Well it's coming-the summer madness on the water! Boats, jet skis, SUPs, wind, sun, & water. What are you doing to make sure you and your friends are save while you are out on a SUP. Maybe you decided to rent a SUP! Did the rental place provide you a personal floatation device (pfd) or a leash? Where is your floatation device? Is it bungeed to your board where it will serve no purpose but to keep you from getting a ticket from the coast guard? How about a leash? Many of the rental places do not provide one unless you ask. You should also make yourself familiar with the area you will be paddling. Here are some more conditions to take into consideration before you paddle:
Get on the water before the winds start to pick up. It’s best to paddle into the wind first, and than paddle with it on the way back.
During low tide the level of water will be lower, so you may hit your paddle on the sandy bottom, or you could run aground. During high tides make sure your stuff on the beach is away from the incoming tide.
If you are heading out into the ocean make sure you check the surf report. It takes skill to get in and out through the surf, and you don’t want to do it in head high surf. Avoid dangerous shore breaks. Know your limits.
Paddling with a current can be fun. Make sure you are wearing a lease in case you fall off. If you are not wearing a leash your board can quickly get away from you. Paddling against a current requires some extra paddle strength, balance, & skill. Find out if there are any currents where you are paddling.
-Boat & other watercraft traffic
SUPs are small compared to boats & jet skis. It is up to you to make sure that you are visible at all times. Wear bright colored hats, upper body clothing and PFD’s. A brightly colored boat, paddle blades and PFD will help. Use reflective patches on your clothing and equipment.
-Temperature-Air and Water
When paddling where the water temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, a wetsuit is a must and a drysuit is highly recommended. This is also the case if the combined air and water temperatures are below 120. On hot days make sure you have sunscreen on & plenty of water to drink.
-Environment-marine life, rocks, sandbars
Are there stingrays in the area you are paddling? If so, shuffle your feet when you are getting in & out of the water. Be careful of rocks-you can cut your feet, and damage your board. Be careful of sandbars, if you hit one it could throw you from your board.
Paddle Ready App: American Canoe Association for iphone or ipad
iWindsurf app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iwindsurf/id564865754?mt=8 on my iPhone
Tides Near Me: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tides-near-me-free/id585223877?mt=8
SUP: Leashes & Lifejackets - When to Wear, When Not to Wear
SUP Safety Placard:
WEAR YOUR PFD - once you’re in the water, it’s almost impossible to put it on!