2015 Water Sports Gear Guide: Accessories

Essential marine and watersports accessories to keep you, your gear and your boat in top shape.

November 20, 2014
Fuelish Pleasure
Water sports is nowhere without a smooth-running engine. But today’s fuels, especially ethanol-blended gasoline, can challenge even the most fastidious boat owner’s diligence. Choose and use the correct fuel additive for your application. See the Difference
Boating eyewear is essential for your health and for safe navigation. Look for lenses with high-UV and -IR ratings to ensure that your eyes are protected from the brightness only the waterborne experience. Polarization cuts glare, making it easy to see stumps, rocks and other obstructions below the water’s surface — not to mention seeing your rider by the dawn’s early light. Step It Up
Certainly boating footwear should be selected for a grippy, nonmarking sole. It’s also important to make sure your feet and ankles have the right support, since footing can get rocky, even aboard the best-riding boats. And don’t forget quick-drying construction: Look for drain holes and other features that help ensure you won’t squish as you walk. Shine On
Wax — or a synthetic replica — is a product that provides the final gleaming and protective finish to your ride, and it is all a new(ish) boat might need. Polishes are used to restore shine to mildly oxidized boat hulls, and meant to be followed by wax to keep the shine and protect the surface. Compounds are true abrasives for older boats, and should be followed by both a polish and a wax. Valves
Large-diameter Boston valves are well worth looking for in a towable. Not only do these make inflation secure and easy, but they make deflation easy as well.
H0 Agent Kneeboard With PannoLock Strap
Things We Like: The two-stage rocker design increases pop off the wake. + PannoLock double-locking knee strap helps you achieve peak performance. + Its curved flow channels ensure a deep edge hold at speed. MSRP: $360
West Marine VHF 75 Floating Handheld 6-Watt VHF Radio
Things We Like: A full 6 watts of output power will help you punch through and be heard. + It’s great for guests and kids out in the dinghy or beachcombing to keep in touch with you aboard the mothership. + There are few better backup radios to have in an emergency. MSRP: $120
Liquid Force Sumo Sac
Things We Like: Sumo sac comes in a variety of sizes, so you can add just the ballast you need — and place it just the way you want. + It has a one-link valve for watertight and airtight filling and draining. + Three 1-inch standard pipe fittings allow for easy customized installation. Sizes: 125 to 950 pounds MSRP: Starting at $140
West Marine Pop-Up Portable Party Cooler
Things We Like: It can hold up to 100 8-ounce cans of your favorite beverage. + Though it comes with two sturdy handles, this cooler weighs just 7.5 pounds empty. + The zippered lid provides maximized access when loading or unloading, so you can get on the water quicker. MSRP: $60
SP Gadgets Remote Pole
Things We Like: The GoPro Wi-Fi remote housing works fantastic. + The dual-diameter, soft-touch remote grip makes operation easy and secure, even in rough conditions. + It comes with a 360-degree swivel head, caribiner and an adjustable wrist strap. Sizes: 23-inch; 39-inch MSRP: $60, $70
Performance Surf and Ski Neo Sleeve
Things We Like: It’s one of the quickest solutions to wakeboard protection. + The supersoft and stretchy neoprene allows it to conform and fit almost any board. + It includes a shoulder strap. MSRP: $50
Wetsounds Rev 8 Tower Speakers
Things We Like: Rev Tec technology produces amazing volume and clarity on axis — and off — even at a great distance. + It’s been tested to deliver sound 80 feet without loss of detail or information. + The epoxy fiberglass speaker cones will live hearty in the marine environment. MSRP: $1,240 per pair (varies with options)
Ronix Eight-3 Silver
Things We Like: It works with any size pump. + Its wide base keeps it from rolling onto its side. + It’s quick and easy to burp the excess air out. Size: 800 pounds MSRP: $240
Hitcase FloatR
Things We Like: The sturdy sling provides confident security for your phone. + Enables the Hitcase to lie flat behind you while engaged in water sports, which is a great convenience. + Keeps the Hitcase and iPhone on top of the water. MSRP: $30
O’Brien Sozo Kneeboard
Things We Like: Developed with legendary kneeboarder Ted Bevelacqua, it offers a new shape that initiates turns easier, and it edges up the wake with a clean release. + It’s the softest kneeboard pad we’ve yet seen. + It has a 3-inch cinch strap. Size: 51.8″x21.6″ MSRP: $600
Performance Surf and Ski Wakeboard Rope and Handle
Things We Like: Dyneema rope offers durable, no-stretch performance. + The leather grip is as beautiful as it is comfortable. + It’s square-stitched with four hidden floats for buoyancy. Size: 75 feet MSRP: $130
SP Gadgets POV Pole
Things We Like: You can attach a GoPro without need of any other adapters. + Its dual-diameter grip provides comfortable security for long shoots, even in adverse conditions. + It’s approved for saltwater use. Sizes: 19-inch; 36-inch MSRP: $40, $50
