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Blog part 1 of 3 - SUP Safety BY SIAN HUGHES (Founder & Owner of Poole Bay Physiotherapy)

SUP Safety

BY SIAN HUGHES (Founder & Owner of Poole Bay Physiotherapy) 
Instagram & Facebook: @poolebayphysio

With the new craze of paddle boarding taking off since lockdown here are my top tips for staying safe and enjoying your days out on the water.

1. Check your equipment before each session - make sure it's intact and sea worthy. If you have an inflatable board check the seals for leaks. Make sure your leash isn’t rusty or holding on by a thread so if you do fall in you can pull your board back and get on to it safely.

2. All the gear- wearing shorts and t-shirt is not appropriate for potential submersion in colder months. You could be at risk of cold water shock so make sure you wear layers and consider getting boots and gloves to protect extremities. A waterproof bag and phone case can be handy for taking photos and if you need to contact someone in an emergency.

3. Get a buddy - ideally go out on the water with someone and let someone on land know when and where you are going out and when to anticipate your return.

4. Wear eye and sun protection- even in winter you’re at risk of uva and uvb rays which can affect eyesight and contribute to skin cancers. The reflection from the sea will maximise your exposure so wear a hat, sunglasses and sun cream.

5. Educate yourself on the local sea conditions – think about the tide times, wind direction, currents. These can be deceptive and extremely dangerous without experience so speak to local lifeguards or surf schools about the best locations for your paddle. Even better go out with a SUP group or try a course at The SUP Store/The SUP School

* If in doubt don’t go out *

If you or anyone else is in distress at the coast or on the water call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Download the app ‘What3Words’ which helps emergency services to identify your location even without a phone signal.
By Sian Hughes
Physiotherapist, Beach Lifeguard, Surf Coach, Marine Sports Degree