TABLE OF CONTENTS1. Check your equipment
2. Check yourself
3. Put on a SUP board leash
4. Wear a PFD
5. Let someone know where you are going
6. Bring your phone with you
7. Check the weather before you go
8. Familiarize yourself with where you are going
9. Bring someone with you
10. Practice rescuing yourself
11. Stay Calm
Check your equipment
Everytime you want to go our for a few hours fun on the water, check your gear before you leave and make sure it’s in good condition and check again at your paddling location.
Check if your board is pumped up to the recommended PSI, your paddle is assembled correctly and all of your equipment is suitable for the conditions you are going to be paddling in.
You need to make sure what you are wearing is suitable for the weather and most importantly, the water temperature. Prepare yourself for falling in.
Put on a SUP board leash
Always wear a SUP board leash when you are out on the water. If you are going to be paddling on flat water or surfing, use an ankle leash. If you are going to be paddling in tidal waterways or whitewater paddling, wear a quick release waist-belt leash which would allow you to release yourself quickly if you are caught up in river strainers or obstacles.
Wear a PFD
Wear a PFD whenever you are out on the water. There are various types of buoyancy aids and you should choose one according to your own needs. If you are not a very good swimmer, choose a life jacket that can keep your face up when you fall into the water. The odds of accidents are very low, but it’s always best to prepare for it.
Let someone know where you are going
If you are going to be paddling out alone, let someone know where you will be going and when they can expect you to return. Make sure you call at a certain time to make sure you don’t find yourself stuck in somewhere you are not familiar with without any backup. And make sure the person on the other end knows what to do if you do call for help.
Bring your phone with you
Take a communication device with you. And if you are in trouble, call 999 here in the UK and ask for the Coastguard.
Check the weather before you go
Check the weather forecast in advance. Familiarise yourself with different wind and tide conditions and how they can affect your paddling experience. Check the local weather forecast thoroughly to make sure the weather is suitable for paddle boarding the whole day.
If on a river, heavy rainfall upstream from your location can cause sudden surges in river levels and cause lazy, meandering rivers to become raging torrents in a short time. Fast moving water could post a threat to your safety and you need to be a very skilled paddler if you want to navigate through the waves, eddies, and strong currents.
If you’re on a lake or on the sea, even a slight pick up in wind can make paddling extremely difficult and even lead to capsizing.