Picture this. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the lakes are calling. You load up the car and head out for a little slice of heaven on your paddle board. Sounds great, am I right? There are just a few things to consider before you hit the water, all in the name of safety. These safety tips fall under three main checks. Check your equipment. Check the hazards. Check yourself.
Check Your Equipment
* Always be sure to check your equipment before launching your paddle board. You wouldn’t drive a car with flat tires, and the same applies to your paddle board. Always make sure that your board is in good condition, is pumped to the recommended PSI, and your fin is secure. Renting from Paddle A Board alleviates some of this stress – we always check our boards are in perfect condition before handing them over to you.
* Come prepared. Dry bags and accessory floats are always useful to bring with you on a paddle day. We love using G Float sunglasses PFD’s, because we all know your ray bans don’t belong at the bottom of the lake. Available to purchase in our online store!
* Wear a leash. Wearing a leash is imperative in surf conditions, but many people don’t think it’s necessary in calmer water. Even a seemingly harmless fall can knock your paddle board away from you, and it’s not always easy to retrieve when you’re swimming one handed trying to hold onto your paddle! Your leash can be a lifeline, and give you an exclusive tan line that’ll mark you out as a member of paddle boarding club.
Check the Hazards
* We all know the weather forecast can be touch and go at times, but it’s also your best friend when planning an excursion on the water. Heavy rainfall can affect river levels and cause currents to change. Strong winds can make paddling difficult, even for an experienced paddle boarder. Know before you go.
* Be aware of local dangers. Heavy boat traffic, strong currents and unseen underwater hazards all pose a risk. You can ask the local paddling community, or reach out to our team at Paddle A Board for tips on the safest launch sites in our mountain lakes.
* Paddle boarding isn’t exactly a fashion show, but having the right wardrobe is everything. More specifically, are you wearing the right clothes in case you fall in? Dress for the weather but more importantly dress for water temperature.
* Wear a PFD. If you’re in trouble in the water, ‘Float to Live’ is the ultimate advice to remember. All of our paddle board rentals come with a PFD so you can stay safe and paddle to your hearts content.
* Take a phone with you. Always let someone know where you’re going and take a communication device with you in case of emergency. Don’t forget to take a waterproof phone case
* Know the basics. Everybody has to start somewhere, but if you're a real beginner, there's no better way to learn SUP safety than by taking one of our lessons, available to book through the website.
No matter your paddle boarding experience, beginner or expert, your safety is our number one priority. If you’re ever unsure of the best practice, or just need some friendly advice, we’re always an email or phone call away.
Happy paddling and stay safe out there!