15 Lake Necessities You Didn't Know You Needed

15 Lake Necessities You Didn't Know You Needed

Memorial Day is right around the corner and we tend to count that as opening weekend for the lake season here in Missouri. This means we are gearing up with our favorite lake necessities. We kind of treat it like a national holiday worth celebrating because we are so excited for S-U-M-M-E-R to officially be here. If you are a newbie to lake house life, we thought it might be good to put together a list of things we feel are must-have items to keep your family and guests safe and entertained. Or, even if you are an experienced lake house owner, we thought our list may include something you may not yet know you needed and inspire you to give it a try.

15 Lake Necessities You Didn't Know You Needed

1. Bumper Bouys

Boat bumper buoys are a must. Often times when we cove out and drop anchor, we will tie onto other boats and all float together like a party barge. In order to protect your boat from rubbing against others or banging against the dock when parked, you'll need to attach these bumper buoys to each side. We recommend two per side (one at the front and one at the back). This 4-pack of Dockmate Fenders comes with a mesh bag and the rope to attach them for a great price of $69, You save about $30 when you purchase this combo pack. These are the ones we use and they get the job done. They come in a variety of colors so you can pick something that coordinates with your particular boat.

2. Anchor

You'll need an anchor to drop when you all need to take a dip and cool off and for when you want to cove out with friends. We have actually tried three different styles of anchors, and our preference is the fluke style #anchor. We have much better luck with it "catching" and holding which is the whole goal! This Greenfield coated anchor is designed for boats up to 28' in length and we love it because it protects your boat from scratches.

3. Angled Step Dock Ladder

We highly recommend a cascading dock ladder that extends out into the water. They are so much easier for everyone to walk up, especially the kids and the elderly. We also love that ours can be pulled up out of the water when not in use. This prevents moss from building up on it and making it slippery. Ours was made by WetSteps and are sold thru dealers, so you'll need to check their site to see if you are able to purchase one. The closest we've found for online purchase is here.

4. Retractable Dock Cleats

You need cleats on your dock for when friends come floating by and want to pull in to socialize for a bit. These collapsible cleats are what we bought to add to our dock this year. We love that they fold down so people won't trip over them or stub their toes. But when you do need them, they're easy to pop up and tie onto using your best sailor knots.

5. Portable Rolling Speaker

We have a portable Bluetooth speaker like this one from Sam's Club. It is seriously a must-have. They are big but have an extending handle so you can roll them easily back and forth from the dock to the boat or back to the house. They are weather-resistant so you don't have to worry about getting splashed by water. And as an added bonus, it comes with a microphone for karaoke moments, which may or may not have happened more often than not. The memories with this music machine are good ones.

6. Beach Towel Anchor Hooks

We have a few of these hooks but they don't seem like enough when you have lots of visitors. We've placed them on the poles of the porch outside to hang towels on when they need to dry out. They are big and very sturdy, the perfect essential to have around.

7. Water Mat- AKA Lily Pad

Great for swimming and lounging on to enjoy the sunrays. The kids love playing "King of the Mat" and trying to knock each other off. We prefer this one from Overton's that's currently $200 off, use code GOOG10 for an extra $10 off and FREE shipping straight to your lake home. That's a steal honestly, these can be nearly $1000.

RELATED: 6 Beach Vacay Essentials

8. Stand Up Paddleboard

Paddle boarding is a great activity for so many reasons. It is great for the mind, soul, and body, and it can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. Paddle boarding is a great balance builder and an overall good exercise for your core. While the adults tend to use it most in the morning and evening calm waters, the kids love to jump on it any time of day and go visit our neighbors around our cove of the lake. We have a Jimmy Styks NXT model that is 11' in length, which from a length standpoint is a great paddle board for beginners. It is made of high-density polyethylene foam, as opposed to the inflatable models. We chose to go the more durable route because we have three grandsons and this one can take a beating from rocks, sandy beaches, and everything you can throw at it. While we couldn't find our exact model available on the market at the moment, this Lifetime Amped paddle board is a close match, great for beginners, and will get you into the sport of #paddleboarding.

