April 16, 2015
Standup paddleboarding only requires a board and a paddle, right?
Well, not really. Before you shove off from shore, make sure you have these safety items and stop to consider these other take-alongs.
If you are paddling outside of a swimming, surfing or bathing area, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires Paddleboarders to have these items:
– a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) within reach;
– a sound-producing device, such as a whistle or horn, that can be heard for one-half of a nautical mile;
– if paddling in low-light conditions, a flashlight that produces white light.
Leash: An important and highly recommended safety feature, a leash connects you to the board. In the event of a fall, the leash around your ankle prevents the board from being carried away by a wave, the wind or the current.
Dry storage: Many paddlers like having a watertight bag or box on board to carry items such as your phone, camera, lunch and car keys.
Cooler: Much like dry storage, a cooler is another convenience item that can serve the paddler well. Aside from keeping drinks and food cool on a hot day, coolers can serve as a seat for taking a break.
Tie-downs: Having tie-down points, bungee and/or a gear net allows you to secure that PFD and dry bag to the deck of the SUP.
Anchor: Some paddlers want to take a break to sunbath, fish, eat or do yoga in one spot. So rather than drifting with the current or wind, they drop a light anchor and line to hold their position.
Water shoes: Some paddlers like to wear them all the time. Others like to paddle barefoot but want to explore the shallows or a shoreline later. Water shoes protect your feet from those oyster bars that can be found throughout the Tampa Bay region.
Carabiner: These simple devices are a good way to secure a PFD while also making it readily accessible. Carabiners also make good connection points for anchor lines or clipping on a pair of water shoes.
Roof racks, locking devices and straps get your board to and from the water and protect it from theft. Look for a future blog post detailing the equipment options.