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11 Tips – Safety first when you stand up paddle board

Wall lifejacket on a SUP by USCGRight after having fun, health and wellbeing of paddle boarders is our number 1 priority! Wait… Close enough. With the Easter break just days away and summer around the next corner it is important to ensure that when you are out having fun paddle boarding, you are doing so safely and within the rules.

We covered the precedent set by the United States Coast Guard paddle boarding safety rules in an earlier article, but we wanted to a) follow up with some more information and b) reiterate the importance of being safe on the water.

Many countries around the world have followed USCG’s lead with their own rules, but many haven’t. For those we recommend you still ride by the same rules even if there are none or aren’t enforced in your area. We have also come to note that several governing bodies in various states have their own rules but take guidance from the USCG. It is up to you to check on your local rules but the USCG have set a pretty good foundation for all to follow.

From the USCG blog, we have these tips (which are very similar to our list for beginners, as seen here):

  1. Wear a lifejacket and carry a whistle
  2. Be a competent swimmer
  3. Know how to self rescue
  4. Know how to tow another paddle board
  5. Know the local regulations and navigation rules
  6. Understand the elements and hazards – winds, tidal ranges, current, terrain
  7. Know when to wear a leash
  8. Be defensive – don’t go where you aren’t supposed to be and avoid other swimmers, boaters, paddleboards
  9. Use proper blade angle to be the most efficient paddle boarder
  10. Take a safety course
  11. And we have added: Ask questions!

For more info directly from the USCG official blog: see their article about the top 10 safety tips for all paddle boarders. You can also see our top 10 tips for SUP beginners and all paddle boarders too.


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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.