How to Practice Safe SUP
The sport of stand up paddle boarding is fun, great exercise, and a wonderful way to explore the waters. Knowing these basics will make your experience easier and more enjoyable and not to mention, safer.
- Always try to paddle using the buddy system. If you’re going alone, text a friend or family member when you enter the water and when you return back to land.
- Only paddle in calm water when you first start paddle boarding and stay away from fast moving rivers, oceans and tidal outflows until you’ve gained more experience.
- Wear a properly fitting PFD and remember in an emergency having it tied off to your SUP deck WILL NOT HELP SAVE YOU.
- Purchase a small waterproof case and have your phone properly secured and tethered for emergency use.
- Use a coiled leash and practice putting it in and off in knee deep water so you can escape it in certain emergencies. Practice taking it off from the back of your board and leg so you have 2 ways of disengagement. Note it’s important to only use a quick-release white water leash when paddling in rivers.
- Face the angled part of the paddle blade forward not facing you.
- Bury your paddle blade deep in the water for control and balancing.
- If you paddle barefoot, be mindful of hazards under the water when you mount and dismount such as sharp rocks, shells, glass, aluminum cans, etc.
- Be aware of the wind direction and general conditions upon entering so as not get blown away.
- Always stay with your board in an emergency.
- Balancing can be enhanced with soft ankles, knees and hips and deep breathing. Try tilting your toes out like a duck stance/squat stance for even more enhanced balance. 1
- Make sure your board is properly secured to your vehicles roofrack before driving. We highly recommend the NSI straps which are simple to use and work the best.
- When installing your fin be positive that the screw has locked into the fin box nut and is fully tightened.
- If you want to paddle straight, keep your paddle shaft straight up and down and pull it parallel to the board.
- The sun is super strong both reflecting up from the water and shining down from the sky. Sunscreen, hats, and eye protection should always be considered.
- If you own an inflatable do not leave it on the roof of your car and drive around when not paddling. Several days of hot sun and heat can burst the side seams.
- Most importantly have fun and try out some new skills!