As of October last year, there were 32 drownings in State Parks, several of them occurring during paddleboarding trips, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. These unfortunate occurrences place further emphasis on SUP beginners learning how to avoid common mistakes. Beyond this, it is crucial to grow your understanding of how to avoid drowning. Thankfully, there are simple tips that can help you to avoid accidents on a paddleboard holiday and enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip.
Take Note Of Difficulty Rating
Photo via Surftech.
Not all bodies of water have the same difficulty rating for paddleboarding. Verde River is only recommended for highly experienced paddle boarders and kayakers. Paying careful attention to the location of your paddleboard holiday can help reduce the risk of drowning accidents. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you paddleboard only in locations that are well-known for stable waters, such as Lake Tahoe in California during the early mornings, or Puaena Point in Oahu. It is also good to take constant note of any signs that are around the area, or to see if any lifeguards are on duty so you can use them to determine if it is safe to paddle out.
Learn How To Read Weather Conditions
Photo via Starboard / Wissanu Wisetputtasat
It isn’t just clearly bad weather conditions that increase your risk for drowning. For paddleboarders, wind plays a significant factor in safety. Too much wind can push you further from the shore and generate waves beneath you — both are common conditions in drowning incidences. So a good rule of thumb is to learn how to read weather conditions before you go paddleboarding. Teach yourself how to understand common weather symbols like the wind speed direction symbol: this will give you a more comprehensive understanding of weather reports in your area. Even if it looks like a beautiful day, if you see the wind speed is not ideal, you can avoid putting yourself in danger.
Refresh Your Swimming Skills
Photo via Bay Sports.
Knowing how to swim is a lot like learning to ride a bike: once you know how, you won’t forget it. If you don’t make it a habit to swim, however, your skills can get rusty. This is why it is important to refresh your swimming skills every now and then. Swimming regularly in different conditions like in a pool, a lake, or the sea can get your body used to how waters move in each setting. One danger that you face when you don’t swim regularly is that your muscles may no longer be familiar with the movements needed for swimming. Refreshing your swimming skills with a professional can also help remind you of safety basics like keeping calm, and what swimming style can help you get out of danger.
A paddle boarding holiday should be one filled with happy and productive memories. You can ensure that you get these by taking some time to further educate yourself on how to avoid accidents. Making it a habit ensures that not only will you be able to have a safe holiday, but you’ll be able to help look out for other paddleboard enthusiasts that you see when you go out.