Alongside stand up paddling wild (or open water) swimming has seen huge uptake. In some areas wild swimming has been more popular than SUP, which is understandable being as you don’t need any gear for swimming. All that’s required is a stretch of legally accessible water, some gear for swimming, and away you go.
If you’re a keen paddler and wild swimmer then one thing you could do is combine both. Using your SUP to access those out of the way wild swimming spots makes perfect sense – the synergy’s tangible. You’d need to keep some safety points in mind, however, which is why we asked one of McConks’ friends – Skip from The SHAC, who does plenty of wild swimming – to give us his top tips. Over to Skip…
- Always swim (and paddle) with a swim buddy in new locations.
- Know and understand where entry and exit points are.
- Swim and paddle within your limits. Every swim can be different, subject to weather conditions, your physical preparedness and so on.
- Be clear on your pre and post swim procedures. Have them defined before you head off and stick to them.
- Always be prepared with the next thing that aids a recovery in your kit bag. This should be stowed aboard your SUP in a waterporoof carry all.
- Always tell a third party where you are going and when you expect to return.
We should add that you’ll need to adequately tether your stand up paddle board and paddle whilst you swim. You don’t want your transportation floating off – especially if you’re not close to your launch point. A means of communication, such as mobile phone in a waterproof pouch, should also be kept within easy reach.
Wild swimming and stand up paddle boarding are two of the simplest activities with which to enjoy the outdoors. Keep things sensible and there’s no reason not to enjoy both together.
You can find more articles, knowledge pieces, tips and tricks over at the McConks Knowledge hub page –