How To Choose A Life Jacket For Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Safety should always be your top priority for stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). One of the most crucial pieces of safety gear to consider is your life jacket. If you want to learn how to choose a life jacket for stand-up paddle boarding, you’ve come to the right place! Find a personal flotation device (PDF) that suits your needs and keeps you safe while enjoying this fantastic water sport. 

Why Do You Need a Life Jacket for SUP?

Stand-up paddle boarding is generally a safe and low-impact sport. However, accidents happen, and a life jacket can be a lifesaver in such situations. Additionally, a life jacket is required by law in many regions while paddle boarding.

Here are a few reasons why you need a life jacket for SUP:

  • Buoyancy: A life jacket keeps you afloat when you fall off your paddle board.
  • Visibility: Wearing a brightly-colored life jacket increases your visibility to others, reducing the risk of collisions.
  • Storage: Most life jackets have pockets for storing small items like whistles, sunblock, and keys.

Types of Life Jackets for SUP

Different types of personal flotation devices are available for various water sports, including SUP. Note that while you review PDFs, each one is appropriate for various scenarios, so understand which one you need for your activity of choice. Your life jacket should be U.S. Coast Guard-approved for the most safety on the water. 

What To Consider When Choosing a Life Jacket for SUP


Your life jacket should be snug but not too tight. It should not ride up when you raise your arms above your head. Look for adjustable straps for a better fit.


Life jackets come in various sizes based on chest measurements and weight. Choose one that accommodates your weight and chest size.


Opt for a life jacket with a comfortable and non-restrictive design, especially around the shoulders, to ensure unrestricted movement while paddling.


Look for the right buoyancy to stay afloat if you fall in the water. The minimum recommended buoyancy for SUP life jackets is 50 Newtons.

Additional Features

Some life jackets have pockets, reflective material, or a whistle attached. Consider these additional features when choosing a life vest.

Now that you know how to choose a life jacket for stand-up paddle boarding, it’s time to gear up and hit the water with confidence! Remember, your safety should always come first. So, invest in a high-quality life jacket that fits well, keeps you comfortable, and enhances your SUP experience.