I would like to start today’s post by quoting the words of a professor of mine:
“Water takes everything”.
Although they were a warning to the future hydro engineer thirteen years ago, I still consider them equally seriously since I was caught by the SUP mania.
Water is an element. It is hard to stop. It treats all daredevils the same no matter of your position, age, what you do in life. We can only adapt to it.
My mother asks me to be careful and sensible every time I go SUP because I’m the most valuable load on the board for her. The items I take are valuable for me. A cell phone is undoubtedly the most expensive thing on my board which I use not only to commemorate SUP feats but above all to keep communication in case of emergency situations. I find things such as car keys, documents and a power bank during long SUP trips equally valuable.
I provide protection of my property against water, sand or dirt in a waterproof case so a rectangular pouch made of transparent, thermoplastic material – usually polyurethane, PVC – finished above with a lock to which a transport leash can be attached.
I have been testing cases with different locking systems for three years of my SUP-ing. For me this part became a decisive criterion when choosing the right model ensuring me efficient and easy use of the phone during all year floating on the sea. Waterproofness is an equally important parameter. Nevertheless, in my case I have never considered submerge the gadget while swimming, diving but only it short staying below the water caused by an unanticipated situation.
I never take pictures or videos through the case so I constantly take the phone out and into the pouch by which these actions affect its life. And because I SUP out of season too this gadget lasts on average a year. Another disadvantage of frequent opening and closing the case is its moisturising in the inside. Also contact with salt water, the sun causes corruption of the material over time which is not scratch resistant too. Despite my efforts to clean, I’m not able to bring it the transparency back as at the time of first use.
Itiwit Tribord Tight Pocket met my expectations best. The slide clip is a fastening that works great when floating in more difficult sea conditions. Mastering the technique of getting the phone out and in the case gave me quick access to the device. The closure is waterproof and easy to use so it doesn’t absorb my attention. I learned usage the case without looking at it what I can do thanks to which I can focus on controlling and mastering the board being whipped by waves and wind.
I always damage the pocket in its upper part. The material tears at the bonds and sometimes causes a partial rupture of the sliding bar what can happen if I use the gadget in that way.
The price, less than 35 PLN, compensates my remorse. It is the cheapest model I have ever had.
I became the owner of the Red Paddle Co Waterproof Phone Case by buying boards of this brand. They were part of the sets so I could test the model with triple zip lock and Velcro fastenings. While this solution guarantees waterproofness it causes difficulties for me in use on the troubled sea although I consider myself as a good SUP sea freak. I have to beat the Velcro first, the zip fastening next to get the phone which requires involvement of my both hands and a little strength. I usually devote a lot of attention to this activity so I often give up taking my phone out of the pouch whilst difficult sea conditions and I get back to the beach without pictures. Putting the device back into it is also problematic because after closing the zips I have to roll them tight enough to be hidden under Velcro fastening. It is hard if you have to control the board and direction of floating at the same time. The risk is too big. My worst adventure was lost of the paddle when I was fighting with the fastening on the way back from Pobierowo. I was lucky that I wasn’t alone.
The case withstood my use for over half a year. The welds in the upper part were damaged as with the Itiwit pocket.
The case works great on calm water. Not necessarily on the waves, unless you use the phone through the cover. Then no problem.
This model is available on the redpaddleco.pl website for 79 PLN.
Another type – “twist-to-lock” fastening system – of the Waterproof Case by SAFE brand didn’t get my approval during one of my demanding SUP trips on the Baltic Sea. Closing the cover, which was possible with using both hands was the biggest problem for me. It was hard to set the levers in the right position and then turn them to the closed position when the board was swinging strongly on waves. Despite the pouch is water resistant, I stopped using this model giving it to my friend who ruined it within a year. Damage occurred on the welds in both the upper and middle parts of the pocket.
SAFE case is available on the market over 40 PLN.
Summary and practical tips
The phone case is usually an element of the SUP set. When you get a second hand board you have to buy the gadget separately.
If you use a phone without case while SUP-ing like me, choose a locking system that provides you easy access to the device on both calm and troubled water. The one with the slide clip acts best for me.
Make sure that a case suits your phone before buying. It should be larger than the phone by about 1 cm on each side.
Check the depth and time the Maker promises waterproofness of the case, if you intend to use the phone under the water.
A case makes the ID fingerprint function impossible.
The use of the phone’s touchscreen functions can be limited or impossible under the water.
Talking on the phone hidden in a case is possible.
Don’t wear a case around your neck, if you learn to SUP. It is safe to put the cover in the waterproof bag or attach it to the bungee cords of your board to avoid losing it when falling into the water.