Paddle Safely Guide
Your safety should be your first concern.
Royal Life Saving Society UK Advise
Always Follow the Water Safety Code.
1. Whenever you are around water, Take time to access your surroundings.
2. Look for the dangers and always research local signs and advice.
3. When around water always go with friends or family.
4. Don’t enter the water to rescue.
5. When in an emergency, call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service when inland and the Coastguard if at the coast.
6. If you fall in or become tired - stay calm, float on your back, and call for help.
7. Throw something that floats to somebody that has fallen in.
Do I really need to wear a PFD?
Yes. You should wear it whenever you are out on the water no matter how good a paddler or swimmer you are. It could be the difference between life and death.
Is a paddle board leash really necessary?
Yes, a paddle board leash is not an optional extra, it’s one of the most important pieces of equipment that can make you paddle safely. There are two types of SUP leashes and they are suited to different SUP activities. For beginners who are going to be paddleboarding on calm water, a coiled leash would be more suitable.
Where to find a safe place for SUP beginners to paddle
If you are a beginner, we would suggest that you take a SUP lesson first before actually getting out on the water on your own. Try and find a calm and lifeguarded body of water, and find someone to go with you so that you can watch out for each other. Also, check the weather before you go out.
How to deal with currents?
The best protection you can have against currents is a personal flotation device. If you fall into the water because of the current, your life jacket will keep you afloat and your head above the water, just stay calm and swim to safety.
What are some dangerous conditions I should be aware of?
Offshore winds can be dangerous. Offshore winds refer to winds that blow outwards from the land. No matter how mild, you should try and avoid it because it may blow you out into the sea. Understand your capabilities and don’t be overconfident.
If you are paddling on the river, pay attention to the rapids. If you do find rapids ahead, the right thing to do is to find somewhere to safely exit the river before the speed of water increases. If you still want to proceed with your SUP trip, walk along the riverside to find a safe point away from the rapids to re-enter the river.
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