SUP or stand-up paddleboarding is one of the most popular recreational activities. It has enjoyed an increase in popularity for its efficiency, ease of use, and affordability. Even still with all of these benefits, there are still many safety tips that need to be considered before going on a SUP adventure. Here are six SUP safety tips that will keep you safe and having fun on your journey.
Don’t paddle alone
One of the best SUP safety tips anyone can give you is to avoid paddling alone. This is all the more important if you’re a first-time or newcomer to stand up paddleboarding. The main reason why it’s crucial to go with a partner is in case something should happen to you, you will have someone right by your side to help you out. Accidents and injuries, unfortunately, do happen, and people new to SUP are especially prone to them. Ultimately, paddleboarding with a partner is that much more fun and you will have plenty of moments and memories to share.
Use a leash
Another very important safety tip regarding SUP that all experienced paddleboarders will tell you is to always use a leash. A leash prevents you from losing your board and being left without flotation. In addition to this, it will also help prevent your board from injuring others in the water, and other paddleboarders that are still onboard. If you’re venturing on rivers or other moving waters, it’s crucial to receive proper safety training that will include how to use modified leashes to prevent entrapment and entanglement. Leashes used in these situations have a quick-release mechanism to reduce the aforementioned risks.
PFDs go a long way
Another very important part of SUP safety is to wear a personal flotation device (PFD). A PFD is one of the most important accessories for paddleboarders and can save your life if you fall over in the water. Even if you are an experienced swimmer, things can happen quickly and you may not have time to react which is why wearing a stand-up paddle PFD is all the more important. There are many types and styles of PFFs so be sure to do your research about which one suits your needs best. Ultimately, ask around your SUP friends for all the rules and regulations regarding PFDs.
Bring your phone with you
Having your phone with you can make a world of difference in case you find yourself in a pickle. Most importantly, having a cell phone can be especially critical if you run into trouble when you’re far away from the immediate help services. Furthermore, having GPS on hand can help prevent you from getting lost, and apps such as Find My iPhone can allow family members to track your location if you’re going on a long expedition. You only need to make sure that to keep your phone and other valuables safe while paddling in a waterproof phone case or other similar devices.
A little less spoken about safety tips when paddling is to be mindful of the sun damage. More often than not people don’t realize just how exposed to the sun they will be, especially since the water will reflect sun rays even more. Protecting yourself from the sun is worth remembering and making it a regular habit. Wearing sunscreen all over your body, and even your face will do a great job of preventing burns, which can get pretty nasty if you don’t use a high SPF factor. Nothing will end your SUP adventure faster than heatstroke or severe sunburns.
Check the weather forecast
Last but not least, you should always make sure to check the weather forecast before ever going on a SUP adventure. Even if you’re pretty sure the weather will remain calm, it’s smart not to end up with a horrible surprise while you’re in the middle of the water, far away from the land. Checking the weather forecast is crucial because in some instances it can make a great trip a complete disaster and can even prevent a health hazard. Especially if thunderstorms are at play. In addition to this, if the weather is too hot, you might also want to rethink your trip.
Be sure to remember all of these SUP safety tips if you want to keep having fun and not run to emergency rooms while you’re on your trip. Some of these safety tips take priority over others such as wearing a PFD (personal flotation device) that can keep you from drowning while you’re out, especially if you’re paddling in fast waters.