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I was scrolling through the posts in a paddle boarding group on Facebook recently when I saw someone ask for recommendations for the best paddle board seat. In typical Facebook fashion, instead of getting an answer, the comments section was filled with sarcastic responses such as ‘it’s called stand up paddle boarding, not sit down’, and ‘if you want to sit down, just buy a kayak’.
As much as I love a good sarcastic response, it was a shame that nobody actually answered the question. And, although the paddle board purists may disagree, I think a seat can be a great addition to your accessories. So here’s everything you need to know about buying a paddle board seat and a few options to suit most budgets.
Why Would You Need a Paddle Board Seat?
I understand where those sarcastic comments are coming from. If you’re looking for a seat because you’re only ever planning to sit down on your board then you quite possibly should be looking at kayaks instead.
Adding a seat to your board won’t turn it into a kayak. Your manoeuvrability and stability won’t be anything close to a proper kayak and won’t be as comfortable and versatile either.
But if you’re just looking for an option to use your board for an occasional seated paddle, a seat can be a great option. The average paddleboard seat is far, far cheaper than buying a kayak and it will allow you to head out on the water and experience paddling in a different way. It might also be a great option to get kids or other newcomers to paddle sports on the water without having to master the balance needed for standing up.
How Does a Paddle Board Seat Work?
Most paddle boards will have four D-rings near the centre of your board, two on each side. A paddle board seat simply clips onto the rings and then the straps are tensioned to provide a degree of back support as you lean onto the seat.
For the most part, the majority of paddle board seats will be universal. Most standard seats will attach to your board as long as you have those four D-rings on your board.
Buying a Paddle Board Seat
Considering the versatility that a paddle board seat will give you, it’s relatively inexpensive to buy one. A good one will cost somewhere between £50 to £100 and they are widely available, from Amazon and most paddle board manufacturers.
Below we’ve highlighted just a few options, from the budget-friendly entry-level options to the kayak conversion kit.
HIKS High Back SUP Seat
At £32.99 the HIKS High Back Paddle Board Seat is one of the most affordable on this list. It features a polyester seat with EVA padding and nylon straps.
The maximum length of the straps is 90cm, so if you’re unsure of whether this seat will fit your board you can simply measure the distance between the D-rings on the board.
HIKS High Back Paddle Board Seat
- A budget-friendly option that will provide back support for the occasional seated paddle.
iBoard Paddle Board Seat
At £49.99 this mid-range seat comes with plenty of padding for extra back support as well as a handy storage bag that can be attached to the back of the seat.
The four adjustable straps are designed to fit most paddle boards, making this seat a great option.
iBoard Paddle Board Seat
- A comfortable paddle board seat with ample cushioning.
- Adjustable straps designed to fit most boards.
- Comes with a handy storage bag that attaches to the back of the seat.
Bluefin SUP Cruise Kayak Conversion Kit
If you’re serious about using your SUP as a kayak, the conversion kit from Bluefin SUP is a great option. Not only does it come with a seat, but it also comes with a paddle blade. You simply remove the handle from your existing paddle and add the blade (depending on compatibility, of course), and then you can paddle in the same way you would in a typical kayak.
This conversion kit is designed for Bluefin Cruise boards, but should fit most boards with D-rings. Check their website for more details on the specifications and suitability.
Bluefin Kayak Conversion Kit
CRUISE KAYAK CONVERSION. The Bluefin SUP kayak conversion kit includes a Kayak Seat with webbing straps and a Bluefin cruise kayak paddle blade to ensure you have everything you need for your kayak excursions.
All board sizes from 9’8 to 12 can be transformed into a kayak. The easy-to-use clips mean you can simply attach it to the boards reflective D-Rings and away you go.