Our Top Safety Tips for Paddleboarding
Be adventure smart and make sure you are fully prepared for your SUP outing with our top safety tips.
Paddleboarding is a fun and exciting pastime that everyone should try at least once. However, like any watersport, safety should always be your top priority. One simple mistake can lead to serious consequences, so it’s important to know the proper safety measures before heading out on the water.
WEAR A BUOYANCY AID OR PFD (PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE)
This is the most important safety gear you should wear when paddleboarding. Even if you are a strong swimmer, you never know what could happen on the water. A PFD will keep you afloat in case you fall off your board or get into any other trouble.
USE A LEASH
Always wear a leash when paddleboarding, as this will keep you and your board together in case you fall off. A leash will keep your board from drifting away from you and potentially cause harm to others in the water. Use a coiled leash for flat water and a straight ankle leash in surf and if possible also use a quick release belt with the leash attached to this.
KNOW THE WEATHER
Before heading out to paddleboard, make sure to check the weather forecast. Also check the wind strength and direction again on arrival. River levels can rise and fall and at the coast, even a light offshore breeze can sweep you out to sea. If weather conditions do not seem safe, postpone your paddleboarding session.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for any potential hazards. This includes looking out for other boats, people, and rocks or other obstacles in the water. It’s also a good idea to stay away from areas with strong currents or underwater hazards.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Take a lesson. Paddleboarding can be physically demanding and requires good balance and coordination. Be honest with yourself about your and your companions’ knowledge, fitness and ability. Only attempt going out if the conditions are within you and your group’s capabilities. If you’re feeling tired or unsteady on your board, it’s time to head back to shore.
SUP WITH OTHERS
Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
CARRY A PHONE
Always carry a charged mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and keep it easily accessible. If you need help, call 999 and ask for Fire and Rescue Service (inland waters) or Coastguard (sea and coastal area).
Paddleboarding is a great way to stay active and enjoy the beauty of the water. However, it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. By following these simple safety tips, you can have a fun and enjoyable paddleboarding experience while also staying safe on the water.
In summary always Be Adventure Smart
- Do I have the right GEAR?
- Do I know what the WEATHER will be like?
- Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?
For more advice check out the RNLI website here