No matter where you will be experiencing your stand-up paddle boarding adventure, safety should always be first and foremost in your mind. Physical exercise and having fun are the main reasons people choose to partake in this exciting hobby yet many people forget to follow proper safety rules and techniques leaving them and other people on the water vulnerable to injuries, accidents, or even worse. Review the following safety tips before you climb on your paddle board:
Courtesy is Key
Just like driving, boating, and nearly anything else in life, courtesy is essential when it comes to paddle boarding. Be aware of other people using the water and always stay in zones that are suited for stand-up paddle boarding. If there are no designated zones, try to use a less crowded area where you will not bother others and be out of the way of speeding boats. The staff at Naples Beach Adventures will be able to direct you to an optimal spot. If you are new to the sport or the area, enquire about their SUP rentals and tours to get your started.
Keep Yourself on a Leash
While some see the uses of a leash as a nuisance, using a leash can help you keep track of your board. Besides, your board is the best form of flotation if you should find yourself in trouble, so you wouldn’t want it floating out of reach.
Heat it Up
Hypothermia is always a concern whenever water sports and activities are involved. Wearing a wetsuit in colder months, especially for beginners who will find themselves in the water more often than out of it, will keep your core body temperature up to prevent sometimes fast-occurring hypothermia. Plus, you will probably be more comfortable and enjoy your sport more if you are warm.
Lather it On
In the excitement of preparing for a stand-up paddle board outing, some boarders may forget their sunscreen. However, it is always important to protect your skin with either a rashguard or a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes for a sunburn to occur.
Be Equipped for Safety
Depending on where you will be paddle boarding, you may want to bring along a helmet and a personal flotation device (PFD). If you will be taking a trip down a river, wearing a PFD is imperative as currents that come off of a rocky and uneven riverbed are unpredictable. Even if you are an experienced swimmer, it is wise to wear your lifejacket. You will also want to bring a helmet along to protect your head from any rocks in a river or possibly in a lake. Although rare, head injuries do occur from paddle boarding.
Study the Weather
Before you head out on your trip, make sure to check the local weather forecast. If lightning or severe storms are predicted for the area while you plan to be out, you may want to hold off until another day. Weather such as this can create the potential for drowning and being hit by lightning. It is better to stay safe than to take such a risk. In summer in Florida, that means planning to be back by noon or early afternoon. The earlier in the morning, the better to avoid extreme heat and summer thunderstorms.
Take a Buddy
Not only is stand-up paddle boarding more fun with a partner, but it is also safer. If something should happen, it’s always better to have someone with you who can either help or summon help if needed.
Naples Beach Adventures
11135 GulfShore Drive
Naples, FL 34108
Parking Lot #4