Stand up paddle boarding is the kind of sport that you can do with your whole family. It’s one of the reasons why the sport is growing so rapidly around the world. You can enjoy several hours of fun on the water on a paddleboard with your whole family. There aren’t many types of sports that you can do with your family and ensures everyone can have fun and paddleboarding is such kind of sport.
While the sport is fun and safe most of the time, there are still some safety precautions you should take to ensure your family’s safety during your SUP session. Here are some safety tips you should know.
- Everyone should wear a PFD
If you have a big family and everyone’s coming to your SUP trip, then make sure every one of them wears a personal flotation device, especially the kids. Because on the water, especially open water, it’s basically impossible to keep an eye on all of them.
And for most people, when going paddle boarding for the first time, falling off the board is almost inevitable. With everyone wearing a PFD, you won’t have to rush to help them get back on the board if someone who can’t swim or isn’t a very good swimmer falls into the water. Besides, in certain areas, wearing a PFD is a must.
Making everyone wear a PFD is one of the most effective ways to ensure everyone’s safety when paddleboarding. It’s an accessory worth investing in.
- Wear sunscreen
If the sun is shining in the sky when you are on the water with your family, make sure everyone wears sunscreen, especially kids. Sunburn is a real and ever-present danger for families who spend their vacation in places like the beach or on the water. So make sure everyone has adequate sunscreen applied and pay extra attention to the kids. It’s recommended to apply more sunscreen on your kids’ skin every two hours for maximum protection.
- Pick your destination wisely
Before you try to find a place to spend time with your family on the paddleboard, figure out what you want to do with your family or what kind of SUP experience you want to have first. That way you’d know what kind of destination to look for. Unless you only have limited choices for SUP destinations, it’s always worth spending time researching into the place you are going before actually going there.
Details like weather, tides, wind, current are all worth paying attention to. And when going out with family, it’s always wise to avoid rough water. Paddling in rough conditions can be dangerous for beginner paddlers, especially if they are not good swimmers.
If you really want your family to enjoy stand up paddle boarding, the best way to start is by taking them to a place with calm waters. With that being said, there are a few places you should avoid like areas with a lot of boat traffic, rocks and other objects at the bottom of the water, people fishing nearby, or filled with swimmers.
- Get all the necessary gear you need
When paddle boarding, you’ll need more than just the SUP board to have fun on the water. Be sure to put on the SUP leash that comes with the board. If you or other family members are sharing a board, note that usually only one person needs to wear the leash. The purpose of the leash is to avoid the board from getting away from you when you fall. So technically, the leash is not some kind of safety precaution and there’s no need for every person on the same board to have one.
Another important accessory is the paddle. It can affect your SUP experience greatly. Most adjustable paddles can float, but how long they can float can vary greatly. Some can only float for a few minutes or even less and some can float for one hour. The problem is when the paddle is in the water, water can get inside the paddle and cause the paddle to sink. So it’s not a good idea to leave the paddle floating on the water for a long time, even if it can. Most fiberglass paddles can float with no problem, but be careful with aluminum paddles, some of them can easily sink. So if you use an aluminum paddle, retrieve it as soon as possible when you drop it in the water, or you are going to wind up paddle boarding without a paddle, which will make moving your board forward very difficult for you.
Stand up paddle boarding is actually a pretty nice activity for the whole family. Everyone can enjoy the fun no matter how old they are. But before you get out there and have fun with your family, always remember these safety tips to avoid any hassle that might occur in your SUP session.
Lakes are great destinations for both paddle boarding and vacation. Here are some wonderful lakes in America for paddle boarding. Most lakes have calm water and beautiful views and are definitely great locations for family fun. But always check the weather first before going.