Floating through Fall

Favorite accessories for happy paddling

Meg Simon

Although the days are getting shorter and temps a little colder, there’s still plenty of time left in the season for paddle boarding. A few weeks ago (see Aspen Times Weekly’s Sept. 1 edition), I wrote a review on local company High Society’s wonderful USSHS 3 Stand Up Paddle Board. As I continue to float my way through fall on that board, below are some favorite accessories I’ve been bringing along for the ride. 

1. Prana Jess Reversible Tankini and Marta Bottom

A reversible pattern, full coverage bottoms and adjustable back straps make this set a paddle boarding favorite. Shirring on both pieces add some style, and the mid-rise and mid-length coverage are great for higher levels of activity. Everything stays in place when you inevitably go for an unexpected swim. $80 for the top and $55 for the bottoms. As of press time, both of these pieces were on sale for 60 percent off.

Prana Jess Tankini
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Prana Marta Bottom
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2. Ruffwear Floatcoat Dog Lifejacket

Even the most capable of dog swimmers should have a life jacket. I use one for my dog for anything beyond playing fetch from the shore. Fully featured, including a strong handle on the back and a leash clip-in point, the jacket is constructed with buoyant PVC-free foam. Bright colors and reflective trim boost visibility in low-light conditions. $90,

Ruffwear dog jacket
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3. Kuhl Engineered Hoody

For early mornings paddling North Star Preserve or for late, chilly fall afternoons at an alpine lake, having a long sleeved hoody in your dry bag is always a must. Designed to stretch and move with your activity, the Engineered has additional UPF sun protection built in. Breathable, open-knit mesh panels protect against overheating. $70,

Kuhl Engineered Hoody
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4. Skida Sun Tour Neck Tube

One more piece for sun protection, the Sun Tour is a featherweight UV+ multi-functional neck tube made of light, breathable fabric that feels cool on the skin. It helps keep the sun off my neck and when I’m really hot, I’ll even dunk it in the water and put it back on. It can also fold into a headband, and, as always with Skida, the neck tubes come in a variety of fun colors and prints. $22,

Skida Sun Tour
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5. Costa Panga Sunglasses

Designed to be reminiscent of old beachfront boats of Central America, the Panga is a looker. With its deep winding curves with heavy touches of Caribbean blue, I love the summery feel of these. With 100 percent UV protection and polarized lenses, these are great for a day on the water. The hinges on these are bomber. I like how they flex outward for a more comfortable fit, and I definitely recommend pairing these with a retainer of some sort when paddling. You don’t want to loose your pricey shades to the reservoir gods! $213,

Costa Panga Sunglasses
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6. Vuori Fringe Towel

I love keeping a clean, cozy towel in the car for aprés paddle boarding. Not only do I often get wet from taking the board out of the water and loading it back on my car, it’s just nice to have something to dry off with in case I fall off my board. It also works as a makeshift blanket if it gets chilly or if a shower rolls in. My recent favorite is this absorbent towel from Vuori, which is incredibly soft and quick drying, and it’s beautiful earthy colors make it great for transitioning into fall. $44,

Vuori Towel
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Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at