8 Items For SUP Safety

8 Items For SUP Safety

March 21, 2022

SUP SAFETY

We list the 8 safety items every paddleboarder should have in their toolkit!


With the rise of paddleboarding over the last few years, there are many newcomers to the sport, taking to the water with little information on what safety equipment they should be using. Here is our breakdown of the top 10 safety items every paddleboarder should have ready for their next session.

 

A paddleboarding wearing a PFD in green waters with rocks in the background

A PFD (Personal Floatation Device)

A PFD or life jacket is a piece of equipment designed to keep a person afloat should they run into difficulty. While it is personal preference whether you choose to wear a PFD, there are some areas, states, parks, and countries where wearing a PFD on the water is required by law. There are times you would choose not to wear a PFD, such as surfing, where the buoyancy of the PFD would prevent you from being able to duck dive the waves. Most paddlers wear a PFD or life jacket when paddling to increase their confidence on the water.

There are a few different types of PFD and, for the most part, it's personal preference on which one you decide to choose. A PFD belt is a popular choice among paddleboarders as it fits snugly around the waist and does not interfere with paddle strokes, whereas a life jacket is worn like a jacket and can contain extra features like pockets, a built-in quick-release harness, and water bladder storage.


A girl attaching a leash to a surf SUP on a beach

A Leash

A leash keeps your board attached to you, and it can be a useful piece of safety equipment in choppy conditions or windy environments. There are different types of leashes dependent on the type of paddle boarding you are doing. Flatwater leashes tend to be coiled to reduce the amount of leash dragging in the water, which could pose as a snag hazard. White water leashes come with a quick-release harness so they can be easily detached should they get caught on anything. Surf leashes tend to be straight so that they don't rebound too hard after getting caught by a wave. Make sure you use a leash that is appropriate to your situation!


A Whistle

A basic but often overlooked piece of equipment, a whistle can help attract attention should you run into difficulty, need assistance, or communicate with other water users. It's good practice to attach one to your life jacket so it is always to hand.


Sun Protection

Did you know that droplets of water on the skin increase the surface area which causes a magnifying effect and can lead to a greater risk of sun damage? Load up with some reef-friendly, waterproof sunscreen before heading out on the water to ensure you don't burn or suffer from heatstroke. Remember to pack a bottle of drinking water to stay hydrated too!


Paddling a SUP at night with lights

Pack A Light

Pack light if you are out after dark or in adverse conditions like fog. You should attach a red flashing light to your back, and use a white light for your front to alert other water users which direction you are heading. A head torch is a great piece of equipment as it leaves your hands free for paddling and most models come splash/sweat-proof as standard!


Paddling a SUP on whitewater with safety equipment

A Helmet and Quick Release Harness for Whitewater

If you are planning to take your SUP on to white water then you'll need to invest in a good quality helmet and a quick-release harness. There are lifejackets that include a quick-release harness, these are the best for white water paddleboarding, as they remain easy to access regardless of clothing. Look for a helmet that is CE or white water approved, helmets are made differently depending on the type of impact you are likely to have and the outfitting for water is different to say those that are designed for snow use.


Navigation Equipment

GPS can be super handy should weather or conditions interfere with your plans. Most new phones contain GPS technology and there are some great apps out there for navigational use. Remember to pack your phone in a waterproof case and tether it to yourself. A map and compass wouldn't go a miss wither for longer excursions, it's a real bummer when your phone battery runs out and you haven't memorized the route!


Rescue Equipment

A Beacon or Spot is a good idea for expeditions, remote paddles, and off-grid adventures. They are expensive but could end up saving your life! Packing a flare or two wouldn't go amiss either...


If you would like more information on SUP safety contact your local SUP or kayak club and enroll in a water safety course or take a lesson in SUP. It always helps to head out on the water with someone more experienced if you are new to the sport! Happy Paddling!

SUP SAFETY

We list the 8 safety items every paddleboarder should have in their toolkit!