SP Gadgets Power Bar Duo
Things We Like: It has the ability to charge GoPro cameras and batteries anywhere. + It allows charging for two Hero3 or Hero3+ batteries and multiple USB devices, so you can always have the power to capture the action from many angles. + LED power-level indicators let you know when you’re fully charged. MSRP: $70
Kwik Tech SS SUP
Things We Like: SS stands for “super stable” — a bet you can take to the bank! + Its tapered rails and aggressive nose help it punch through chop. + A mesh backpack, pump, pressure gauge and repair kit all come standard. MSRP: $1,199
Wetsounds Stealth 10 Bluetooth Speakers
Things We Like: It’s made from a full, extruded aluminum housing for great looks as well as durability. + Both STEALTH models feature a Bluetooth-enabled audio receiver with a high-performance speaker array and titanium dome tweeters for a rich and dynamic full-range performance. + The waterproof wiring harness is fully jacketed. MSRP: $750
Jetpilot Logo Tee
Things We Like: + Made from Vapor Dry polyester, this tee is perfect for water-sports enthusiasts. + It cuts wind chill and harmful UV rays. + In all, this high-performance tee functions as both a shirt and a rash guard. Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL MSRP: $35
Liquid Force Hershal Board Shorts Blue
Things We Like: They’re available in the styles you’ll look great in. + They’re made from 85 percent polyester/15 percent spandex. + The 19-inch length is perfect. MSRP: $55
SP Gadgets POV Light
Things We Like: This light brightens any environment, whether you are shooting on land, afloat or inside. + It’s portable and waterproof. + It provides 20 hours of light at 60 lumens. MSRP: $30
Malibu Beckon Men’s Crew
Things We Like: Wear the distressed “M” logo with pride, Malibu fans. + It has back print and comes in a charcoal color. + It’s made from a nice 60 percent cotton/40 percent poly blend. MSRP: $30
Hitcase ChestR
Things We Like: This super comfortable chest mount makes other mounts feel harsh by comparison. + You can rotate the mount and capture that down-low shot. + There’s a handy pocket on the inside for…whatever! MSRP: $50
West Marine Scout Advanced Frame Inflatable Kayak
Things We Like: This hybrid inflatable ‘yak delivers the performance of some rigid-shell models. + Its aluminum stem cuts the waves, while the aluminum-framed stern enhances rigidity. + No roof rack is required for transport. MSRP: $450
Performance Surf and Ski Slalom Pro Neo Sleeve With Tail Sleeve
Things We Like: You asked for a sleeve with additional fin protection, and they built it. + The new plastic fin sleeve helps prevent damage to your fin and block. + It fits tournament skis between 63 and 69 inches in length. MSRP: $60
Performance Surf and Ski WakeSurf Rope and Handle
Things We Like: The proven chamois-grip handle combines with a clean braid for a great combination of grip, ease of use and durability. + It has three 3-foot sections and is 20 feet long overall. + It’s available in red/black or blue/black. Size: 20-foot MSRP: $45
Liquid Force Simmons Board Shorts Black and Red
Things We Like: They’re available in the styles you’ll look great in. + They’re made from 85 percent polyester/15 percent spandex. + The 19-inch length is perfect. MSRP: $55
Slingshot Crossbreed SUP
Things We Like: It maintains awesome performance across a broad spectrum of water conditions. + The Wood Veneer Sandwich (WVS) construction ranks high. + Its wide frame gives wary paddlers confidence. Sizes: 11′ and 12’6″ MSRP: $1,199, $1,299
Axis Rise Striped Tee
Things We Like: It’s a fine-looking jersey-striped T-shirt. + This shirt is where Axis wake research meets American fashion. + It’s made from 100 percent ring-spun cotton. MSRP: $30
Hitcase Pro+
Things We Like: It’s now available with interchangeable lenses, including the True UX Flat and the super-wide. + Even more lens options are coming. + A Hitcase ShootR pole is included in the box. MSRP: $150
Connelly Explorer SUP
Things We Like: Especially designed for all-around paddling plus yoga, this is one of the most versatile boards around. + Soft EVA-foam deck provides a comfortable grip for feet and hands.+ Epoxy base makes for an easy, smooth glide. MSRP: $900
Connelly Classic SUP
Things We Like: Lightweight epoxy construction is built for the long haul — perfect for a family SUP. + A wide tip and tail inspire confidence in new paddlers. + It has three glass-nylon fins. Sizes: 10’x30″; 11’x30″; 12’x31″ MSRP: $1,200
Liquid Force Parker Board Shorts Maroon
Things We Like: They’re available in the styles you’ll look great in. + They’re made from 85 percent polyester/15 percent spandex. + The 19-inch length is perfect. MSRP: $55
ACME Model: 2561; 17×17
Things We Like: CNC-machined means the propeller delivers the most accurate diameter, pitch, cup, rake, balance and more. + Its ability to dial in for specific boats and applications is an essential quality for a propeller supplier. + Key propeller dimensions and model number are stamped on the hub for reference.
