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Essential Tips For Summer SUP Fun

SUP boarding is a fantastic summertime activity. Inflatable SUP boards make it easier than ever to bring these paddling vessels along on any beach or boat outing. With the growing popularity of SUP boarding around the globe it’s also more important than ever to stay safe on a SUP. Most paddling journeys go as planned, but you must remember that just because you start your SUP adventure dry, it doesn't mean you won’t take an unplanned dip in the water.

When SUP boarding this summer you must follow basic safety guidelines to keep yourself out of trouble in case you fall in the water. Always wear a leash to keep your board close when you take a spill. Wear a comfortable and reliable PFD to stay afloat. Keep your gear strapped or clipped in. All electronics, navigation, and first aid should be kept safe in a dry bag.

While paddling is usually a carefree and safe activity, a casual paddle can turn dangerous and even fatal without the right safeguards and safety knowledge. It is common to fall in the water when paddling on a SUP board. The key is being prepared to take a dip, and having all the gear in place to safely recover after you take an unexpected plunge. Below is a refresher on all the important safety tips you should follow when you paddle out on a SUP board this summer.

Top Tips To Help Keep You Safe SUP Boarding This Summer

1. Create A SUP Safety Packing List

One of the best ways to make sure you have everything you need for a safe day on the water with your SUP board is to make a checklist. A packing list will ensure you don’t leave anything behind. Make sure you have all the basics, like a PFD, dry bag, sunscreen, and navigation on the list, as well as anything else you don’t want to forget. This is a great way to leave the house confident that you have everything you need for your SUP adventure.

2. Find A Comfortable PFD That Doesn’t Inhibit You

A PFD is essential for any water sports activity. It doesn't matter if you are a strong swimmer, when you tip over and fall in on your SUP, all bets are off. You must have a device that can keep you buoyant and get you to safety.

As you can see in the video, there are all types of easy-to-wear PFDs on the market. Choose a PFD for SUP boarding that doesn’t inhibit your stroke, and is easy and comfortable to wear. A comfortable yet reliable PFD ensures that you will always wear it, and always be safe on the water.

3. Always Wear A Leash

A SUP leash is not only important to have, but it’s also important to wear. Keeping your board nearby when you fall in makes your recovery that much easier. Don’t be that guy with a leash trailing behind - always strap yourself in. Most SUP boards these days come with a leash. Even if you didn’t you can buy a SUP board leash for $20 or less. It’s a small price to pay for your safety.

4. Bring A Buddy Or Tell A Friend Your SUP Plan

Don’t go out on the water alone this summer if you can avoid it. Always bring a buddy along. SUP boarding with a buddy is more fun, especially on an island-hopping SUP adventure. It makes things more entertaining, and also makes things safer - as you have each other's back.

If you can’t find someone to go along with you, at least share your route and plan with someone on shore.

5. Don’t Wear Loose Or Heavy Clothing

It’s important to have sun protection when you are on a SUP board, and this often takes the form of clothing. Remember that while it’s fine to wear clothing while SUP boarding, the size and material type matter.

Don’t wear clothing that absorbs tons of water and can get weighed down. Don’t wear anything too baggy either. As comfortable as a baggy shirt is, it can make it very difficult and even dangerous to try and swim and recover after falling in the water.

6. Keep Belongings Strapped To Your Board

No one plans on falling in the water on their SUP board, but it happens all the time. Remember that when you tip over, your board usually does too. This means anything on your board, including any safety gear, electronics, and food, is bound to fall in and disappear in the deep water if you don’t strap it in. Use bungees and clips to keep all your belongings safe on your SUP board.

7. Keep Electronic And Safety Gear In Your Dry Bag

If you are paddling on your SUP for a few hours or longer, then you should bring a first aid kit. You will also likely bring a phone, camera, and possibly other electronics.

To ensure your first aid and electronics are kept safe in case of a capsizing incident, keep them secure in a dry bag. Dry bags are a great way to keep your vulnerable belongings safe and in one place. It’s a great habit to bring one along whenever you paddle out.

8. Check The Weather

The summertime is filled with sunshine and long days, which is why it is such an ideal and busy time for SUP boarding. Summer months are also known for unpredictable severe weather. Make sure you check the forecast before you paddle out.

Pay attention to any potential storms in the day, and make sure you plan a route accordingly. Don’t allow yourself the misfortune of being on the open water when a thunderstorm rolls in. Keep an eye on the sky and head for shore at the first sign of rough weather.

9. Get To Know The Area Where You Are Paddling

Lastly, one of the best ways to stay safe on the water in your SUP board this summer is to get to know the body of water you paddle in. Every bay, cove, lake, and river is unique. There are different hazards, currents, tides, and nuances to every paddling spot.

Take the time to learn about any potential hazards where you plan to paddle. Know the tides, and the best paddling routes around. If there is a local surf or water sports store, chat it up with the workers, and get some quality intel.

Wrapping Up How To Stay Safe On Your SUP This Summer

Summer is the peak season for SUP boarding, but it’s also a popular season for SUP boarding accidents. A fun afternoon of paddling can become dangerous once you fall in, especially if you don’t take basic precautions. Always wear a leash and some form of PFD when SUP boarding, even if you are only paddling for a short time. Don’t wear loose, restrictive, or cotton clothing when SUP boarding, and make sure you keep all your gear strapped in just in case you tip over.

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