friendly and innovative cooler. Companies like Nutshell offer quality cooler products made of coconut husks and other environmentally sustainable products.

3. Sunglasses Designed For Water Lovers

One of the most important parts of your body you need to protect while paddling is your eyes. Sunglasses are essential for keeping out harmful reflective rays from damaging your eyes. Unfortunately, a lot of sunglasses do a sub-par job of protecting your eyes. Some that protect your eyes don’t do a great job at filtering out unwanted blue and yellow light, and in turn, can result in a washed-out visual.

If the paddler in your life has sunglasses that are generic or not watersports-specific, consider buying him or her a pair as a holiday gift. You can opt for lenses that are specifically designed for paddlers and fishermen, which will protect the eyes and provide excellent clarity on the water. You can also find protective sunglasses that float, which is helpful for SUP boarders and paddlers who tend to fall in the water from time to time.

Shop our Kayak Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide and our SUP Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide for the perfect pair of sunglasses for the paddler you are shopping for this holiday season.

SeaSpecs Classic

4. Waterproof Dry Bag or Backpack

An avid paddler can always use more dry bags. A good waterproof dry bag can last for many seasons, but it likely won’t last forever. Furthermore, dry bags come in many sizes, so there is probably one type of dry bag the paddler in your life does not have yet. Whether it is a waterproof fanny pack, a waterproof backpack, or a three-pack of multi-purpose dry bags, there are all types of waterproof bag designs. There is bound to be at least one design that the paddler in your life can benefit from receiving this holiday season.

Shop our Best Dry Bags of 2023

5. Quick Dry Towels

Quick dry towels are a product category that continues to evolve. You can find state-of-the-art quick dry material that dries rapidly and absorbs water better than ever. There are also tons of companies with various sizes and designs. Quick dry towels are a paddler’s best friend. Just as with regular towels, quick dry towels get tattered and less desirable over time. If you are looking for an affordable gift for the paddler who has everything, a nice quick dry towel is a great option.

6. Neoprene Socks

If the person you are shopping for does paddling in colder waters, then neoprene socks could be a great gift idea. Normal socks are a popular stocking stuffer gift for both men and women, so consider going the extra mile and getting a pair of socks that will keep a paddler’s feet warm and dry when kayaking or canoeing in frigid waters. Neoprene socks also need to be replenished like any other type of footwear, so a new pair of these life-saving socks is destined to be a welcomed holiday gift.

7. Personal AIS Beacon

Nothing says “I care about you” like the gift of a personal Automatic Identifical System (AIS) beacon. While that might sound funny, it is quite true. Personal AIS beacons are a great item for paddlers to have, especially those who go on longer trips into open water or any potentially dangerous conditions. These beacons send distress messages when activated to nearby vessels, and are often the best way to get fast help when you need it. These beacons can be costly, but you can’t put a price on safety and are important for those who take risks on the water.

Shop Amazon for the best personal AIS beacon for the paddler in your life.


8. Quality Face Sunscreen

If you are looking for a smaller gift, consider the gift of sun protection. Nearly everyone uses sunscreen, especially those who are frequently on the water. But with hundreds of options, some are better than others, and often price is taken more into account than quality. This can lead to skin irritation, and even face acne in some cases. Give the gift of a high-quality face sunscreen that is good for the skin it protects. Paddlers always need sunscreen, and a luxurious face sunscreen is a great way to pamper the paddler in your life.

9. Portable Waterproof Speaker

Portable waterproof speakers are a great gift for those who love kayaking, SUP boarding, or canoeing, and also love music. It allows a paddler to enjoy some tunes on long paddles and also is a great way to create ambiance on a secret beach when island-hopping on a SUP board adventure or kayaking with a group of friends. Waterproof speakers also come in nearly every budget. This allows you to find a great gift for a paddler who is hard to shop for, regardless of your budget.

10. Water Bottle With Built-In Water Filter

Water bottles are essential, and water filtration options continue to improve with technology. If the paddler in your life frequently paddles in freshwater that is not quite pure enough to safely drink, consider gifting a water bottle with a built-in water filter. These water bottles are great for longer paddles, and great onshore as well. It is one gift that the paddler in your life can enjoy in nearly any outdoor activity and at any time of year. Make sure you choose the type of water bottle and filter that best suits the paddler’s typical conditions, as there are various filtration methods. GRAYL is considered by many to be the holy grail of filtered water bottles, but they are almost $100. There are many brands to choose from at different price points, depending on your budget.

Shop Amazon for Water Bottles with Filters

11. An Outdoors Subscription Box

If the paddler you are shopping for loves not only paddling but all things “outdoors,” then consider giving the gift of a subscription box this holiday season. There are subscription boxes for various types of outdoor enthusiasts, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the perfect box for the person in your life. Subscription boxes are great because they are gifts that usually keep on giving on a monthly, or quarterly basis.

12. Give The Gift Of A Paddling Excursion

If you are looking for a gift that every paddler will love no matter what equipment they already have, then give the gift of paddling. A paddling excursion, big or small, is always the perfect gift. You can look into an amazing nearby paddling location that requires a guided tour to visit. You can rent a cabin or water-front room at a great nearby favorite destination, or even plan an epic vacation to a bucket-list-worthy paddling destination. Regardless of your budget, there is likely a fun way to give the gift of paddling to a loved one. Best of all, if it’s a vacation you opt for, it’s a gift you can enjoy alongside the paddler in your life.

Wrapping Up Gift Ideas For The Paddling Lover Who Has It All

Looking for the perfect gift for the special people in your life can sometimes be a formidable endeavor. This is particularly true when you are shopping for someone who already seems to have everything they need. If you have a paddling lover who already has all the gear necessary to enjoy kayaking, canoeing, or SUP boarding then try thinning outside the box. Quick dry towels, quality face sunscreen, and neoprene socks all need replenishment.

Waterproof dry bags, waterproof speakers, and water bottles with built-in filters are great gifts paddlers can enjoy in and out of the water. You can also consider safety gifts, like an upgraded waist-inflatable PFD, or a personal AIS beacon, reminding the paddler in your life how much you care about them.


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