Many of us are already in or heading into a paddling off-season where we have to stop doing and start dreaming. But sometimes the preparation and dreaming are just as good as that one still moment in time when you first leave contact with the shore.
And, let’s face it, most paddlers are also gear heads. We have our favorite paddle, sure, but we also have things to fix or replace or improve, or things we want to share with others. Everyone who goes out on the water appreciates a thoughtful gift from someone who understands their passion. Most of us can’t resist a good deal for ourselves, either.
So for Black Friday this year, we’ve spent more time than ever before finding things that aren’t just good deals, but are worth having. Items that contribute to making your voyage safer, smoother, less painful or just more fun. You won’t be surprised to hear that there are still shortages in some categories—we consider any discount at all on a good product in those a win. After looking through thousands of paddling products from 11 different Black Friday sales, here are our picks.
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Boats and Boards
A whole new boat might not be your first thought for a holiday gift, but a quality, affordable entry-level canoe or kayak is a wonderful thing to give to a beginner or better, a kid who’s shown interest. If it’s within your means, though, there’s no nicer thing for someone you really care about.
- Old Town Topwater 120 PDL Kayak -2022 - Save 20% at Backcountry
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak Series 2 Person Kayak - Save 70% on Amazon
- Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Kayak 2022 - Save 40% at Backcountry
- Pelican Sentinel 100X Sit-on-Top Kayak - 9.5 Feet - Save 12% on Amazon
- BOTE Wulf Inflatable Paddle Board - Save 15% at REI
- Body Glove Navigator+ 10'6" Inflatable Paddle Board - Save $600 at Body Glove
- THURSO SURF Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Waterwalker 132 - Save 21% on Amazon
Advanced Elements Advanced Frame Sport - Save 27% on Amazon- Deal has ended. BOTE Wulf Inflatable Paddle Board - Save 15% on Amazon- Sold out.
If you’ve shopped for them in the last year or two, you may have found that paddle availability was affected by materials shortages. That seems to be easing up, but they’re still backordered in some places, so if you need one you might want to grab it when you can.
- Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Paddle Fiberglass - Save 40% at REI
- Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Posi-Lok Kayak Paddle Carbon Shaft - Save 40% at REI
- Pelican Poseidon Paddle 89 in - Save up to 23% on Amazon
- Bending Branches Catalyst ST Canoe Paddle - Save 20% at Backcountry
- Aqua-Bound Whiskey Fiberglass 4-Piece Posi-Lok Paddle Straight Shaft - Save 20% at Backcountry
- THURSO SURF Carbon Hybrid SUP Paddle 3 Piece Adjustable - Save 30% on Amazon
Clothing and Shoes
We’ve gone toward the functional end of the spectrum this year, sometimes very functional. Blame one cold, cold afternoon we once spent in the Winooski River poking ice floes away. Dry, and warm is safe. And happy. And did we mention warm?
- NRS Endurance Jacket - Men's - Save 25% at REI
- NRS Endurance Jacket - Women's - Save 25% at REI
- Body Glove Men's and Women's Wetsuits - Save 30% at Body Glove
- Men's 3T Barefoot Cinch Minimalist Water Shoes - Save 30% at Body Glove
- Mustang Survival Hudson Dry Suit + Latex Seals - Save 20% at Backcountry
- Kokatat Hydrus 3L Meridian Dry Suit Men's - Save 22% at REI
- Kokatat Hydrus 3L Meridian Dry Suit Women's - Save 22% at REI
- Men's Long-Sleeved Capilene® Cool Daily Graphic Shirt - Save 50% on select styles at Patagonia
- Women's Long-Sleeved Capilene® Cool Daily Graphic Shirt - Save 50% on select styles at Patagonia
PFDs and Safety Equipment
We’ve said it before: Almost all of us who aren’t professional guides neglect their PFDs. We’ve been as guilty as anyone. Oh, it’s just a warm, shallow-water stream, we can stand up if something goes wrong. Because no one ever hit their head on anything, or ever didn’t drink enough on a hot day, or got tangled in a line. If you’re too cheap/overconfident/boneheaded not to do it for yourself, do it for someone you love. Or at least the poor deputy sheriff who has to fish you out from under a dock.
- NRS Ninja PFD - Save 25% at REI
- NRS Chinook OS PFD - Save 25% at REI
- NRS Chinook OS PFD - Save up to 55% on select sizes and colors at Backcountry
- Mustang Survival Khimera Hybrid Dual Flotation Personal Flotation Device - Save 20% at Backcountry
- Mustang Survival Automatic MIT 70 Inflatable Personal Flotation Device - Save 20% at Backcountry
- Mustang Survival Manual MIT 70 Inflatable Personal Flotation Device - Save 20% at Backcountry
- Onyx Kayak Fishing Life Jacket - Save 24% on Amazon
- Onyx MoveVent Curve Paddle Sports Life Vest - Save 38% on Amazon
- NRS Touring Safety Kits - Save 33% a REI
Electronics and GPS
Choose your electronics carefully. They’re heavy, and can be fragile and for some of us, detract from the experience. At the same time, they can make your life safer and easier, and the best stuff is there for you when you need it. Of course, if you’re out in the Keys after bonefish in on a 12-foot sit-on-top, I heartily encourage you to install a complete weather station and Simrad radome.
- Select Garmin Smartwatches and GPS Devices - Save up to 50% on Amazon
- Garmin Striker 4 Sonar Fishfinder and GPS Plotter - Save $30.01 at BassPro
- Garmin fenix 6X Pro Solar, Premium Multisport GPS Watch - Save 40% on Amazon
- GoPro HERO11 Black - Waterproof Action Camera - Save 20% on Amazon
- Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 93sv Fish Finder/Chartplotter Combo with GT54 Transducer - Save $400 at BassPro
Let’s be philosophical for a moment, because there’s an interesting tension between manufacturers and paddlers that plays out here. They are trying to make equipment that appeals to a whole bunch of people, but our needs and preferences are often so individual that finding the right fit is hard. Look for the intersections, the transience where the one meets the other.
- OutdoorMaster SHARK II Electric SUP Pump - Save 34% at OutdooorMaster
- Sea to Summit Access Kayak Deck Bag - Save 50% at REI
- Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag - Save up to 45% on select sizes and colors on Amazon
- NRS Bill's Bag 65-110L Dry Bag - Save 25% at Backcountry
- SealLine Baja 5-55L Dry Bags - Save 25% at Backcountry
- Bass Pro Shops Utility Dry Storage Box Set - Save $20 at BassPro
- THULE Compass Kayak Carrier - Save 20% at Backcountry
- THULE Portage Canoe Carrier - Save 21% at Backcountry
- Malone Free Standing Rack System for Kayaks and SUPs - Save $26 at BassPro
- Pelican Marine - IP68 Waterproof Phone Pouch / Case (XL Size) - Save 26% on Amazon
OutdoorMaster SHARK I SUP Air Pump - Save 21% on Amazon- Deal has ended