Standup paddleboarding (also known as SUP) is a popular activity. However, it’s important to be prepared before you hit the water. Read on for some top tips to keep you safe on your SUP.
Wind is a major risk for standup paddleboarders. While you may be setting off in smooth waters, offshore winds can create breaking waves within 500m of the shore, meaning you may end up in choppy seas faster than you think.
Top safety tips for standup paddleboards:
Level 50 or Level 50S lifejackets are required to be worn on standup paddleboards when greater than 400m from the shore. However, we recommend wearing a lifejacket whenever you’re on your SUP on the water.
Wear a leg leash
It is highly recommended that you wear a leg leash at all times on a SUP. This provides an essential link between you and your board if you fall off.
Carry waterproof communication devices
Even on a standup paddleboard, it’s important to always carry a communication device so you can call for help if you find yourself in trouble. This could be as simple as a phone in a waterproof pouch.
Check the weather before you go
Avoid paddling in offshore winds and use the Bureau of Meteorology MetEye to check wind strengths and directions in your location. Conditions can change quickly and standup paddleboards are more likely to be affected by offshore winds and can easily be blown out into deeper water.
Be aware: inflatable boards are harder to paddle in a breeze. If you are not wearing a leash, your board may ‘windmill’ away from you.