Safety Considerations for Paddle Boarding in Your Area

Paddle board safety is incredibly important.  We explain why in this article.


buoyancy aid and sup safety equipment

In this article we discuss the Importance of paddle board safety at your paddling location of choice. Paddle boarding is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. However, like any other water-based activity, it also comes with its own set of risks. In this guide, we'll take you through everything you need to know about keeping yourself safe while paddle boarding in the water at your local paddling location. From basic safety gear to understanding water conditions and local hazards, we've got you covered! So let's dive in and explore why paddle board safety is so important when exploring our beautiful coastlines.

Paddle Boarding Safety Tips

airbelt personal flotation device stand up paddle boarder

Paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise, but it's important to be aware of the hidden dangers and take appropriate safety precautions. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the water:

Wear a life jacket: A Coast Guard approved vest or waist belt PFD is always a good idea when paddle boarding, especially if you're not a strong swimmer. If you do fall in, it will help you stay afloat until you can get back to your SUP board or shore.

Have a basic understanding of your surroundings: Always be on the lookout for other boats and obstacles in the water. Don't paddle out into deep water without knowing what's beneath you – there could be hidden currents or drop-offs that could cause problems.

Choose the right board: Not all paddle boards are created equal! If you're new to the sport, it's best to start with a wider and longer board for stability. As your skill level improves, you can move to a shorter and narrower board for better speed and maneuverability.

Check the weather forecast: Before heading out, make sure you check the weather forecast so you know what conditions to expect. Strong winds and waves can make paddle boarding challenging (and even dangerous), so it's best to avoid those days if possible.

Whenever possible, try to paddle with a friend: There's strength in numbers, so it's always good to have someone else with you on the water. If something does go wrong, they can call for help with their mobile phone.

Different Types of Paddle Boards and Equipment

quick release waist belt with leash for wind surfing trouble

There are different types of SUP boards and equipment available on the market, but not all of them are created equal. It's important to do your research and choose the right gear for your needs before heading out onto the water. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

SUPs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it's important to find one that's comfortable for you. There are also different types of paddles to choose from, so be sure to pick one that's the right length and weight for you. Inflatable SUPs are a great option if you're looking for portability and ease of transportation.

If you're going to be paddling in open water, it's a good idea to invest in a life jacket or vest. This will help keep you safe in case of an emergency. You should also consider taking a first aid course, so that you know how to deal with any injuries that may occur while out on the water.

Paddle boards can be a lot of fun, but it's important to stay safe while enjoying them. Be sure to do your research and choose the right gear before heading out onto the water. With a little preparation, you can have a great time paddle boarding in any location.

Local Rules and Regulations for Paddle Boarding in Your Area

personal floatation device for sup safety stand up paddle

There are a few things to keep in mind when paddle boarding in your area. First, check local regulations to see if there are any specific areas where paddle boarding is not allowed. Second, be aware of the tides and currents in your area and plan your route accordingly. Finally, always wear a personal flotation device and keep an eye on the weather conditions before heading out. By following these simple tips, you can stay safe and enjoy your time on the water.

Weather Conditions and When to Stay Away from the Water

buoyancy aid with communication device for british canoeing

The weather can be a paddle boarder's best friend or worst enemy. On calm days, the flat water is like a mirror, reflecting the surrounding scenery. But on windy days, the waves can be unpredictable and dangerous.

Knowing when to stay away from the water is just as important as knowing when to go out on the water. If the day is too hot, cold, windy, or rainy, it's best to stay close to shore. Here are some general guidelines:

- If the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it's too cold for most people to paddle board. The water will be freezing and your muscles will quickly tire from the constant paddling. If you do decide to go out, make sure that you are dressed appropriately.

- If the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it's too hot for most people to paddle board. The sun will be beating down on you and the heat can make you fatigued quickly.

- If the wind is blowing more than 20mph, it's too windy to paddle board. The waves will be choppy and difficult to control your board in.

- If it's been raining recently, beware of runoff from rivers and streams entering the ocean or lake. This contaminated water can contain bacteria and other pollutants that can make you sick.

Suggested Locations for Beginner Paddle Boarders in Your Area

head practice makes perfect to float in strong currents

If you're new to paddle boarding, it's important to choose a location that is safe and ideal for beginners. Here are some suggested locations for inexperienced paddlers in your area:

1. Rivers or streams with little to no current: Paddle boarding in a river or stream with little to no current is a great way to get used to the feeling of being on the water. Make sure to choose a spot with plenty of room to move around and practice your paddling.

2. Lakes: Lakes are another great option for beginner paddle boarders. Be sure to avoid areas with boats and other traffic, and stick to calmer parts of the lake where you can focus on your paddling technique.

3. Flatwater bayous or marshes: If you want to paddle in more shallow water, flatwater bayous or marshes are good options. These areas are usually free of boat traffic and provide plenty of space to paddle around. Just be aware of your surroundings and watch out for any wildlife that might be lurking in the area!

4. Beachfronts: Many beaches have designated areas for paddle boarding, making them ideal locations for beginners. just be sure to check the conditions before heading out, as waves and rip currents can make paddle boarding more challenging (and dangerous).

What to Bring When You Paddle Board

swimming and surfing tide times

If you're new to paddle boarding, you might be wondering what you need to bring with you on your first outing. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

- First and foremost, you'll need a personal flotation device. Even if you're a strong swimmer, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

- If you're paddling in an area with a lot of rocks or other obstacles, it's a good idea to wear comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting wet.

An appropriate leash is important, especially it it's a windy day as the wind could carry your paddle board away if you were to fall in. A waterproof pouch is also a good idea to store your cell phone and car keys.

- Sunscreen is a must! Choose a waterproof variety so that you don't have to reapply as often.

- Finally, don't forget to bring plenty of water and snacks. Paddle boarding can be surprisingly strenuous, and you'll want to stay hydrated and fueled up throughout the day.

Advanced Tips for Experienced Paddle Boarders

local knowledge and a bathing area stand up through flowing water leash

As an experienced paddle boarder, you know the importance of safety on the water. Here are some advanced tips to help you stay safe while enjoying your time on the water:

1. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. This includes other boats, obstacles in the water, and changes in weather conditions. If you are at a new location, talk to someone with local knowledge before heading out.

2. Always wear a life jacket and leashes for your paddle board and paddles.

3. Be sure to check the forecast before heading out onto the water. If bad weather is expected, postpone your paddle boarding plans for another day.

4. Make sure you have enough food and water with you before heading out onto the water. Pack snacks and drinks in a waterproof container in case you get stranded.

5. Have a plan! Know where you're going and how long you intend to be gone. Let someone know your plans before heading out so they can check in on you if needed.

6. If you are on an inflatable SUP, make sure it is pumped up to the recommended PSI.

7.If you want to try whitewater paddling on rivers, make sure that you have a quick release waist belt to connect to your leash and a helmet to protect your head. As a general rule, safety checks are important to mitigate the risks that flowing water can cause.


flat water sup and river stand up paddle boarding in the fall

Some final thoughts are that paddle boarding can be a great way to stay active and explore the outdoors. We hope that our safety tips have given you some helpful advice for your next trip out on the water but don't give you a false sense of invincibility. Remember to always pay attention to weather conditions and keep an eye out for other boaters, swimmers, and wildlife when you're paddling around. Be sure to wear a life jacket, take along a first aid kit and make sure someone knows where you'll be heading so they can check up on you if necessary. Staying aware of your surroundings while keeping safety at top of mind is key!