Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stand Up Paddling, Safely!

With summer in full swing, we thought we would talk a little about water safety.  One activity that is growing in popularity, but is pretty new to OBC is Stand Up Paddle (SUP).  Given the popularity of the sport, we thought we would invite guest blogger, Lindsey Jeremiah, from BOATSmart! (http://www.boatsmartexam.com) to give their expertise on the subject.  Here is what Lindsey had to say:

BOATsmart! Canada is a Boating Safety Course Provider, but we are also a team of outdoor enthusiasts and we love to go boating! Whether motorized or paddle-powered, we think about boating all day long and look forward to getting out on the water every chance we get. Given the nature of our industry, we couldn’t help but notice that there has been a significant increase in people’s interest in paddle sports lately. The stats tell us that more people are buying paddle boats than ever before, when driving past lakes you can see people out there on their paddling, and on any given weekend you’ll likely notice that there are as many if not more canoes tied to the roof of highway vehicles as there are boat trailers being towed!

The really hot paddle sport right now is Stand Up Paddling (SUP). The SUP phenomenon has been sweeping across North America this year in a big way. This awesome sport is catching like wildfire with outdoor enthusiasts and we are pretty excited about it! It’s environmentally-friendly, it’s an inexpensive sport to get into, it’s remarkably easy to learn and it’s an excellent way to get outside and to get in shape! As boaters, we see the value in an accessible water sport like this one–but as a boating safety company, we can also see the safety risks. Here’s a list of ways you can ensure your safety when you or your family take up Stand Up Paddling:
  • Wear your PFD or life-jacket at all times
  • Never go paddling alone– always travel in pairs in case you need assistance on the water
  • Leave a trail: Let a responsible person onshore know where you are going, who you are paddling with and when you plan on returning from your trip
  • Evaluate your paddling environment conditions: wind, waves, weather, water
  • Practice before you go out–practice SUP techniques on land before heading into deep waters and know how to get back on the board before taking your first fall!
  • Never consume alcohol before you go or during a paddling trip
  • Take a boating safety course to better understand emergency preparedness and response techniques
BOATsmart! asks that you be a smart boater on the water. Get your boat license, take a BOATsmart! