You do not need to know how to swim to paddleboard. You need a lifejacket and know how to get on your board from in the water.
The fact that you will be on your paddleboard while exploring the deep waters and ideally stick to it the whole time doesn’t make your ability to know how to swim compulsory.
However, it’s always wise to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. We never know what is coming for us and its severity and consequently can never be enough equipped to tackle it. Beginners especially have a higher risk of losing control of the inflatable paddleboard and falling off in the water. Therefore, the least we can do is prepare ourselves for the potential dangers to evade unfortunate incidents and reach the shore safely.
The best area for a non-swimmer to practice stand paddleboard
If you are a non-swimmer and looking forward to refining your paddleboard skills then we would suggest you start practicing in a shallow that is either natural or man-made. Just to be on the safer side of the spectrum, ensure that the depth of the still waters is within the window of 20 to 30 feet.
The reason why we are recommending you to train in a shallow first is that they are neither too deep, nor too shallow thereby, making certain that the water level would be just enough for you to learn stand-up paddleboard without any lingering harm whatsoever.
Remember that 10 feet deep water should never be qualified as appropriate for paddleboarding. Although it might present itself as a safe environment for beginners, in reality, the lack of depth can harm the paddle fins as soon as you put some weight on because they themselves measure around 6 to 8 feet.
Other than this, here are some other things that you should bear in mind:
- Seek assistance strictly from a professional instructor.
- Always wear a life vest so that even if you fall into the water (which you inevitably will during the initial days) you don’t panic and keep drifting on the surface.
- If you have enough opportunity, go to a lagoon where the water is still and most importantly, its height is perfect.
The importance of a life jacket
As we have already mentioned in the previous section, nowhere is it mandated that you will have to learn swimming before you can try your luck in paddleboarding. Nonetheless, even if you know how to swim, put on a life jacket the moment you step on the board. There are times when the most amazing swimmers get knocked out unconscious in the water; and in circumstances like these, nothing but only a life jacket could save them from getting drowned.
If the life vest feels too uncomfortable or claustrophobic, you can have your ankle attached to the paddleboard with the help of a sturdy leash. If the board topples down suddenly, the foam or plastic material will keep you afloat and you’ll also be sure that it is not too far from you; you can get back on board once you are stable and start paddling again.