9. Towable Tubes

We actually have two different types of tubes. We have the O'Brien Super Screamer that is currently on a limited hot buy sale for $159.99. This type of tube is the one of choice for our adventurous tubers that like to be swung airborne back and forth across the wake. We also have an Airhead Big Mable that accommodates two people sitting up. You can tow it from the front or back, giving multiple ride experiences. This option is more comfortable for the adults and younger kiddos, but in all honesty, it is a great all-around option to have and guarantees #tubingfun and unlimited smiles. To be honest though, we currently have a super crush on this 4-person tube that seems dangerous but entertaining for our middle-aged boys and their friends.

10. Wakeboard

For the adults, we have this Hyperlite wakeboard, but we also purchased a junior Hyperlite #wakeboard for the grandsons to learn on. Colt, the oldest, started learning when he was 9 years old. Honestly, he popped right up out of the water on about the second or third try. Currently, we have six qualified wakeboarders in the family. No one has mastered the backflip yet, but about half of us can get some decent air.

11. Kneeboard

When you start to get bored with just knowing how to tube, but you aren't quite brave enough for trying the wakeboard, a kneeboard is a great intermediate option. It starts to teach you how to be towed while holding onto a rope, and it is a great tool for teaching kids balance behind the boat. Colt (9) and Chaz (7) both love to pull out the #kneeboard when they are tired of tubing. This O'Brien kneeboard from Overton's is a great safe and durable option.

Lake Necessities- The Anchored Style

12. Training Skis

Let's be honest, if you don't start young, you are more than likely not going to end up being a #waterskier. We like to start them young, and the best way to do that is to get a kids training skiboard. We have the Gladiator ski trainer board that was handed down to us by a friend. You should see the smiles on the toddler's faces when they are skiing on this board for the first time. For the most part, kids have no fear. Why not expose them to the world of #waterskiing?

13. Towable Rope

If you are going to be towing a tube, #kneeboard, or #wakeboard, you are going to need a heavy-duty rope. We have a couple of these 2-person tube tow ropes because we sometimes pull two tubes at the same time.

14. Floats

These sling water hammocks are the ladies' all-time favorite floats. They roll up compact for storage in the boat and they do not retain water ... meaning they dry quickly. You can lie back, relax and soak up the rays, or you can sit in it saddle style and visit while coving out. These soft foam jumbo noodles from WOW Watersports are another family favorite. The guys and kids love these, because they can straddle them and jump right off the boat while coving out to create a big splash. Another great option is the saddle-style float. We have a couple of these Airhead foam saddles. All of the above options are lightweight, pretty compact, and dry quickly. That makes them a win at the Fins and Family Waterfront Resort (a.k.a. our #lakehouse).

15. Life Jackets

Last, but more important than all of the above items is a #lifejacket. Any life jacket is better than no life jacket if you do not know how to swim or are planning to do watersports. We love the neoprene type, because they are soft, lightweight, and breathable. You can find our recommended life jackets here.

For toddlers, we have utilized this puddle jumper-style swimmer for all of the grandsons. They are comfortable for them to wear, provide floatation but still allow them to lean forward and learn to swim. The key is to be sure you purchase the one with the shoulder straps in addition to the arm floaties. We've owned both styles and find the ones without the shoulder strap to be dangerous as the kids can easily slip their arms out of the floaties.

For the rest of the family, we tend to favor O'Brien for lifejackets, because they just seem to do everything right, such as a handle on their toddler jacket to quickly pull a toddler out of the water if needed. They make a kids wakeboard vest that offers greater maneuverability. Here is a great youth vest for kids 50-90 pounds. For women, they have fashionable and fun design options to choose from, like this purple palm leaf print vest. And for men, they have a nice flex v-back vest made with Biolite materials that dries even faster than neoprene. They are available in sizes all the way from XS up to 3XL. All of O'Brien's jackets are designed to fit comfortably and snug, so that it doesn't ride up around your ears. If it is riding up around your ears, your jacket is too big and you need to size down. Remember that safety is the #1 priority when around the water, and the most guaranteed way to stay safe at the lake is to wear a life jacket when being towed on a towable or when swimming if you are not a proven swimmer. #lifejacketssavelives

The countdown is on to let the Summer fun begin. Are you ready?!

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