Things We Like: A hard bottom and soft top make this a most comfortable board, perfect for learning the basics. + It’s available with an adjustable paddle for maximum value. + It has a single glass-filled fin. Size: 11’6″x30.5″ MSRP: $600
Slingshot Adjustable SUP Paddle
Things We Like: + Its wide range of adjustability allows multiple paddlers to share the same paddle. + The 100 percent carbon shaft is lightweight. + The fiberglass blade provides response and power. Size: Adjustable (66″ to 97″) MSRP: $240
JL Audio M770 ETX v2
Things We Like: These 7.7″ coaxial tower speakers are in some dang good-looking enclosures. + When mounted high, the sound they produce can be heard well beyond the boat. + They’re built to withstand a real saltwater environment. MSRP: $800 per pair
Connelly Ladies Classic SUP
Things We Like: Wide tip and tail combine with a stable rocker line aboard this surf-style SUP to provide fun and easy learning. + The full-length stringer and EPS core provide stiffness. + The pad is made from soft, CNC-cut EVA foam and has an auto-vent feature. Sizes: 10’x30″; 11’x30″ MSRP: $1,200
West Marine WM4000 Bluetooth Marine Stereo Receiver
Things We Like: You can interface wirelessly with Bluetooth, or use your iPod or other devices for wired control and interface. + A seven-channel weather radio is built in, so you can check the marine forecast. + There’s an SD-card slot, and this unit is SiriusXM ready. MSRP: $200
Malibu Crash Ladies Tank
Things We Like: Semi-fitted racer-back tanks like this one are super comfy and super sexy. + The neon-orange color makes a bold statement. + It’s made from 3.5-ounce 60 percent cotton/40 percent poly blend for cool, long-lasting comfort. MSRP: $28
SP Gadgets POV Dive Buoy
Things We Like: It’s not just a multipurpose camera handle — it’s a safety device that will float your camera if it’s dropped in the water. + Fill the handle with water to give it neutral buoyancy, which makes its use while diving easier. + It’s compact and lightweight. MSRP: $30
Slingshot Crossbreed Inflatable SUP
Things We Like: You can’t beat the portability and ease of deployment that an inflatable provides. + Air Tech drop-stitch technology proves more stable than others. + It comes with a pump, pressure gauge and repair kit. Size: 11′ and 12’6″ MSRP: $1,199 and $1,299
O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard
Things We Like: The performance edges and low-profile cross-section make this kneeboard both hard-charging and forgiving. + The pad is made from 3/4-inch-thick EVA foam. + It has an integrated hook. MSRP: $180
Wetsounds 420 BT Equalizer
Things We Like: It offers a three-zone controller with two separate equalizers. + The independent bass volume control is an awesome accessory boarders will love. + The True Marine Build features conformal-coated boards — great for boat audio. MSRP: $400
SP Gadgets Aqua Case
Things We Like: Pre-cut foam interior makes for instant use and protection. + It’s water-resistant…and it floats! + The supplied carabiner is handy. Sizes: For Hero 2, Hero3 and Hero3+ MSRP: $49.99
ACME Model: 2315; 15×12
Things We Like: CNC-machined means the propeller delivers the most accurate diameter, pitch, cup, rake, balance and more. + Its ability to dial in for specific boats and applications is an essential quality for a propeller supplier. + Key propeller dimensions and model number are stamped on the hub for reference.
JL Audio M800/8v2 Marine Amplifier
Things We Like: It delivers 100 watts to each of its eight channels into 2 ohms — or 75 watts per channel into 4 ohms. + The exclusive high-speed switching runs cooler and so stresses your boat’s electrical system very little. + Its gasketed, brushed-aluminum cover conceals a range of truly saltwater-proof innovations. MSRP: $730

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