Stand up paddle boarding
Understand the risks and paddle safely
The light, buoyant design of a paddle board means that in an offshore breeze, you can quickly find yourself a long way from the shore and it can be extremely difficult to get back.
Paddle boards are not usually used with a leash; getting separated from your board can be a danger to you.
Taking some simple steps to stay safe will reduce your chances of getting into trouble and help you get the most out of the sport you love.
Simple checks for safe paddle boarding
- Always tell somewhere where you're going and when you'll be back. Don't leave the house without a mobile phone or communication device.
- Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out - they can change quickly.
- Avoid offshore winds.
- Always go with a friend.
- Wear a suitable personal flotation device.
- Wear suitable clothing for time of year.
- Always wear your leash and hold onto your board if you get into trouble - it will help you float.
- Always make sure you launch and recover between the black and white chequered flags. Consider other water users by learning the rights of way in the surf. This can save you and others getting injured.
- Get the appropriate level of training.
Keeping you safe
Here are ways we’re working to help you get the most out of stand up paddle boarding and keep you as safe as possible while enjoying your sport.
- Raising awareness
We’re talking to paddle boarders to raise awareness of the risks out on the water, no matter how calm the tides may seem.
- Working in partnership
We’re also working with BSUPA (British Stand Up Paddle Association) to ensure we’re giving you and your family the best paddle boarding safety advice.
SUP safety: Useful links and resources
Figures taken from:
- The National Water Safety Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID UK) 2011-2015.
- RNLI lifeboat return of service data UK and Ireland 2015.
- RNLI lifeguard incident data, UK only, 2015.
Don’t be a statistic
32 lifeboat launches to paddle boarders in 2015
50 paddle boarding incidents were attended by lifeguards in 2015