Now that the weather is getting nicer and every one is heading to the beach, it is a great time to start paddle boarding. For a lot of you, this may be your first time on a stand up paddle board.
There are hundred’s if not hundred’s of thousands of paddle board rental companies, a lot of them are great, a lot of them are good but some are bad and a few are ugly (they follow completely unsafe practices). We would like to give our top five points to look for, when getting on the water for the first time. These 5 tips could save you or someone else’s life.
1. Make sure you are given a life-jacket/whistle and a leash along with your board and paddle. There should always be a proper leash attached to your board for you to attach to your ankle, calf or waist depending on the waterway you are paddling on. If the rental company does not automatically provide a leash with your board, look for a different one. The proper leash is going to keep you attached to the board so when you fall off, the board will be waiting for you. Also, according to the Coast Guard, if you are outside of the swim zone, you must have a life-jacket and whistle on board. If the board company does not provide leashes, life-jackets and whistles, please look for a different board company.
2. The board company should always be willing to get on a board and paddle with you for several minutes to make sure you are doing everything correctly. They should teach you how to stand, properly paddle, fall safely and get back on your board. If they are not willing to get wet with you, please rent from a different board company.
3. The board company should be able to give you proper directions as of to where to paddle and any possible dangers in the water. If they are unable to do that, rent from a different board company.
4. Never be put in a highly populated swim area and/or waterway. Even if you are wearing a leash, if you fall off, your board can still hit and seriously injure a nearby swimmer. If the board company is not willing to teach you at a slow traffic location in terms of boats and swimmers, find another board company to rent from.
5. If you are a beginner do not rent when the wind is blowing more that 12 miles an hour and especially if it is blowing off shore. Always ask the board company to take you to a safer location to paddle. If they won’t, rent from a different board company that will.
Stand up paddling is a very safe and fun sport as long as a few rules are followed. We look forward to seeing you on the water wherever that waterway might be. Happy paddling!!
The Yoga Energy Studio The SUP Guide & Adventure Store
1010 Central Ave #102, St Pete, FL 15221 Gulf Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL
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