Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the more popular activities taking over the water. In fact, as a water sport, it is the fastest growing in the world. Unfortunately, many people standing and paddling are so new to the activity that they aren’t aware that it requires safety precautions. Here are a few tips for anyone new to paddleboarding or anyone who needs to brush up.
One of the first things you should know is that according to the U.S. Coast Guard, a paddleboard may be considered a vessel. If you are using the board on your own pond, a lake or a river, you are good to go. If you take the board beyond the limits of a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” it is considered a vessel and subject to the same laws and restrictions.
No matter where you are paddleboarding, it makes sense to follow the same safety rules. Water is water, and you can have an incident on a shallow river as easily as on the open lake.
- Always wear a life vest and a whistle. The life jacket can prevent you from drowning, and a whistle can allow you to sound for help.
- Know how to swim. Even with a life vest, you need to know how to swim before you participate in any water sports.
- Know how to rescue yourself. There are ways that you can prevent yourself from drowning, providing you are conscious. Know how to perform these skills.
- Learn how to tow someone else on their board. If you are paddleboarding with friends or family, you will need to know how to do this in case of an emergency.
- Be a defensive operator. This is especially important if you are sharing the water with other vessels. Never assume that anyone will get out of the way for you. Be on the defensive at all times.
- Take a safety course. If you plan on making paddleboarding a regular activity, be sure to take a safety course available from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Paddleboarding is a fun sport and a fantastic workout. Like any other sport, the potential for injury and accident is always present. Follow these tips to stay as safe as possible on the water.
If you have been injured in a boating accident or any other type of incident, please contact our offices as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys are here for you. Call now for your free case evaluation.