Can you SUP in shallow water?
Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun way to discover new areas, even those with shallow water.
You will not only be able to appreciate the peace of still waters and the splendor of nature, but you will also be able to get a good workout.
However, if you are new to the sport of stand-up paddling, it is especially important to be aware of the potential risks involved when paddling in shallow water.
When paddleboarding in shallow water, avoiding obstacles underwater is one of the most difficult challenges you'll face.
Because you are much closer to the bottom when the water is shallow, you need to be extra careful to avoid rocks, sandbars, manatees, and other obstacles.
It is in your best interest to keep a watchful eye on the area around you as well as the water itself, and to be on the lookout for any shifts in depth or submerged obstacles. If the water is murky the chance of hitting something is pretty easy, so if paddling in murky water stay away from the shallow water. And oddly enough paddling in clear water can be very deceptive, objects that look like they are just under the surface can actually be quite deep. So basically whenever you are in shallow water, the water is out to get you!
The wind should also be taken into consideration as a factor.
Because there is less room for the wind to dissipate in shallow water, it can be more challenging to maintain control of your board when riding in windy conditions.
Wind is the natural enemy of the SUP, so just be very careful when you are paddling in shallow water and there is wind. Its all fun and games until the wind keep blowing you in the trees, sand bars, etc. And the likely hood of damaging your fin box is much greater if you get blown sideways and your fin hits, vs ramming your fin head on.
When paddling in water that is relatively shallow, it is critical to be aware of the tides as well as any currents that may be present.
Since tides and currents in shallow water are prone to sudden and significant shifts, it is extremely important to have a solid understanding of the conditions before venturing out into the water.
Paddling with a companion or in a group offers not only additional support but also an increased sense of safety.
When paddling in shallow water, or any water, it is critical to always wear the protective gear that is designed for those conditions.
This consists of a personal flotation device (PFD), a leash to keep you attached to your board, and clothing that is suitable for the weather conditions.When paddling a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) in shallow water, it is possible to have an enjoyable and risk-free experience if you take the time to properly prepare and are aware of the potential risks. Some of my favorite places to paddle are shallow, you can get to places that boats and kayaks can't. So with just a little common sense go out and explore all the shallows you can find!