SAN DIEGO, California - There’s a huge debate going on in the SUP world about whether or not paddlers should wear a leash and/or a PFD. One or the other? Both? There really is no debate here though (in our eyes) as paddlers should definitely be wearing a leash, always. PFD’s definitely have their place as well, and should be worn at all times except in special circumstances like when you’re in the surf zone. But even then, a leash should most always be worn in any circumstance.
The video above showcases the perfect example of why paddle boarders must always wear a leash, especially during a downwinder. The video shows just how fast your board can get away from you and leave you stranded out in the middle of the ocean with nothing to keep you afloat. (Which is also why a PFD is necessary to wear, not just have on board.) The incident we are referring to begins around the 4:40 mark. Have a look.
Don’t let your ego get in the way and the fear of not looking “cool” overshadow your need for safety. You never know what situation you might get into where you’ll be glad you took the proper safety measures. Too many lives have been taken recently and in years past that could have been prevented had the paddlers been wearing a leash with their board. Remember, leashes save lives!
What are your thoughts on the leashes/pfd situation? Should leashes and pfd’s always be required? One or the other? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!