Your cart

Your cart is empty

Not sure where to start?
Try these SportPort Active collections:

Stay Safe While Paddle Boarding: Essential Tips for Active Women

Stay Safe While Paddle Boarding: Essential Tips for Active Women

As the popularity of paddle boarding increases, so do the number of accidents and fatalities. At SportPort Active, we’re dedicated to helping you stay safe on the water. In this second part of our blog, we'll provide you with detailed tips on how to paddle board safely and offer insights into the rise of paddle board fatalities. Let's dive in!

Rise in Paddle Board Fatalities

Despite its many benefits, paddle boarding has seen a rise in fatalities in recent years. According to the Water Sports Foundation, the surge in paddle sports participants during the pandemic led to an increase in accidents, with a record number of 202 fatalities in 2020 alone. Lack of safety training and experience were significant contributing factors, with nearly three-quarters of those who died having less than 100 hours of experience on the water​.

Data shows most accidents happen in flatwater due to falling overboard or capsizing. Untrained paddlers usually don’t know how to get back in once they’ve fallen out, most likely not wearing a life jacket, and aren’t prepared for cold water exposure. It’s imperative that more paddle craft purchasers take advantage of the many free and inexpensive safety education resources available to them.

Paddle Board Safety Tips 

  • Wear a Life Jacket: Always wear a properly fitted life jacket. The U.S. Coast Guard data shows that 85% of drowning victims in paddle sports were not wearing a life jacket. A life jacket can save your life by keeping you afloat and making you more visible to rescuers. Choose a life jacket that is comfortable and doesn’t restrict your movement, and make sure it is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. 
  • Get Safety Training: Take a recognized paddle safety course to learn the basics about navigation rules, risk management, and essential safety gear. Resources like the American Canoe Association and the Water Sports Foundation offer valuable training programs. These courses teach you how to handle emergencies, understand weather conditions, and navigate safely. Knowledge and preparedness are key to preventing accidents. 
  • Be Prepared for Water Exposure: Dress appropriately for the conditions, including the possibility of cold-water exposure. Wet suits or dry suits can provide insulation in colder waters. Even in warm weather, water temperatures can be much lower, posing a risk of hypothermia. Wear layers that can be adjusted based on the water temperature, and always be prepared to get wet. 
  • Check Weather Conditions: Always check the weather forecast and water conditions before heading out. Avoid paddling in conditions that exceed your experience and skill level. Wind, waves, and currents can change rapidly, making paddling difficult and dangerous. Use weather apps and local resources to stay informed, and if conditions are uncertain, it’s best to stay ashore. 
  • File a Float Plan: Share your paddling plans with friends or family, including your expected departure and return times and locations. This helps ensure that someone will know if you don’t return on time. A float plan includes details of your route, the names of your paddling companions, and the expected duration of your trip. This information is crucial for rescuers in case of an emergency. 
  • Paddle Sober: Avoid alcohol while paddling. Alcohol impairs judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents. Safe paddling requires clear thinking and good decision-making. Drinking alcohol before or during paddling can lead to risky behavior and slower reaction times, which are dangerous on the water. 
  • Do An Equipment Check: Always check your gear before heading out. Be sure that your vessel is in sound condition and free from leaks and damage that could pose a risk. Make sure that your life jacket is in good working order, fits you properly, and is comfortable. Check that your phone is charged and ensure that any other safety gear or paddling equipment is ready for use. 

Paddle boarding is not only a fantastic way to stay active and enjoy nature but also offers numerous health benefits and opportunities for adventure. As you embark on your paddle boarding journey, remember that safety should always be your top priority. By choosing the right board, wearing a life jacket, getting proper safety training, and staying informed about weather conditions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. 

We hope this two-part blog series has provided you with valuable insights and tips to make the most of your paddle boarding adventures. At SportPort Active, we're committed to supporting your active lifestyle with high-quality activewear designed for comfort, style, and performance. 

Explore our Apex Collection for the perfect gear to complement your paddle boarding experience. Stay active, stay stylish, and enjoy every moment on the water with confidence. Happy paddling!

Helpful Paddle Board Resources:

Paddling Magazine

Boating Industry

Green Water Sports/Top Stand-up Paddleboard Laws

Previous post
Next post