Inflatable Paddle Boards Are Dangerous
The case against inflatable paddle boards continues to build. For the third time in 2022, a federal government consumer protection agency has issued a recall for inflatable paddle boards.
On December 29th, 2022, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for Body Glove and ULI inflatable paddle boards sold at Costco due to Risk of Drowning.
This recall continues to add evidence to the case that inflatable paddle boards are dangerous. In July and August of 2022, the UK Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standard issued two recalls for inflatable paddle boards.
The commonality for all three recalls is the seams. The seams of inflatable paddle boards can suddenly separate, causing it to deflate rapidly. This is a drowning hazard.
WHY INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARDS ARE DANGEROUS
Inflatable paddle boards are held together by glue. Yes, you read that correctly… GLUE.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a $300 or $1800 SUP, glue is what holds every inflatable paddle board together. If the glue gives out and a seam splits, what was once a solid surface, may quickly deflate and become as supportive and buoyant as a plastic garbage bag in the water.
That’s what makes inflatable paddle boards dangerous. There is always a chance that the seams may split at any time. It might not be a big deal if the paddler is close to shore. However, it doesn’t take long to paddle further from shore than swimming to safety would allow.
The simple fact of the matter is that paddlers of inflatables place their faith in GLUE. If the paddler is to far from shore when the seams split and the inflatable sinks unexpectantly, she is at risk of drowning.
The risk of drowning by having your board suddenly deflate simply does not exist with hard paddle boards. Hard paddle boards are not held together by glue and don’t need to be inflated with air to remain buoyant. Concerns about seams splitting and the board rapidly sinking to the bottom don’t exist. Hard boards have a foam core that will always provide buoyancy to the paddler. Even if a hard board split in half, it would provide assistance and buoyancy to the paddler as she makes her way to shore.
Paddle boarding is a great sport. It builds muscle and is excellent for improving balance and cardio vascular strength. As a watersport, it is also inherently dangerous. For safety, paddlers must wear a leash to stay connected to the board at all times. A PFD is a must for those who aren’t strong swimmers. After these recalls, a new aspect of paddle board safety is to stay away from inflatable SUPs.
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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