Like most sports or adventures you decide to embark on, you should always have a plan. For just a few minutes, lets take a look a few ways you can prepare and be safe the next time you go out on the water. The investment to join the paddle board fun is relatively small and its extremely easy by stopping by most sporting goods stores. Heading out on the water without some basic knowledge and plan can spoil the fun.
Know The Conditions
Predicting the weather in Florida can be quick tricky, ask any weatherman. Before you head out check the weather forecast, water temperature along with windspeed and direction. There are lots of apps you can download on your phone that will help you with updates, even while paddle boarding. Knowing the weather can help you to plan your route making sure the hardest or most difficult part of your journey is completed first, not when your tired at the end of the day.
File a Float Plan
Someone should know where you are heading and when you anticipate you will return. This way should you encounter a problem and you are unable to call family or friends, they can start looking for you if you don’t return by a certain time. They also need to know where to look as well, so you need to leave clear direction on your route. Should there be a problem, providing this information will help search efforts in locating you as quickly as possible.
There is one piece of gear that you need to make sure you are using at all times, the leash. Sometimes water can be moving quickly, or wind could blow your board away from you at a faster rate than you can swim. If you get separated from your board you better have the second most important safety gear on, your life vest. If you are the type of person that secures your personal flotation device to your board, you certainly don’t want them both to float away from you. Please always keep your leash on and if possible choose a vest type flotation device. These tend to keep your head above the water better then inflatable PFD and they can provide a little warmth if you have been in the water for a while.
Next time you are heading out to your favorite spot, take a minute and plan ahead as it can help you avoid problems and get the quick help you need should you run into problems on your next paddle. We look forward to seeing you on the water!