Paddling Hide a Key Tips

I’ve seen the pattern every time I teach a SUP class. I put my keys under my car, then my students want to put their keys in my car or take them on the water with them.


In my years of paddling I’ve learned not to take anything on the water that I could lose, like a set of car keys. I’ve seen friends paddling grid patterns looking for sunken keys.

I’ve lost two GoPro’s in the surf and almost lost one on Puget Sound. Watch video of my GoPro that fell off the board and rolled around for an hour before the battery died. I went home, got my snorkling gear (and more neoprene) and tried to look for it. No luck. A friend found it at low tide the next day.

Tips for not losing keys and/or where to stash such things..

Don’t bring keys on the water with you. Of course if you live in a proven location for break-ins, then you may want to take them out, but otherwise it’s not worth it.

Where to Leave Keys on Shore..
– Behind tires. Sounds odd but it’s so simple people don’t look there.
– In lockbox on your hitch or car door. Sample product
– Obscure slits, slots and/or holes in your car. I’ve seen keys below windshield wipers, inside the wheel well, inside bumpers, in the grill, etc.

How to Carry On-Water
– Most full wetsuits have a slot for keys in the lower leg area with a tie-loop for security.
– Around neck in waterproof bag either tucked under a vest pfd and/or under wetsuit.
– In vest or waist PFD in a waterproof bag and/or in a secure pocket ideally with a attached string.
– In deck bag on board in a waterproof bag. Wear your leash so you don’t lose your board, and keys.

I’ve seen paddlers with waterproof bags hanging from their neck and/or PFD. For me anything loose will get in my way and/or could get lost or damaged, especially in surf.

On-Water GoPro and Camera Tip

For using GoPro’s and similar compact cameras or your mobile phone on-water. Always attach a tether in case the mount or your hand-grip fails.


Thanks for Reading!
Rob Casey
Seattle, WA USA

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips