SUP Safety Guide

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle boarding can make stretches of water or coastline your new playground – which is one of the great reasons to get into paddle boarding.

However, no matter whether it’s your first time out or if you’re a seasoned professional, to ensure you stay safe when on the water, it is it is important to carry out a few important SUP Safety checks.




frequently asked questions

 
What should I do before I go out?

If you are going out alone, always tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back.

Bring your phone with you, put it in a waterproof pouch and at least take some photos of your latest adventure!

Check the weather forecast before you set out. If the weather is not ideal, don't go out.

Get the appropriate level of training. You might be tempted to just buy a board and head out. Having a few training sessions can teach you the right technique, so it’s more stand-up and less fall-in paddleboarding!

Bring a friend and let them try out your new sport you keep talking out. It’s more fun, and you can help each other if you get into difficulty.

Check your equipment making sure there are no problems with inflating your SUP and your leash is working correctly.

Check the tide times and river flow, a outgoing tide for example can have you going out to sea at 7 knots (8mph). That's a long trip home!

 
What precautions can I take when on the water?

Whether you choose a buoyancy vest or PFD (personal floatation device), any help staying afloat is vital especially in colder conditions and surf conditions. Not only will a buoyancy aid keep you afloat, but it will also help give you time to recover when you fall in!

Properly inflating your SUP will perform better and create a more stable platform for you to paddle on, so ensure that you inflate your board between 15-22 psi.

Whether your wear a leash or not, always stay with your board – it will help you float. If you are having trouble paddling then try laying down and paddling as a way of self rescuing.

It might not be one that comes to mind, but protecting yourself against UV rays is essential when out on the water. When exploring, you can easily go for many hours with little shade but plenty of solar glare reflecting off the water onto your skin. The most effective way to protect yourself is to wear sunscreen and wear a hat that shades your entire face. To keep your upper body protected, you can also wear a rash guard or any sup wear with a UV 50+ rating.

Keep a small bag with your SUP and fill it with your favourite energy drink and snacks. You will be suprised how quickly you can tire when having fun!

 
What should I wear when on the water?

Whilst you do not need SUP specific clothing, it is preferable to wear lightweight clothing that will keep you cool and maintains your core body temperature. In the inevitable event of a fall, you will need something to dry quickly.

SUP is now being introduced with waterwear specific to our sport and items such as quick drying tops and pants are becoming more readily available.

SPRING /AUTUMN

With temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade, we would recommend the following.

ALL-ROUND TOURING:

Base Layer Shirt with windstopper top to maintain body temperature, complete with neoprene shorts or pants.

SURF:

Full length wetsuit of at least 3mm to reduce windchill but maintain flexibility while swimming between waves.

RACE:

Neoprene top and pants or if preferred a long john to maintain free arm movement at all times.

Neoprene boots or shoes are also recommended for all activities.

SUMMER

With temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees centigrade, we would recommend the following.

ALL-ROUND TOURING:

Base Layer Shirt complete with neoprene shorts or pants.

SURF:

Full length wetsuit least 3mm or shorty to maintain core temperature.

RACE:

Quick dry shirt and shorts for maximum movement. Hydration pack for longer races.

Neoprene boots or shoes are also recommended touring and surf. Bare feet for racing.

WINTER

With temperatures ranging from 0 to 10 degrees centigrade, we would recommend the following.

ALL-ROUND TOURING:

Thermal top and windstopper with neoprene shorts or pants.

SURF:

Full length wetsuit least 5mm-6mm to maintain core temperature. Plus a neoprene hood to keep your head warm.

RACE:

Long sleeved neoprene top and pants.

Neoprene gloves, boots and buoyancy aids are also recommended for all activities.


See our range of wetsuits

See our range of sup wear

 
Do I need a leash?

Using a leash ensures that your board will stay close to you even if you fall or get knocked off of your board. However not all of need the same type of leash.

Whether you are in the sea, lake or in the rapids, it is generally considered to be best to stay with your board rather than try and swim to safety. Your paddle board is a giant buoyant float that even if you are not on yuor board can give you floatation and acts like a colourful beacon if you need to be rescued.

In general, an SUP leash should be approximately one foot (30cm) longer than your paddle board. The reason for this is that in the event of a recoil your board will snap back and hit you if the leash is too short. SUP leashes are not the same as surfing leashes and are normally too short and not thick enough for paddle boarders.

For the majority of flatwater /touring, the leash can be attached to your calf or ankle. River and rapid riders however should use a quick release leash and preferably one that can be worn at the waist so that it can be easily released.


See our range of leashes

 
Do I need a buoyancy aid?

Whether you choose a buoyancy vest or PFD (personal floatation device), any help staying afloat is vital especially in colder conditions and surf conditions. Not only will a buoyancy aid keep you afloat, but it will also help give you time to recover when you fall in!

Waist belt PFD's are also an option for calmer waters when help is nearby.

Ensure that any buoyancy aid is 50N or more to keep your head above water.

Most buoyancy aids come complete with oversized arm holes that will not get in the way of your paddling stroke and front or back pockets to store rescue essentials such as a phone, energy snacks or a rescue whistle.

When in surf style conditions, ensure the vest is adjusted tight to your body to reduce the chances of any waves pulling the vest from your body.


See our range of buoyancy aids

 
 

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