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VOL. 13 NO. 7
Take a class

Paddleboard like a pro

Be vigilant and safe when using a paddleboard

Paddleboard like a pro

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:

  1. Wear a life jacket and carry a whistle.
  2. Be a competent swimmer.
  3. Know how to rescue yourself.
  4. Know how to tow another board.
  5. Know the local regulations and navigation rules.
  6. Understand the elements and hazards—winds, tidal ranges, current and terrain.
  7. Know when to wear a leash.
  8. Be defensive; don’t go where you aren’t supposed to be, and avoid other swimmers, boaters and paddleboarders.
  9. Use proper blade angle to be the most efficient paddleboarder.
  10. Take a safety course.

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