Paddleboarding is an epic way to socialise with your friends, make new friends and enjoy experiences together. However, it is also an awesome activity to do solo. There’s something really special about the ocean’s quietness: during an early morning SUP session at sunrise or a quick SUP during your lunch break. It’s the ideal way to relax after a long day at work or to simply spend a bit of quality me-time. But, like any activity, paddle boarding solo comes with some necessary precautions. Read on to discover our top tips and precautions for ensuring you’re safe whilst paddle boarding solo.
Notify someone of your trip
Even if you will only be paddling for a few hours, you should always let somebody know where you are going and how long you will be gone. Even if you are only planning a short paddleboarding trip it’s still important to let someone know where you are as you never know what could happen. It only takes an unexpected change of tide or a fall into a lake to leave you stranded or in danger. By letting someone know what time you’ll be back it should minimise the time of you being in danger.
Take your mobile phone
This kind of goes hand in hand with the point above. You can’t let someone know you’re safe (or not) without having your mobile phone on you!
When it comes to solo paddling, having a mobile phone with you is essential, a necessity. We recommend keeping it in one of our DryBags for added waterproof protection so that you can strap it to you at all times. If you’re looking for a perfect little big to chuck across your body then our 2-litre elite is the perfect option. If you want to also put your lunch, some water or a change of clothes in it, then opt for one of our larger drybags.
Do your research
Before heading out to your destination, researching the spot you plan on paddle boarding, its tides, and where you can board are also super important to ensuring a safe solo paddle boarding experience. You should make sure you know every bit of necessary information about the place you are going. For example, check the weather to see if it’s going to rain and learn the wind direction and tides to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality. The more information the safer you will be as well as the more enjoyable it will be for you. After all, no one wants to get caught out in an unexpected storm on the water!
We find using an app such as Windy or My Tide times is a great way to research the weather beforehand. You can read about all of our favourite apps here.
Learn essential self-rescue skills
Going paddleboarding by yourself means there might not be help available immediately if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Therefore, it’s really helpful to learn some skills that can help you when you are in such situations. For example, if you haven’t practised getting back on your paddle board after falling off, maybe you should consider practising it more before going solo. Being able to get back on the board as fast as you can is important in a lot of situations and can be the difference between a wave taking you and your board out even further, and not.
Taking a personal flotation device (PFD) with you whilst you SUP solo is also essential.
Play it safe
While you may be comfortable paddling to some epic off the beaten track spots either deep in a National Park or far offshore with a group of friends, this is not such a great idea whilst paddling solo, especially if it’s one of your first solo SUP trips and you’re not feeling super confident.
To ensure you’re feeling 100% comfortable and confident when heading out solo, stick to waterways close to the shoreline, and areas where you’re likely to see others in that area, either on the shore or also out paddle boarding.
When you’re feeling more confident in your ability and it doesn’t faze you paddling by yourself you can begin to get a bit more experimental with your destinations. However, even if you have done your research prior to paddling and have your phone and PFD with you it is still always best to be cautious.
We hope that our list of tips will make you feel more confident next time you’re opting for a solo SUP adventure and will also ensure you take the necessary precautions to keep you safe.
Our final tip? Enjoy it! Paddleboarding solo is such a great adventure. It can give you time to relax, feel at one with nature and practise your skills ready to show off to your friends next time. If you have any other tips, then we would love to hear them in the comments below.
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