Paddling Safety 101: Always Wear a Leash and Life Jacket

Robert S. Hays

This posting was made below a grant from the Activity Fish Restoration and Boating Have confidence in Fund, administered by the U.S. Coastline Guard.

Regardless of whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional, primary safety techniques use to any and every paddler who methods off shore. The most fundamental of individuals regulations centers on a single, vital piece of gear: Usually use a private flotation machine (PFD), if not acknowledged as a everyday living jacket. For standup paddlers, that personal flotation extends to your paddleboard, in which it is crucial to anchor oneself to your board by employing a leash.

It is tricky to overstate the required have to have for a existence jacket and leash with the uncertainties on any overall body of water. Over and above an unplanned swim that could immediately transform fatal, the legislation needs you to have 1 for every single particular person in every boat, moreover federal regulation demands all small children under 13 to put on life jackets when they’re on the water (state guidelines may also use). That consists of kayaks, canoes, and SUPs. The individuals at your area paddling store can aid you find the correct sort of USCG-accredited life jacket, and the correct type of leash, for the kind of paddling you do (in particular for whitewater standup paddlers), and the good in shape.

And if you are just one of people people today who thinks existence jackets and leashes are only for children or folks who are not sturdy swimmers, feel once more. There’s a rationale that you will hardly ever see an expert paddler without having a single. It is the 1st, most basic, and proper selection that you make prior to start. And recall: A daily life jacket and a leash only get the job done to conserve your lifestyle when you have one particular, and you have on one. Often use a PFD. Usually use a leash with your standup paddleboard.

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