It’s been almost 10 years since we started teaching “Intro to SUP” classes. What all these years and the thousands of new paddlers taught us, is that for people who are getting out on the water for the first time, the number one question is safety.
There are numerous things that you can do to make your time on the water safer but these are the 10 “obvious”, as in common sense, practices that you should always follow.
- You should always wear a life-jacket, or at least have one on your board. Remember, your board floats on its own, it does not need a life jacket attached to it. It is federal law that any one outside the surf zone must have a life jacket and whistle with them. Get a great one here.
- Wear a proper (for stand up paddling in your area) leash with a quick release mechanism that attaches you to your board. Get a great one here.
- If a safety issue does occur stay with you board. It is easier to see a board floating on the water than a person. (If it is more dangerous to stay with your board than not to stay with your board, then, please, do not stay with your board. Remember, use your common sense.
- Have a float plan in place with a responsible adult. Some one should always know where you are going and what time you are supposed to be back. They should also know what to do if you do not return.
- Know your waters. Whether you are paddling on the ocean, on a river or on a lake you need to know if there are any safety risks related to the area.
- Know your weather. There is no bad weather, there is wrong gear. And sometimes the paddle board is the wrong gear. There are just certain times that you should not be going out.
- Do your hard paddle first. Paddle out into the wind or into the current first when you have the strength and energy. That way you can rest more on the way back in.
- Wear your cell phone in a dry bag that is attached to you. Get a great one here.
- Take a safety class by qualified instructors who care.
- Always paddle with a pal. Try to find a stand up paddle club in your area. If there isn’t one, create one!
About the Authors:
She believes that high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution will always make an impact in people’s lives and the world.
When she is not teaching or writing, she can be found rock climbing, surfing, whitewater kayaking or scuba diving.
He believes that if people learn about the state of flow and practice building their life around it, the world will be much happier.
When he is not teaching or designing new programs, he can be found white water kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving, off road biking or surfing.