Whether it’s your first time out on the water or you are a seasoned pro, there are a few essential SUP safety guidelines to always go by. We put together 10 Ways To Stay Safe On The Water. Please follow these simple rules to ensure your safety!
1. TELL SOMEONE
All too often the water is calling us and we throw our board in our car and head out without notifying anyone. This is a HUGE NO NO! If something happens, people need to know where to look for you. Always tell someone where you are paddling out from and what time you are expected back. Carry a dry bag with a communication device inside. Check in with people often and let them know your location, look for landmarks for guidance.
2. CHECK THE CONDITIONS
A beautiful sunny day with great conditions can still turn hazardous quickly. Be prepared. Always check the weather forecast and the tide conditions before you paddle out. Avoid bad weather on the water. KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
3. BRING A BUDDY
It’s always more fun with a friend! Plus you have someone there to watch your back and vice-versa! If you get in a hazardous situation you have a lifeline to help you out!
4. CHECK YOUR GEAR BEFORE YOU GO OUT!
Make sure your fin box, screws, paddle, life vest, and board are all in good condition before you get on the water, then again when you get out.
5. AVOID STRONG CURRENTS AND OFFSHORE WINDS
This circles back around to checking the weather conditions. Avoid winds and strong currents, as they make paddling very difficult and sometimes dangerous. You can become exhausted trying to return to your starting point and get into serious trouble.
6. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR YOUR PADDLE OUT
Dress according to weather conditions. Bathing suits, shorts, wetsuit, rash guard, light windbreaker, and water shoes are all appropriate in line with what the weather forecast is. Do not wear heavy sweatshirts or jeans. If you fall in a heavy sweater or jeans will make it difficult for you to get back on your board.
7. ALWAYS HAVE A PFD ON YOUR BOARD
Even the seasoned pros carry a PFD. If you do not want to wear it on your person, make sure it is attached to your board and accessible in case you or someone around you falls in and needs assistance. This can save your life; not to mention if you go out without one there is a hefty fee if a lifeguard sees you.
8. BRING THE ESSENTIALS
IN your dry bag it is always a good idea to carry a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, communication devices, a small first aid kit, and even rain gear or a change of clothes. If weather conditions change you will have appropriate clothing, and adequate hydration.
9. MARINE LIFE
IT is VERY important to respect marine life and keep your distance, shuffle your feet when you walk into the water with your board to avoid the notorious stingray. Keep your distance from sea lions, birds, or other creatures you may encounter. They are wild animals and although beautiful, they must be respected and admired from a distance to keep not only you, but them safe as well.
10. LEAVE NO TRACE
Although this is not a safety rule, it is just as important! Any time you are on the water please be respectful of it. Leave no trace means to carry out what you carry in. Watch for micro trash as it can kill sea life, do not dump anything into the water. Leave nature just as you found it so it can be enjoyed by future generations.