What Do You Do With Your Phone When Paddleboarding?

Phones are expensive, and we take them everywhere. If you are a watersports enthusiast, you might ask, “what do you do with your phone when paddleboarding?” It’s a common question and knowing how to keep your phone safe and secure while you enjoy your favorite sport is essential.

This blog post will share some simple ways to keep your device safe while you paddle.

Where To Keep Your Phone When Paddle Boarding

There are many ways to store your cell phone to keep it dry and secure when paddle boarding. Waterproof phone cases, dry bags, backpacks, a dry box, and even a good old plastic bag can do the trick. The best thing to do is find the best option for you and your budget. Many of these items can be strapped to the paddle board, so your gear stays dry and close by if you end up in the water.

Use a Dry Bag for Paddle Boarding

Yellow Sea to Summit Big River dry bagPin

Dry bags come in handy for carrying all kinds of gear when paddling. In addition, dry bags come in handy for many outdoor activities, like camping. So whether you are paddling a kayak, stand-up paddle board, or canoe, a dry bag is an excellent investment.

A dry bag is a great way to keep your phone and other electronic devices safe and dry, and you can strap the bag to your SUP so it will stay in place if you fall off your board. And dry bags are excellent for keeping electronics and other gear dry.

Many paddle boards have bungees on the deck, so you can keep the bag snugly in place. If your SUP doesn’t have bungees, it might have D rings which are solid anchor points to attach a dry bag.

You will need to ensure it’s a quality dry bag, some are submersible, and some are only splash-resistant. Check out my article about dry bags to find your best option.

Keep Your Phone in a Plastic Bag

A good old zip lock bag is an excellent place to keep your phone when paddle boarding. You can still use your phone to take pictures and listen to music while it’s tucked away in a plastic bag.

The downside to keeping your phone in a plastic bag while you paddle is that you don’t have a good way to strap the phone to your SUP. If you fall off the board and your phone is in a plastic bag on the deck, you might have to say goodbye to your expensive phone unless you paddle in shallow water so you can pluck your phone from the bottom of the waterway.

If you DO decide to keep your phone in a plastic bag while you paddle, consider keeping the phone in a bag and putting the whole thing in a dry bag secured to the deck with bungees.

Waterproof Backpacks Are Great for Paddle Boarding

Gray waterproof backpackPin
Source: paddleabout.com

Waterproof backpacks are a place to keep your phone and other items when paddle boarding. Backpacks come in different sizes and colors, so you can find what works for you. One great feature that some waterproof backpacks have is a small pouch dedicated to cellphones or other small items.

Unfortunately, these zipper pouches are not always watertight but are splash-resistant, so you have some peace of mind. Backpacks are an excellent choice for paddle boarding because you can wear the pack while you paddle or strap it to bungees or D rings on the deck of your SUP.

Dry Box

Pelican dry boxPin
Source: paddleabout.com

A dry box is a great option to keep your phone and other gear dry when you paddle. It’s a watertight, hard-shell container with a gasket to seal the lid nice and tight. Dry boxes come in different sizes, some are pretty large, but there are also smaller options perfect for your cell phone, keys, wallet, etc.

Some are large enough to keep lunch and other stuff dry too. If you are going to use a dry box, make sure the box is secured to the deck of the paddle board with bungees or attached to D rings. If you have a large enough dry box, it can double as a seat. If you get tired of standing, you can sit and chill out.

Use a Waterproof Phone Case To Keep Your Phone Dry

Universal waterproof phone pouchPin
Source: paddleabout.com

You may have wondered when I was going to talk about the most obvious way to protect your phone when you are paddle boarding. Well, here you go, a waterproof phone case. Now, these cases come in all shapes and sizes.

Depending on which phone you have, there are some custom-fit models. You can also purchase a universal case or pouch which fits various phone models. The nice thing about pouches is that you can still take pictures with the phone.

Of course, the pictures won’t be as good as if you didn’t use the pouch, BUT you can take underwater pictures. That’s another topic, but hey, it’s adding value, right? Some universal phone cases float, a huge bonus when you are on the water.

The downside to a custom-fit waterproof phone case is that it’s not guaranteed to float. So you will still need to be very careful with your phone, so it doesn’t slip out of your hand into the water. So, you will want to keep your phone tucked away in your pack or dry box until you want to use it.

Some of these cases come with a leash that attaches to the case, and you can wrap the leash around your arm or put it around your neck, so it’s there when you need it.

Use Your Life Jacket

You can also use your life jacket to keep your phone safe while paddle boarding. Some life jackets have pockets to stow away your phone and other items. 

A life jacket pocket is a great option when there is no access to bungees or D rings on the board. Just be careful when pulling the phone out of the pocket, so you don’t drop it.


Paddle boards don’t have compartments or hatches for storing gear as kayaks do, so it is essential to protect your phone when you paddle. We’ve outlined several ways and places to keep your phone while paddle boarding. Hopefully, next time you are on the water, you will know what to do with your phone when paddleboarding.

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.