Are you waiting till it warms up? Right now water temp of Lake Michigan is around 34F even if going in a small lake it would be COLD.If so a wetsuit is bare minimum.
Like others have said a paddle float could help but if you dont know how to use it it wont help much. Get a sponge for sure, no fun sitting in water that pump wont get out. Gloves of some sort could help from getting blisters.
Classic Freestanding Rack
Rescue / Throw Bags
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