Surfski Accessories - A guide to the Surfski stuff you need.

Friday, 01 December 2006 23:09 | Written by  Dawid Mocke
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ImageAccessorize your Surfski

Where to put, how to attach, what to do… courtesy of Dawid Mocke and

There are 6 surfski accessories that you should find with every surfskier. In order of importance.

  1. A pfd
  2. A leash
  3. A cell phone pouch
  4. A flare
  5. Juice
  6. GPS

All of the above are part of the kit that make your action man status a bit more complete. Also, without the above you’re putting yourself at risk.


Where do I put all this stuff? Now when you’re packing the kit bag and you load all the stuff in you kind of tend to think of it as overkill. Yet rest assured that once you’re paddling off into the blue yonder, not one of these items goes unused. Also, they all seem to fit on or in the ski quite snugly if you know the best way of attaching them.

Lifejacket (PFD –Personal Flotation Device)

When paddling offshore in a PFD is non-negotiable, you must use one. As you gain more experience and learn familiar paddling routes one can start leaving it in the car BUT be very sure. Definitely use in unfamiliar waters.

Where to put it? Well the pfd is obviously quite simple. You just wear it, but sometimes it gets pretty hot out there or, depending on race regulations you don’t have to actually physically wear the thing. I always just say “Wear it”.. It fits snugly and just adds that extra bit of comfort and security when paddling. One can also fit it behind the seat by using duct tape or, a neater easier way is by having bungy cord which you can stash it under.

Thermal clothing:

Always wear appropriate clothing, depending on conditions. A long sleeve, lightly coloured rash vest or thermal top is your best option


Having a leash means that if you fall off your ski you have a way of ensuring that you don’t loose your ski. Definitely use a leash when paddling offshore. If you’re planning on catching waves it’s safer to paddle without one or make sure you can detach it quickly

There are two ways of attaching a leash

1. Leash from boat to paddle - Around one or both of the foot straps to your paddle. This way you can hang onto your paddle and not lose your boat.

2. Leash from boat to body - Around your waist or ankle. Very important - You need to be able to get it off quickly.


Especially when doing long offshore paddles. There are two types: smoke flares and signal flares (that shoot up into the sky). Only use your flares once you are sure that someone will spot you. All flares have directions AND expiry dates written on them – read carefully!

If you're wearing a PFD there is always a pocket where you can fit the flare. If not, then your next best bet is duct tape somewhere within easy reach. It's not such a good idea to put the flare in a hatch as you may loose your ski in an instant and not have time to open the hatch to get the flare. I know of a girl who got taken out by a reef and her ski sank in seconds. She only just managed to grab the flare which was duct taped on.

ImageDry bag/cell phone pouch:

Very convenient and a nice safety option since you can immediately call for help. Your cell phone will be dry and you’ll be able to use it while at sea .

All pouches can be hung around your neck.


The GPS is a nice toy as you can tell your speed and distance. Along with that great info while paddling, you can also use it to track your route, as well as mark your exact location (way point). This can definitely come in handy in unfamiliar waters.

The idea is to be able to see the GPS, plus it needs to see the sky to track the satellites. You usually put it around the footstraps, or tape it down in front of the pedals.

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