Is paddle boarding dangerous? The short answer is NO, paddle boarding is not dangerous. However, being a watersport, some safety precautions should be taken to prevent trouble on the water.
Before we get into the precautions people should take to keep paddle boarding safe, let’s examine why stand up paddle boarding is not dangerous.
PADDLE BOARDS FLOAT
Unlike surf boards which needs the water’s power to create lift, a paddle board will fully support a rider’s weight while simply floating on the water. You can lay on the board above the waterline for a long time if you become tired or fatigued.
PADDLE BOARDS ARE BIG
The typical paddle board is at least ten 10’6” long and 32” wide. For the vast majority of people, they can lay or sit on the board without touching the water. Unlike smaller surf boards, paddle boards are so large that they will not get mistaken as seals by sharks and it’s unlikely a shark will take a chomp out of a SUP and its rider in error.
Any paddle board brand of reasonable quality will have a leash attachment installed at the back of the board. Attach yourself to the board by the leash, and no matter the water conditions, you will always be next to your board and the safety it brings.
PADDLE BOARDING BEST PRACTICES
As a paddle boarder with more than 15 years experience, I am very comfortable on the water. However, I know that not all people feel the same as me. So, I will tell you what I’ve told hundreds of paddle boarding students that I have taught over the years. Respect the water, follow these best practices and you will be fine.
Coming from Mexico, I’ve paddle in many different environments. I have paddled just off shore like a typical tourist. I paddle surf, and I also paddle board on the open ocean. Many times, I’ve left the beach in front of tourists only to return three hours later to hear from the tourists that they thought I was dead after I disappeared over the horizon. Nope. I wasn’t dead. Rather, I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the open ocean. Nothing but me, the dolphins and sea turtles. I have never felt in danger paddle boarding. Just respect the water and have fun!
The Wappa Blog
Written by Wappa's founder Layne Pennell, the blog's aim is to educate and share his love of stand up paddle boarding with anyone interested in SUP.
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