How To Keep Yourself Safe During Paddle Boarding

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Regardless of your expertise in paddle boarding, everyone can benefit from learning how to keep themselves safe during this water sport. There may come a time when the tide changes or you’re knocked off your board, and understanding the correct safety measures could save your life while you’re on the water. Ensure your safety by following the tips below.

Always Wear the Leash & a Personal Flotation Device

You must wear two essential pieces of gear while paddle boarding. First, wear the leash that attaches to your board—keep this wrapped around your ankle to avoid getting separated from your board, should you fall into the water. Second, a personal flotation device (PFD) is necessary to keep you from drowning if you get stranded. In fact, wearing a PFD is one of the most important stand-up paddle board laws you should follow.

Prone Paddle When You Drift Away

Prone paddling is when you lie flat on your stomach in the middle of your board and use your arms to propel yourself through the water. When standing upright on the SUP board, your body acts like a sail, making it more difficult to paddle when you drift away. Use prone paddling when you drift too far from your original location and need to conserve energy.

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen

We cannot stress this safety concern enough—wear sunscreen and reapply it when needed to avoid severe sunburn. The UV rays from the sun can be extremely harmful, and the water’s reflective surface can enhance those effects. Purchase waterproof sunscreen with at least 30 SPF for proper protection—it doesn’t hurt to bring a backup in case you run out.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

While paddle boarding can be relaxing and invigorating, this doesn’t mean you can lollygag on the water. If you’re unaware of your surroundings, you could be putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations. Keep a watch out for boats, jet skis, other paddlers, and marine life. It doesn’t hurt to converse with locals to better understand wind direction, tidal movement, and other dangers lurking in the body of water you plan to explore.

Keeping yourself safe while paddle boarding is vital, especially if you’re participating in this water sport on the open sea or a deep body of water. Leave the worries at home and use these safety tips to make your adventure more enjoyable—they may even save your life! Remember to follow the laws of the sport to stay safe.

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Written by Henry Johnson

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