It can be relaxing and thrilling to paddle on shimmering waters, but, like any activity, if precaution is not taken then it can be dangerous.
Paddle boarding is not dangerous if you use the right board, watch the weather, wear ankle cord and lifejacket, do not go solo, and avoid the sun.
How can you enjoy a safe paddling experience?
There are a few things that you can do to ensure a safe paddling experience. Do not go paddling if you do not know how to swim. If you do insist on paddling even when you don’t know how to swim, PLEASE, do not go without a lifejacket and DO NOT go paddling alone. You should consider going with an experienced rider who knows how to swim, this way, if you manage to find yourself splashed into the water, there is someone to rescue you! And please don’t venture beyond shallow waters!
Let’s have a look at other ways to keep safe while paddling:
- Use the right board: There are different boards out there to cater to different heights, weights, experience levels, and what you will be using the board for. It pays to pay close attention to the board you buy. It won’t help you to buy a surfing board when you want to do yoga for example!
- Pay close attention to the weather update: You don’t want to go paddling with a storm brewing. Always make sure that you are up-to-date with the weather forecast.
- Wear an ankle cord: In the unfortunate event that you find yourself splashed in the water, the ankle cord will keep your board from wandering off.
- Watch the Sun.
- Avoid paddling alone: You can never tell what may go wrong on the waters. As such, it is always a good idea to go paddling with other riders. This way, someone is there to help or call for help if things go wrong. If you still insist on paddling alone then it is STRONGLY advised that you let someone know. Let your friends, family, or colleague know.
- Wear lifejacket
- Don’t rush it: if you are a beginner, it is tempting to “show off” your skills after a few paddling adventures, but, you need to go slow lest you hurt yourself or others. Take the time to learn how to handle your equipment and paddle safely on the water.
- Put on the right clothes: Considering you will be spending a good amount of time on the water, it is important to wear the right clothes. You may fall into the water and if you have the wrong outfit on then you may risk getting hypothermia.
- Do not drink alcohol while on water.
- Stay out of ocean to avoid sharks.
- Avoid paddling for long hours under the sun: It may be peaceful paddling on the waters but if you do it for long under the sun than you may suffer from a sunburn, dehydration, or heat stroke. Be sure to protect yourself against the UV rays by applying sunscreen, wearing a UV protectant cloth, and wearing sunglasses as you paddle.
- Do not go at night.
- Pay close attention to your environment: It is important to pay close attention to your environment if you are to stay safe. Watch out for other riders and steer clear of the paths used by boats or jet skis.