No matter your level of stand up paddleboarding experience, you always want to keep safety in mind.
First, you should be aware of environmental factors. Check the weather to see if a storm will be rolling in or if winds are set to shift during the time you’ll be out.
The best conditions for a beginner are calm, flat days with low wind. Be alert because weather conditions can change quickly.
When you set out, pay close attention to where you plan to put in and take out your paddleboard. Some places do not allow SUP in designated swimming areas and/or in locations with heavy boat traffic.
You may also want to speak to a lifeguard or a local about currents or tides in the area. Paddle out to deep water and try to avoid going near submerged objects. It’s also important that you’re mindful of the other people in the water. Avoid any boats or water traffic in the area. For less experienced boarders, stay away from swimmers and other surfers until you get more comfortable.
Always wear a leash when paddleboarding. A leash keeps you attached to your board and is designed to keep you safe, especially if you fall in a strong current or heavy wind. You don’t want to become separated from your board. Even in a light breeze, your board will travel away from you in seconds if it’s not attached.
Be sure to wear a life vest when you’re on the water as well. Learn more about personal flotation devices for paddleboarding here.