1. Sweet Rocker Half Cut Helmet ($219.00)

Sweet_Rocker
The go-to helmet of many of the world’s top paddlers, the Sweet Rocker makes an excellent Christmas gift. By using a unique combination of carbon fiber and plastic, the Rocker is designed to take a hit over and over again, protecting your noggin each and every time. The Rocker offers unrivaled protection and comfort, two very important qualities to consider when purchasing a helmet.

2. Werner Powerhouse Paddle (from $249.95)

Werner_Powerhouse
The Powerhouse has been a staple in the kayaking scene for many years and continues to be a top seller due to its bomber reputation. The Powerhouse is a full-sized blade, ideal for big, powerful strokes. Available in both a fiberglass and carbon construction, the paddle will hold up in even the roughest of circumstances. The Powerhouse is a solid option for river runners and creek boaters alike.

3. Kokatat Idol Drysuit ($1,100.00)

Kokatat_Idol
New for 2015, the Idol is Kokatat’s newest drysuit option. Using switch-zip technology, Kokatat was able to design a drysuit that also functions as a dry top when separate from the pants. The Idol uses the same Gore-tex material as their other drysuit options (GMER, Icon) and comes with Kokatat’s lifetime warranty, which means this suit can last for years if taken care of. This is a great 2-in-1 option for those looking for the best bang for the buck. Here’s a link to a CKS staff review of the suit from earlier this year.

4.NRS Paddle Bag ($99.95)

NRS_Paddle_Bag_150
This is a great option for the traveling paddler in your life. Big enough to accommodate up to 3 paddles or a paddle and gear, this bag can make traveling with a paddle a cinch. Made with heavy duty Cordura, this bag can handle whatever the airline baggage people can throw at it. The fleece lining is soft and padded, protecting your paddles or gear. Perfect for those heading south of the border right after the holidays.

5. Watershed Ocoee ($104.95)

Watershed_ocoee
The quintessential “river purse.” Roomy enough for a 1st Aid kit, camera, snacks and a layer, but small enough to stuff in the back of a lower volume boat or in between the legs, the Ocoee is a must have for any paddler. Using Watershed’s unique Zipdry zipper technology and a durable polyurethane-coated nylon exterior, this bag is very dry and durable. I would trust this bag to keep my camera safe and dry in any condition, including the longest of swims.

6. NRS Pilot Knife ($44.95)

NRS_Pilot_Knife
Generally, a river knife is one of those things that you would rather have and not need than need and not have. The Pilot is the larger of the 2 options made by NRS and is more than just a knife. A serrated blade for those emergency situations, a flat head screw driver, bottle opener, and “peanut butter spreader,” make this a knife that you can use day in and day out, emergency or not.

7. NRS Paddler Med Kit ($79.95)

NRS_Paddler_Med_Kit
Speaking of emergencies, the Paddler Med Kit is a must for any paddler. This is another one of those “rather have and not need than need and not have” items, but could be a major difference maker. Outfit the kayaker in your life with it for those unpredictable situations that we all hope to avoid.

8. Jack’s Plastic Welding Grande Paco Pad ($274.95)

Jacks_Plastic_Paco_Grande
The Paco Pad, especially the Grande, is equivalent to laying on a cloud. At a generous 3 inches thick, it offers great support and comfort. Made from a durable PVC material, the Paco Pad can hold up to years of abuse. Throw it in the back of the truck for long road trips, on the cooler for a seat on a raft, or on the sand on the beach, lay down and relax, the Paco Pad has got your back.

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