With the rise of paddleboarding over the last few years, there are many newcomers to the sport, taking to the water with little information on what safety equipment they should be using. Here is our breakdown of the top 10 safety items every paddleboarder should have ready for their next session.

 

A paddleboarding wearing a PFD in green waters with rocks in the background

A PFD (Personal Floatation Device)

A PFD or life jacket is a piece of equipment designed to keep a person afloat should they run into difficulty. While it is personal preference whether you choose to wear a PFD, there are some areas, states, parks, and countries where wearing a PFD on the water is required by law. There are times you would choose not to wear a PFD, such as surfing, where the buoyancy of the PFD would prevent you from being able to duck dive the waves. Most paddlers wear a PFD or life jacket when paddling to increase their confidence on the water.

There are a few different types of PFD and, for the most part, it's personal preference on which one you decide to choose. A PFD belt is a popular choice among paddleboarders as it fits snugly around the waist and does not interfere with paddle strokes, whereas a life jacket is worn like a jacket and can contain extra features like pockets, a built-in quick-release harness, and water bladder storage.


A girl attaching a leash to a surf SUP on a beach

A Leash

A leash keeps your board attached to you, and it can be a useful piece of safety equipment in choppy conditions or windy environments. There are different types of leashes dependent on the type of paddle boarding you are doing. Flatwater leashes tend to be coiled to reduce the amount of leash dragging in the water, which could pose as a snag hazard. White water leashes come with a quick-release harness so they can be easily detached should they get caught on anything. Surf leashes tend to be straight so that they don't rebound too hard after getting caught by a wave. Make sure you use a leash that is appropriate to your situation!


A Whistle

A basic but often overlooked piece of equipment, a whistle can help attract attention should you run into difficulty, need assistance, or communicate with other water users. It's good practice to attach one to your life jacket so it is always to hand.


Sun Protection

Did you know that droplets of water on the skin increase the surface area which causes a magnifying effect and can lead to a greater risk of sun damage? Load up with some reef-friendly, waterproof sunscreen before heading out on the water to ensure you don't burn or suffer from heatstroke. Remember to pack a bottle of drinking water to stay hydrated too!


Paddling a SUP at night with lights

Pack A Light

Pack light if you are out after dark or in adverse conditions like fog. You should attach a red flashing light to your back, and use a white light for your front to alert other water users which direction you are heading. A head torch is a great piece of equipment as it leaves your hands free for paddling and most models come splash/sweat-proof as standard!


Paddling a SUP on whitewater with safety equipment

A Helmet and Quick Release Harness for Whitewater

If you are planning to take your SUP on to white water then you'll need to invest in a good quality helmet and a quick-release harness. There are lifejackets that include a quick-release harness, these are the best for white water paddleboarding, as they remain easy to access regardless of clothing. Look for a helmet that is CE or white water approved, helmets are made differently depending on the type of impact you are likely to have and the outfitting for water is different to say those that are designed for snow use.


Navigation Equipment

GPS can be super handy should weather or conditions interfere with your plans. Most new phones contain GPS technology and there are some great apps out there for navigational use. Remember to pack your phone in a waterproof case and tether it to yourself. A map and compass wouldn't go a miss wither for longer excursions, it's a real bummer when your phone battery runs out and you haven't memorized the route!


Rescue Equipment

A Beacon or Spot is a good idea for expeditions, remote paddles, and off-grid adventures. They are expensive but could end up saving your life! Packing a flare or two wouldn't go amiss either...


If you would like more information on SUP safety contact your local SUP or kayak club and enroll in a water safety course or take a lesson in SUP. It always helps to head out on the water with someone more experienced if you are new to the sport! Happy Paddling!

SUP SAFETY

We list the 8 safety items every paddleboarder should have in their toolkit!


With the rise of paddleboarding over the last few years, there are many newcomers to the sport, taking to the water with little information on what safety equipment they should be using. Here is our breakdown of the top 10 safety items every paddleboarder should have ready for their next session.

