One of the main reasons we love paddleboarding so much is that it’s a great outdoors activity and one that the whole family can get involved in. You can spend a whole day out on the water with the family and everyone will love it, depending how long their attention span is. Plus, it won’t cost you a penny, after you have brought the gear that is. But, taking the whole family out comes with added risks and paddle boarding safety needs to be at the forefront of your plans, a lot more so than if you were to head out by yourself.
While the sport is generally a fun and safe one, just like any activity, there are still some paddle board safety precautions and stand up paddleboarding safety tips which you should take to ensure your family’s safety during your SUP session.
Here are some stand up paddleboarding safety tips to ensure your next paddleboarding session is fun and safe.
1. Check the tide and the wind before you go
Before planning a whole day out, check the tide and wind. Anything over 10 knots is going to make it a tough day paddling. If possible, paddle into the wind and tide first so that coming back is easier. We love the website windy.com for checking the wind prior to setting off.
2. Ensure everyone who needs one is wearing a PFD
Just in case they do fall in, a personal flotation device (PFD) will give that extra layer of protection to them to ensure that they float when in the water. If you’re out in deep water or there’s a current, or even if you’re not a strong swimmer, then we recommend you wear one as well. There’s not really any time when we wouldn’t recommend you to wear one really to ensure your paddle boarding safety!
3. Wear sunscreen
Even if it doesn’t look sunny out, it’s so easy to get burnt when you are out on the water all day so ensuring you and the kids have sun cream on is a must! And, if it is sunny out, then even more reason to wear it!
4. Ensure you have all of the necessary gear
When paddle boarding, you’ll need more than just a SUP to get out on the water. A paddle and a leash are almost as essential as the board itself so ensuring you have the right ones is a must. The purpose of the leash is to keep your board attached to you, so that if you fall off you don’t lose it to the current. So, if there’s more than one of you sharing a board then it’s not essential that all of you wear a leash, but just one of you – if you are paddle boarding with a child then it is recommended that the adult wear the leash, whilst the child sits at the nose of the paddleboard.
Ensuring you have the right length paddle for you is also essential as this can greatly impact your experience.
Read about how to choose the right length paddle for you ,here.
If you’re taking the children out to paddle with you, instead of them just coming along for the ride, why not make it even more enjoyable for them and get them their own board. We recommend children under 5 sit on your board with you and children over 5 can give their own board a go (depending on the child).
5. Educate your kids
Before heading out on the water take a bit of time to educate your kids on the dangers of the water. Tell them about how quickly the tides can change, paddle board safety in general, why they need to wear a leash on their own board and general best practices. Spending a little bit of time beforehand can make a huge difference in the long run.