Out here on the West Coast, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is a gigantically trendy leisure sport that is best enjoyed on calm, evening waters as the sun sets. Similarly to leisure kayaking or paddling about in a dinghy, it doesn’t seem like much bad could happen while you’re doing it.
But even though it looks so easy (Have you seen the yoga moves people can do on their SUP boards?), it’s good to go in with at least a little prior knowledge and remember that you’re not invincible.
Here are a few safety tips for stand-up paddle boarding:
- Know your area, and know the currents. Stand-up paddle boarding is not a quick sport, so you really don’t want to get swept away by unforeseen tides or currents.
- Go with a friend. In case something bad happens or someone gets hurt, you’ll want a friend there to help you out! And vice versa. If you absolutely need to go alone, make sure you let at least one friend know where you are going, and when, along with when you expect to return.
- Be sure to use your surfer’s leash and stay connected to your board. (You are protecting yourself and others.)
- Carry a survival aid whistle. In case you get lost or hurt, this will help people find you.
- Wear a life jacket.
- Stay with your board at all times.
- If you’re tired, lie down on your board.
- Never paddle farther from shore than you can swim.
- If you’re in the water next to your board, be aware of where it is and be prepared to duck if it slices towards your head. It’s also best to stay seaward of your board while in the water, so try to be aware of which way the wind is blowing.
Although stand-up paddle boarding is a relatively safe activity, it’s always wise and safest to plan for the unexpected! For further SUP safety information and more, visit this page! And stay tuned for more safety tips on fun and trendy summer activities.
Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io