Think you’re a pro at paddle boarding? Maybe you should think again. Despite how easy it looks to stand up and glide across the water on a paddle board, some inherent risks come with the sport.
Learn more about the dangers of paddle boarding and find out why it’s still worth taking on these risks for the rewards.
What makes paddle boarding risky?
Paddle boarding is a relatively new water sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. While it is generally considered to be a safe activity, there are certain risks associated with paddle boarding that should be taken into consideration.
- For example, paddle boarding requires a certain level of fitness and coordination, and as such, people who are not physically fit or who have balance problems may find it difficult to stay on their board.
- In addition, paddle boarding in shallow waters or areas with debris or rocks can be dangerous, as users can easily lose their balance and fall off their board.
- Finally, users should always wear life jackets and take other safety precautions when paddling in open water, as there is always the risk of losing sight of land or being caught in strong currents.
When paddle boarding dangerous?
There is no doubt that paddle boarding comes with some risks, but that doesn’t mean that the activity is not worth taking on. Many people find the challenge and excitement of paddle boarding to be well worth the risks.
Paddleboarding can be dangerous when it is not done in a safe environment or when users do not take proper safety precautions, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Paddleboarding can be dangerous:
In case you don’t wear a life jacket
Wearing a life jacket while participating in water sports is the most important rule to follow. This rule applies to well-seasoned paddle boarders and amateurs alike. Life jackets may be slightly uncomfortable, but they are the best preventative measure to take to protect oneself while on the water.
Without a life jacket, paddle boarding can be extremely dangerous. In the event of an accident, a life jacket will keep you afloat and help you to stay strong until help arrives.
Wearing a life jacket is easy and could save your life so always remember to put one on before heading out onto the water.
You picked the wrong weather conditions
As any seasoned paddle boarder knows, picking the right weather conditions is key to a safe and enjoyable experience. Paddleboarding in strong winds can be dangerous, as wind gusts can quickly push a board and its rider off course.
Similarly, waves can make paddling difficult and unstable, and large waves can pose a serious threat to beginners and experts alike. In addition, paddle boarding in cold water can be harmful to the body, as exposure to cold water can lead to hypothermia.
For these reasons, it is important to choose calm weather conditions and warm water when paddle boarding. By doing so, you can help to reduce the risks associated with this popular activity.
Your SUP boarding equipment doesn’t fit you
Paddleboarding can be risky if your SUP boarding equipment doesn’t fit you. If the board is too big or too small, it can be difficult to control. Likewise, if the paddle is too long or too short, it can be difficult to maneuver.
In addition, paddle boarding can be dangerous if you’re not wearing proper safety gear. A life jacket is essential in case you fall into the water, and a helmet can protect you from head injuries.
Finally, paddle boarding can be hazardous if you’re not familiar with the local conditions. Before heading out, be sure to check the weather forecast and tides. And always paddle with a partner so that someone can call for help if you get into trouble.
You hold a paddle in a wrong way
Although paddle boarding looks quite serene, it can be quite dangerous if you don’t hold the paddle correctly. Many people make the mistake of holding the paddle too close to the board, which makes it difficult to steer.
Furthermore, if you’re not careful, the paddle can easily get caught in waves or other obstacles, which can throw you off balance and lead to a fall.
Moreover, because you’re standing on a board that’s just a few inches above the water, there’s a risk of being hit by waves or other objects in the water.
As a result, it’s important to be aware of these risks before heading out onto the water.
You can’t swim
Paddleboarding can be dangerous if you can’t swim. If you fall into the water, you may have difficulty getting back to the board or shore.
Furthermore, if you’re not a strong swimmer, you may tire quickly and be at risk of drowning.
For these reasons, it’s important to know your swimming ability before heading out onto the water. If you’re not a strong swimmer, consider taking a swimming lesson or two before going paddle boarding.
Similarly, if you’re not comfortable being in the water, it’s best to stick to shore activities.
Paddleboarding can be dangerous if you’re paddleboarding solo. If you fall into the water, there’s no one there to help you back to the board or to shore.
Furthermore, if you get lost, there’s no one to call for help.
For these reasons, it’s important to paddle with a partner when possible.
If you must paddle solo, be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. In addition, bring a cell phone or other form of communication in case of an emergency.
Paddling in shallow waters as a beginner
One of the biggest dangers is paddling in shallow water. When the board hits the bottom, it can send the rider flying into the air, which can result in serious injuries. In addition, paddling in windy conditions can be dangerous, as strong gusts can easily topple an inexperienced rider.
For these reasons, it’s important to paddle in deeper water and avoid windy conditions when possible. If you’re a beginner, consider taking a lesson from an experienced instructor before heading out on your own.
Is it dangerous to paddleboard in a river?
The thrill of river boarding is similar to that experienced on open water. However, there are several hazards present in rivers such as strong currents and debris which make them more challenging than their ocean or lake counterparts.
For this reason, it is important to be aware of the dangers before heading out onto the river. Strong currents can quickly sweep a paddle boarder away from shore, and hidden obstacles can cause serious injury.
Debris can also clog the paddles, making it difficult to move through the water. However, by wearing a life jacket and staying close to shore, paddle boarders can enjoy a safe and fun experience on the river.
Are inflatable paddle boards safe in the ocean?
In general, they are but it’s best to have some sort of surfing experience before you try it out on an inflatable SUP. You won’t be able to ride the waves the same way that surfers do but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to get the hang of it.
