SUP Safety is important for to paddleboard. Paddle boarding is a fun, refreshing, and healthy watersport. Although is a safe sport as it is done at a slow speed, still you need to be careful and attentive to make sure no unfortunate incident happens. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, there are some safety rules that you should follow always.
You do not have to put a lot of effort to stay safe on the water. Just follow the SUP safety tips mentioned below. We are sure it will improve your overall paddle boarding experience, enjoyment, and SUP safety level.
SUP Safety Tips
Check weather condition before you go
Learning the weather condition before you go out to paddle board is very crucial to make sure you have a safe and fun experience. Avoid going for paddle boarding if there are strong wind and strong tides or if you do not have a clear vision due to a certain weather condition. Do not go if you don’t find the weather safe.
Weather can change anytime. Therefore, get a water forecast before you go for paddle boarding. Many national weather forecast service providers give a contact number to the public. You can call them to learn what the right weather predictions are.
Tell someone where you are going
First, try not to go alone for paddle boarding. It is better to ask a friend or a relative to join you for paddle boarding. But if you still want to experience paddle boarding all alone, it is safer to tell someone where you are going and how long will it take you to reach your destination and come back.
Know your routine before going. Take all the necessary SUP safety equipment as well. Keep your cell phone with you so you can reach out to someone in case you have an emergency situation.
Do not go alone if you are a beginner
It is very unsafe for beginners to hit the water all alone. Beginners are in the early stages of learning to paddle. They are not fully aware of the right techniques and do not know well how to handle a particular situation. That is why take your friend with you. It will make paddle boarding more fun and entertaining for you.
If there is no friend or relative available to go for paddle boarding, reach out to a local group and join them. You can do a quick online search to check whether there is such a local group near you or not.
Wear suitable clothing
Your SUP clothing needs to be according to the weather and its demands. If it is summer then wear light clothes so do not feel hot while paddling under the sun. Similarly, if the condition is a bit chilly then wear warmer clothes.
Wetsuits are a good option to consider as falling in the water is common during paddle boarding. But if you are sure you will not fall, then you can go in light clothing to stay warm yet avoid getting over-heated.
Do not leave your phone behind
The phone is a blessing that can keep you safe from trouble. You can use GPS if you are going through a new route and do not want to lose to way to your destination. You can use the Find My iPhone feature to track your family members if you are going with them or they can track you if you go missing.
Similarly, if you are on your own and have trouble then you can call someone for help. It is recommended to keep your phone in a waterproof phone case to keep it protected from the water. Many paddle boards do come with a water-resistant phone case, too.
Know the quality of SUP safety equipment you are using
Quality paddle board products not only work for a long but also keep you away from trouble. So, make a better choice while buying a paddle board or any other product-related to this sport. A cheap paddle board can leave you stranded in the water or can stop working while you are on the water.
The paddle board market is saturated. But not all manufacturers sell quality products. Therefore, do your homework properly before you buy a product. Check the online store and reviews of other clients to determine the product quality.
SUP Safety equipment with you
SUP is a fun water sport but it can get dangerous if you are careless and do not follow basic safety rules. One of the important SUP safety rules is to take your SUP safety items with you when you go paddling.
You should wear a floatation device if you do not know about swimming. Falling in the water while paddling is common so be prepared beforehand. SUP leash is SUP safety equipment that makes sure you stay with your paddle board even if you fall in the water. More detail of the necessary SUP safety equipment is given in the next section.
Learn stand up paddle boarding before you start
Having proper knowledge will not only save your time but will also keep you protected from harm. If you have not done paddle boarding before, then learn its basics from a SUP academy.
The SUP trainer will tell you how to use the paddle, take proper turns, keep yourself out of danger, and handle different water conditions. Your trainer will also tell you how you can avoid injuries by keeping yourself balanced on the paddle well. IF you do not want to join an academy then the internet is full of free knowledge. Learn about paddle boarding before you start.
Use appropriately pumped inflated paddle board
It is important to inflate your paddle board well before you hit the water. A poorly inflated paddle board can disturb your balance and stability. You will not be able to make proper turns and ride on it safely. So, to avoid trouble inflate your paddle board between 15 psi to 22 psi.
Take an anchor when necessary
An anchor is recommended if you are planning to take a break on the water or if you are going for SUP yoga or SUP fishing. It will prevent drifting when you are not paddling. An 8 lb to 10 lb mushroom anchor is suitable for paddle boards. The recommended rope length is 15 feet.
SUP Safety Equipment
Many paddle boards come with the necessary SUP safety equipment. Even if you do not get them with the paddle board you can buy them from the market easily. Easy safety equipment has its own role. That is why it is important to take them with you while going paddle boarding.
Wear SUP leash
The purpose of wearing a SUP leash is to avoid getting separated from the paddle boards after a fall in the water. It can happen often if the condition is windy and you are having trouble maintaining balance on the paddle board. SUP leash is light in weight and feels comfortable. You will not even feel while wearing them.
Wear PFD (personal floatation device)
A life jacket or personal floatation device is highly important for people going paddling. A lot of people who have good swimming abilities often neglect the true value of a life jacket which can cause trouble if an accident happens.
Therefore, either, wear an inflatable belt PFD or a life jacket when you are going for paddle boarding. Both (inflatable belt and life jacket) have their own pros and cons. You should choose the one that you prefer the most.
Take safety whistle
A safety whistle is tiny yet very helpful SUP safety equipment. You can use it to get attention when you are in trouble and need help when there is a rescue situation. You can also use it to communicate with a boater who is unaware of your presence and is coming in your direction. You can alert people around you through this tiny valuable safety item.
Protection from the sun
Spending a lot of time in the water can be relaxing, but it can cause trouble too if you get overexposed to the sun rays. Sun is good for the skin as it boosts the production of vitamin D. But when you get something good in excess it can do more harm than good to you.
That is why keep yourself protected from the sun. Apply a waterproof sunscreen on your skin to avoid skin burns. Wear a swim shirt that is PRF 50+ rated. Wear sunglasses so you do not have a problem with vision due to sharp sun rays. Having an unclear vision can make you lose your way. Wear a hat to protect your face and eyes from the sun rays.
Take waterproof flashlight (when paddling at night)
If you are planning to paddle board at night, then do not rely solely on the moonlight. Take a waterproof flashlight with you so you can have safe nighttime navigation. You can also use it to alert a boat coming in your direction.
Paddle boarding is fun but it can become dangerous if you do not follow the necessary SUP safety instructions or rules. So, keep in mind the aforementioned rules and have a great time paddling!