3 Top SUP Safety Tips

by | Dec 7, 2016

Paddleboarding is a fun activity no matter what the weather is like. However, the weather can pose the biggest risk to a paddleboarder’s safety. In the summertime, strong offshore winds and take you off course and make it difficult to get to your destination. In wintertime, it can be challenging to keep yourself warm and energized in bad weather and the cold conditions. Keeping safe on the water must be the first priority for experienced paddleboarder’s and novices alike. In this article, you will learn the top 3 tips to keep safe on your SUP in any kind of weather. These SUP safety tips will also help reduce the risk of being caught in a life-threatening situation.

1 Check the Weather

It’s always important to check the weather before you hit the water with your paddleboard. Winds that blow from the land can affect paddleboarders at sea, on rivers, and on lakes. Strong winds can blow you far out to sea and put your life at risk. Always check the wind direction. For example, if the wind is going parallel to the shore, it is easier to start paddling against the wind and then return with the wind behind you. If there are strong offshore winds, always be very careful. If you are in unfamiliar territory or are unsure about your abilities, never take the risk of paddling in strong winds. Your local SUP store can give you the best advice and safety tips on keeping safe in the area and which areas to avoid in bad weather.

How to Paddle in Strong Winds

If strong winds catch you unawares and you find it difficult to continue paddling forward, there are a few paddling techniques to help keep you safe. Lay Down SUP Technique. Standing on a paddleboard has a similar effect to putting up a sail. So, you should lay down on your board with the paddle secured between your chest and the board. Then, using your hands as oars, paddle back to shore. Kneeling SUP Technique. Sometimes it may not be safe to paddle using your hands because of rocks or other underwater dangers. The best safety advice to keep yourself safe is to kneel on your SUP and paddle like a canoe.

2 Let Friends Know Where You Are Going

There’s an adage that there is “safety in numbers.” So, the more people know where you are going the better. If it’s not possible to paddle with a buddy, then you should leave information with a family member or friend. You should carry a waterproof cell phone with you just in case you get into difficulty on the water. However, you shouldn’t rely on that as your only means of alerting others in case you could drift out of cell phone coverage. For more information, please read this article on the best tips for SUP safety.

3 Inform When You Plan to Return

It is also important to leave information with your friend about the time you expect to return. If you do this, you must remember to call the person upon your safe arrival. Otherwise, you could risk worrying people unnecessarily. Of course, when you are paddling, you want to have as much fun as possible. Always remember your SUP safety to check the weather before going out and letting a friend know your plans and when you expect to return.