The 10 most important things you need to know before you use your paddleboard for the first time
Cal Major and the Water Skills Academy have put together 10 really good short and focused videos that give you the very basic things you need to know before you even think about putting your paddleboard on the water.
We’ve linked to those 10 things below, and have supplemented them with other useful content and links from other providers, or blog articles we’ve written ourselves.
Where can you paddle safely?
For more about licences and where you’re allowed to paddle check out our beginners FAQs here
If you’re looking for inspiration travel destinations to paddle in, check our SUP travel guide here.
If you’re looking for places to paddle more locally, check out these maps on SUPhubUK.
And – if you’re looking for an instructor you can trust to give you good safety and technique advice, check out our map of recommended schools, instructors and providers.
2. What to wear paddleboarding
What you wear whilst stand up paddle boarding is important. There’s appropriate clothing for all types of SUP. You just have to decide what’s applicable and (literally) the best fit.
3. What to take with you when you you SUP
You’ll need a few essentials. Listen to Cal’s recommendations
4. Communication when paddling
5. When is it safe to paddle?
Does you local spot look flat, safe and calm? It’s not always as benign as you think. And the weather in the UK has a habit of changing suddenly. Check Cal’s tips, Tids advice about offshore wind, and read these articles about reading the weather!
6. Using the right leash
You know that well known campaign “Leashes save lives”?
Well it’s not always true. The wrong leashes in the wrong environment have killed people.
British canoeing technical group expert Tids has put this video together on SUP leashes, buoyancy aids and other safety issues.
Chris Kenyon one of the first standup paddlers in the UK, head honcho at the first SUP Club Central SUP, and now Chief Exec of the Academy of Surf Instructors has put together this video showing how important quick release leash belts are.
And this is a video we put together a while back.
7. Carrying and launching your SUP
Getting on the water isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Check out Cal’s tips for getting on the water
8. Paddleboard self rescue
If it does all go Pete Tong then having SUP self rescue techniques down will ensure you can get out of trouble and help others.
9. Being a responsible paddler
Nature is precious, and we can harm the environment in so many ways as a paddler.
From erosion, to noise pollution to transferring invasive species, we need to be aware of our impact.
We should always look to leave no trace when paddling, and here’s some tips how to be responsible paddler
10. Respecting wildlife and nature
Ever wanted to paddle with Bottlenose Dolphins, whales, and seals?
Marine mammals are protected, and can be dangerous. They can be very inquisitive, but the water is their environment. Keep your distance – don’t hunt them down, and feel blessed when they come to visit you.
Also, check out these useful codes.
Check out our other safety tips and hacks here:
Unifying the voice of SUP safety. P.L.O.T your paddle.
SUP safety – how do we make things better? Have your say.
SUP safety and ‘Simon’s legacy’ take a major step forwards.
The effects of wind and tide on stand up paddle boarding (a simple guide).
On 8 March 2022, McConks Chief Exec Andy McConkey attended Westminster to take part in a stand up paddle board (SUP) safety event. MP for Cheltenham,