Not all of us have oodles of time to paddle. In fact, with the nation being encouraged back to work post-COVID lockdown, time may be in short supply full stop. Yet you still want to make use of your spangly new SUP toy whenever you can. Particularly as we’re not quite done with summer yet and we’re sure there’ll be a return to sun soon.
Splash ‘n’ dashing has long been a thing with strapped for time watersports nuts. We know a few riders who practise multiple disciplines who have to use this method to score floats during busy periods. McConks asked what their top tips for splash ‘n’ dash stand up paddle boarding sessions are.
Keep it inflated (if it’s an iSUP)
This is perhaps rather obvious but if you’re the owner of an inflatable stand up paddle board then keep it inflated. Most good air boards will cope with this so have no fear. Then there’s no faffing about trying to blow it up when you have a small window. Chuck it on the roof or in the van and off you go.
Have all your kit in one place
Keep your paddling gear in one place. Make sure your paddle, board, leash, fin and wet gear is all in the same space ready to go at a moment’s notice. There’s nothing worse than trying to locate your wetsuit, for instance, when you’re aiming to get a move on. For additional speed keep your fins locked in and your leash attached.
If you’ve suddenly an hour to SUP now’s not the time for swanning off on long winded paddle missions. Get to your put in quick smart, get wet, then get gone. You may have aspirations of coastal paddling but if that’s not doable stick to the canal.
Upon arrival at your chosen paddling location it’s time to lock and load, quick smart. Grab your gear, suit up and off you go. Dithering about on the bank, umming and ahhing whether to get in not wastes time. You’ve got the opportunity so make the most of it.
Have a plan (in your head at least)
Knowing a SUP spot (well) is key. Having recce’d the area previously you should have a good idea of how far you can paddle before having to turn around and come back. Or, if it’s a circular route, you’ll be aware of how long it takes. Having a loose plan will see you maximise your session.
Don’t be tempted off your chosen path
Whilst knowing the layout of your area is important splash ‘n’ dash sessions aren’t the ones for checking out new routes – save that for another day when you have more time.
Know the weather
If weather can make or break your time afloat then know, understand and be able to interpret what forecast information means for your window of paddling opportunity. When Mother Nature’s being a pain look at alternatives or in some cases abort altogether. Better to sit it out with unfavourable conditions in the mix, top up brownie points and live to SUP another day…
What are your top tips for splashing ‘n’ dashing?