Paddleboard like a pro
Be vigilant and safe when using a paddleboard
Stand-up paddleboarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world. With the rise in popularity, many paddleboarders often forget that being on a paddleboard requires the same safety precautions and vigilance as any other on-the-water activity. Now is a perfect time to brush up on some paddleboarding tips and water safety practices.
The first thing to know about stand-up paddleboarding is that a paddleboard is a vessel when used “beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area.” If used within a designated swimming, surfing or bathing area, the Coast Guard does not consider a paddleboard to be a vessel.
What does this mean for you? When using a paddleboard beyond these limits, you need to be as prepared as you would be when using a traditional vessel. That includes wearing a life jacket. Whether you are a seasoned paddleboarder or new to the activity, follow these tips when using stand-up paddleboards:
- Wear a life jacket and carry a whistle.
- Be a competent swimmer.
- Know how to rescue yourself.
- Know how to tow another board.
- Know the local regulations and navigation rules.
- Understand the elements and hazards—winds, tidal ranges, current and terrain.
- Know when to wear a leash.
- Be defensive; don’t go where you aren’t supposed to be, and avoid other swimmers, boaters and paddleboarders.
- Use proper blade angle to be the most efficient paddleboarder.
- Take a safety course.