Just be sure to be cautious and listen to your body – if you start to feel fatigued, take a break. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards in the water. If you’re paddling in an area with rocks or coral, for example, it’s best to wear a rash guard or wetsuit to protect yourself from cuts and scrapes.
With a bit of care and common sense, you can enjoy a safe and fun surfing experience on an inflatable paddle board.
Do sharks go after paddle boards?
There have been a few attacks on paddleboarders in recent years, but luckily, they have all been non-fatal. In most cases, the sharks were going after fish that were attracted to the paddlers, and the paddlers just happened to be in the way.
However, there have been a few instances where it is believed that the sharks were specifically targeting the paddle boarders. In one case, a paddle boarder was bitten on the leg by a great white shark, and in another case, a paddle boarder was killed by a tiger shark.
While these incidents are rare, they do underscore the fact that sharks can be dangerous predators. Paddle boarders should always be aware of their surroundings and take steps to avoid attracting sharks.
How do people drown on paddle boards?
There are two main ways that people drown while paddle boarding.
- The first is simply falling off the board and not being able to get back on. Even the best swimmers can find themselves in trouble if they can’t manage to get back on their board.
- The second way is more complicated and involves hitting your head on something, like a rock, and going unconscious. Once you’re unconscious, you’ll just sink to the bottom and drown.
So, even if you’re an expert swimmer, it’s important to be careful while paddle boarding and always wear a life jacket.
Is the paddle board safe in the low tide?
Paddleboarding during a slack tide is one of the best times to get out on the water. The lack of water movement makes it easy to balance on the SUP, and the calm conditions are perfect for exploring.
However, it is important to be aware of the hazards that can occur during a slack tide. When the tide is low, submerged rocks and reefs become exposed, which can pose a serious risk for paddle boarders. It is also important to be aware of the strength of the currents during a slack tide.
Even though there may not be much water movement, the currents can still be strong enough to carry paddleboarders away from shore. For these reasons, it is always important to paddle with caution during a slack tide.
Should I wear a life jacket when paddle boarding?
There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to wear a life jacket while paddle boarding.
- If you’re new to the sport of paddling in unfamiliar waters, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and wear a life jacket.
- Likewise, if the conditions are rough or the water is cold, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a life jacket for additional protection.
- However, if you’re an experienced paddle boarder in calm waters, you may not need to wear a life jacket.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to assess the risks and decide whether or not wearing a life jacket is right for your particular situation.
Is it dangerous to paddle board alone?
Paddleboarding alone can be dangerous, but it’s not necessarily any more dangerous than paddling with someone else.
The main thing to consider when paddle boarding alone is your ability to get back to shore if you fall off the board.
If you’re in an area with strong currents or high waves, it may be best to paddle with a partner so that someone can go for help if you need it.
Likewise, if you’re not a strong swimmer, or you’re not comfortable being in the water by yourself, it’s best to paddle with someone else.
However, if you are a strong swimmer and you’re comfortable in the water, there’s no reason you can’t paddle board alone. Just be sure to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
Can you paddle board in shallow water?
It’s important to know the limitations of your paddle board and how shallow water can affect it. When you’re out in the open ocean or on a large lake, there’s usually plenty of room to navigate without running into too many obstacles.
However, when you’re in a more confined area like a river or smaller lake, things can get a lot trickier. Paddleboarding in shallow water can lead to damage caused by your board scraping against what lies beneath – rocks, sand, or other debris.
So before you take your board out for a spin, be sure to check the depth and make sure no hidden dangers are lurking below the surface.
Do alligators bother paddle boarders?
It’s a valid question, given that alligators are large, powerful predators. However, the answer is no; alligators generally do not bother paddle boarders. There have been very few reports of alligator attacks on humans in Florida, where most of the United States’ alligator population is located. There are several reasons for this.
- First of all, alligators are shy by nature and tend to avoid contact with humans whenever possible.
- Secondly, alligators are opportunistic eaters and prefer to hunt for food that is easy to catch and kill. Stand-up paddle boarders are neither easy to catch nor easy to kill, so they are not a typical target for an alligator.
- Finally, alligators are more active at night, while most paddle boarders are out during the day.
For these reasons, it is very unlikely that an alligator will bother a paddle boarder.
Is it easy to fall off a paddle board?
While it may seem easy to fall off a paddle board, several factors can make it more difficult than you might think.
- First of all, a filled board is quite rigid, so landing on your board or paddle is going to hurt more than simply falling in the water.
- Additionally, since you’re wearing a leash and most SUP paddles are designed to float, there’s no chance of losing your gear if you do fall off.
- Finally, the fact that you’re standing up on the board makes it more difficult to regain your balance once you start to fall.
So while falling off a paddle board may not be as easy as it looks, there are certainly some things that can make it more challenging than you might expect.
Is it safe to paddle board at night?
For the most part, yes, it is safe to paddle board at night – as long as you follow some simple safety guidelines.
- First and foremost, always stick to paddling in calm waters – rivers, lakes, and bays are ideal. And, if possible, try to stay near ambient city lights or under the glow of a bright moon. This will help you maintain visibility and awareness of your surroundings.
- Secondly, avoid venturing out into the ocean or anywhere else with limited visibility. Not being able to see puts you at a greater risk for collision with other paddle boarders, swimmers, or boats.
- Finally, be sure to steer clear of bodies of water with a lot of boat traffic. Even if you’re an experienced paddleboarder, it’s always best to play it safe and stay in areas where there is less activity.
By following these simple tips, you can safely enjoy paddle boarding at night.
Last updated on July 10, 2022 by Duncan Barrett