 

A paddleboarding wearing a PFD in green waters with rocks in the background

A PFD (Personal Floatation Device)

A PFD or life jacket is a piece of equipment designed to keep a person afloat should they run into difficulty. While it is personal preference whether you choose to wear a PFD, there are some areas, states, parks, and countries where wearing a PFD on the water is required by law. There are times you would choose not to wear a PFD, such as surfing, where the buoyancy of the PFD would prevent you from being able to duck dive the waves. Most paddlers wear a PFD or life jacket when paddling to increase their confidence on the water.

There are a few different types of PFD and, for the most part, it's personal preference on which one you decide to choose. A PFD belt is a popular choice among paddleboarders as it fits snugly around the waist and does not interfere with paddle strokes, whereas a life jacket is worn like a jacket and can contain extra features like pockets, a built-in quick-release harness, and water bladder storage.


A girl attaching a leash to a surf SUP on a beach

A Leash

A leash keeps your board attached to you, and it can be a useful piece of safety equipment in choppy conditions or windy environments. There are different types of leashes dependent on the type of paddle boarding you are doing. Flatwater leashes tend to be coiled to reduce the amount of leash dragging in the water, which could pose as a snag hazard. White water leashes come with a quick-release harness so they can be easily detached should they get caught on anything. Surf leashes tend to be straight so that they don't rebound too hard after getting caught by a wave. Make sure you use a leash that is appropriate to your situation!


A Whistle

A basic but often overlooked piece of equipment, a whistle can help attract attention should you run into difficulty, need assistance, or communicate with other water users. It's good practice to attach one to your life jacket so it is always to hand.


Sun Protection

Did you know that droplets of water on the skin increase the surface area which causes a magnifying effect and can lead to a greater risk of sun damage? Load up with some reef-friendly, waterproof sunscreen before heading out on the water to ensure you don't burn or suffer from heatstroke. Remember to pack a bottle of drinking water to stay hydrated too!


Paddling a SUP at night with lights

Pack A Light

Pack light if you are out after dark or in adverse conditions like fog. You should attach a red flashing light to your back, and use a white light for your front to alert other water users which direction you are heading. A head torch is a great piece of equipment as it leaves your hands free for paddling and most models come splash/sweat-proof as standard!


Paddling a SUP on whitewater with safety equipment

A Helmet and Quick Release Harness for Whitewater

If you are planning to take your SUP on to white water then you'll need to invest in a good quality helmet and a quick-release harness. There are lifejackets that include a quick-release harness, these are the best for white water paddleboarding, as they remain easy to access regardless of clothing. Look for a helmet that is CE or white water approved, helmets are made differently depending on the type of impact you are likely to have and the outfitting for water is different to say those that are designed for snow use.


Navigation Equipment

GPS can be super handy should weather or conditions interfere with your plans. Most new phones contain GPS technology and there are some great apps out there for navigational use. Remember to pack your phone in a waterproof case and tether it to yourself. A map and compass wouldn't go a miss wither for longer excursions, it's a real bummer when your phone battery runs out and you haven't memorized the route!


Rescue Equipment

A Beacon or Spot is a good idea for expeditions, remote paddles, and off-grid adventures. They are expensive but could end up saving your life! Packing a flare or two wouldn't go amiss either...


If you would like more information on SUP safety contact your local SUP or kayak club and enroll in a water safety course or take a lesson in SUP. It always helps to head out on the water with someone more experienced if you are new to the sport! Happy Paddling!


AUTHOR BIO

JEN CHRIMES

Jen Chrimes is a marketing and design professional that has worked with the outdoor industry for over 9 years. She is also a professional kayaker and avid outdoor enthusiast who loves sharing her knowledge and passion through her work. You can find more about Jen and her work at jenchrimesdesign.com.

Jen Chrimes Professional White Water kayaker


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