Is It Safe To Go Paddle Boarding By Yourself?
Paddle boarding is more fun and safe when you do it as a group. But will you always have someone to paddleboard with you at all times? Probably not! And if you were to wait for a friend or partner to SUP with you every time, you would miss out on many good opportunities.
But is it safe to go paddleboarding alone? It is safe, but it can get dangerous for beginners, especially during rough weather.
Is It Safe To Paddle Board Alone? Vital Tips
First, if you are a beginner in paddle boarding, do not go alone! But if you have some skills, it is quite okay, with precautions.
Solo paddling should be a safe activity as long as you take the necessary precautions. Therefore, you shouldn’t deny yourself the fun of paddleboarding because you are alone.
You just need to be well prepared and take extra SUP boarding safety measures. Discover some tips that can help you when paddleboarding solo below:
Choose your location carefully
The location that you choose matters a lot when solo paddling. You can’t pick an unfamiliar spot and hope everything will go smoothly.
As long as you are alone, you shouldn’t take chances. Therefore, your best bet is to start paddle boarding in your usual location. At least you already know what to expect, and you’ll be more comfortable paddling alone.
So, as you pick the location, think about your paddling abilities. As a beginner, you’ll want to paddle in static spots. Besides, you should also avoid paddling over long distances due to exhaustion.
Check the weather conditions
Before you embark on any water sport or activity, you must confirm the weather’s suitability. Weather conditions can change anytime, and you wouldn’t want that to happen when you are at sea or ocean.
Also, don’t judge the weather based on assumptions. You must check the weather forecast before you make any calls. Check if it’s going to rain and if there will be any strong winds that can affect tides.
Always remember that the weather can affect your paddleboarding experience greatly. Therefore, avoid solo paddleboarding in bad weather, as it can endanger your life.
Learn self-rescue skills
Knowing how to escape dangerous situations is crucial if you plan to go paddleboarding. Learning self-rescue skills can come in handy when paddleboarding alone. Remember, if you fall into the water when paddle boarding, you’ll have no one to help you back onto the paddle board.
So, you must practice getting back onto the paddle board without assistance. You must learn how to do it fast, especially if you love whitewater paddle boarding.
Don’t be overconfident
Your paddling ability and experience should determine what you can and can’t do in the water. Don’t try new paddle boarding tricks, especially if you are alone. Additionally, you shouldn’t paddleboard for long distances if you are unsure about your endurance level.
You must also learn how to preserve your energy when paddleboarding. This way, you won’t run out of energy when going against the wind.
As much as you want to go paddle boarding alone, telling a friend or loved one about your trip doesn’t hurt. Let them know where you plan to paddleboard and how long you’ll be out there.
If something goes wrong, they will know where to look for you. They can also know something is wrong if you fail to return home at the expected time.
Do your research
As we mentioned earlier, you should always stick to locations you are used to. But if you want to try new rivers, seas, or oceans, do your homework.
Don’t paddleboard in a new location without doing thorough research. For instance, when you want to paddle board in the river, find out its depth, and what lies downstream. You can learn about an area by talking to forest rangers and locals or checking your Google Maps.
Paddle boarding essentials to take with you
It is important to bring all of your accessories for paddle boarding. Have a checklist and throw everything in the bag before you head out. Some essentials you should bring include:
First aid kit – Packing a first aid kit can help you in case you sustain minor injuries during your paddleboarding escapades. Your kit should have band-aids, bandages, antiseptic, and painkillers. Ensure you also pack a Mylar or space blanket to keep you warm during emergencies.
Water – A bottle of water can help you stay hydrated during hot months. You can also pack other cold or warm beverages, depending on the weather.
Phone – Carry a fully-charged phone to help you contact police or friends in emergencies. Alternatively, you can pack an emergency satellite phone.
Map – You must also have a map of the area you wish to explore. The map can help you in case you get lost.
A personal flotation device – PFDs are crucial during emergencies. As long as you have a life jacket or vest, you don’t have to fret about drowning in case you fall off your paddle board. If you find a regular life jacket bulky, the characteristics of a type 3 life jacket make it best for stand up paddle boarding.
These essentials should make your paddleboarding adventures fun and safe. You can also pack some snacks to give you the needed energy for paddling.
What are the downsides of paddleboarding alone?
Paddle boarding alone is a lot of fun when you want some solo time. However, solo SUPing has its downsides. For starters, you can easily drown if your inflatable paddleboard gets punctured.
Remember, you won’t have anyone to get you to shore if your paddleboard deflates or gets bitten off by a shark.
Paddleboarding with a friend means you’ll have someone to help you in case of difficulties and emergencies. Besides, you’ll have someone to share lovely moments with and to take your pictures if you brought a waterproof underwater camera with you.
Is It Safe to Go Paddleboarding Alone For Beginners?
Beginners should never paddleboard alone, no matter how confident they feel. Beginners must be in the company of experts and friends until they ace their paddleboarding skills.
Therefore, don’t make the mistake of going paddle boarding solo when you are a learner. Things can go wrong fast, and you might not return from your solo paddleboarding trip.
Listen to your body. For instance, if you feel too exhausted when paddle boarding, it is time to get out of the water.
If you experience legs shaking when paddle boarding, get out of the water. Do the same if you feel too hungry because you can get dizzy. Remember, stand up paddle boarding is an energy-intensive exercise, so it saps your strength fast.
Wrapping it up
Paddleboarding alone is entirely safe for experts. But still, you’ll need to observe the safety measures we’ve discussed here, to avoid trouble.
On the other hand, beginners shouldn’t attempt to paddleboard alone until they gain experience and improve their stand-up paddleboarding skills.
Finally, do not ever lose sight of the shore or go beyond the areas designated for bathing, swimming, or surfing when you are alone. As you get further away from the shore, the currents become stronger.