Although stand up paddle boarding is fun and adventurous, it’s still an outdoor water sport and has its risks. With the right safety precautions, though, your SUP trip will go off without a hitch. The iRocker team is all about having a good time while minimizing risk. Before you head out on the water alone, review this short list of safety tips:
Do: Bring a life jacket
A stand up paddle board is defined as a water vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard, and therefore a personal flotation device is required when beyond the designated “surfing, swimming or bathing area.” Even if you are a great swimmer, stand up paddle boarding can be more exhausting than you think (especially for beginners). Having extra protection to keep you afloat can save your life in case of an emergency.
Do: Bring some water and food
Staying hydrated is key to enjoying a long, hot day on the water! Drink plenty of water and throw some granola bars in your dry bag to keep your energy up. Running out of water and becoming dehydrated is the first step towards something going very wrong while out alone on your board.
Do: Keep your leash attached to you at all times
Getting separated from your board after falling, especially in a fast current or some surf, could be life or death. Always keep your leash attached to you and the board. Your paddle board is essentially one giant flotation device and is large enough to be spotted in case of an emergency.
Do: Wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing
Sun poisoning or overexposure could go from ruining your day to a real emergency. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Even if it’s not very bright out, the reflection of the sun off the water can do some real harm.
Don’t: Forget to tell someone where you’re going
If you’re going out alone, always tell someone where you will be and when you plan to be back. This rule applies for any outdoor sports, and checking in with someone should be the first thing you do before heading out and the first thing you do when you get home.
Don’t: Forget your phone
These days it’s hard to go anywhere you won’t have cell service. Always keep your phone on you in a dry bag, that way you can call for help if needed and can be located vis GPS.
Don’t: Go somewhere without doing research first
Whether this is the first time out on the river or you grew up there, always check the weather conditions before heading out, especially if you’ll be alone. This includes any forecast of rain, storms, wind, swell, tides and sunrise and sunset. Also, check the terrain of where you’ll be and familiarize yourself with the geography.
Paddle boarding is a fun, adventurous and highly rewarding outdoor sport, but there are certainly risks. Lucky for us paddle boarders, the majority of these risks are highly avoidable. Following these simple dos and don’ts will lead to a fun, productive day on the water and a safe return home. With iRocker it’s about keeping you safe than just selling stand up paddle boards.
We are sure you have some thoughts about what to take along when you go out to the water, our viewers would like to hear your suggestions, please let us know in the space below.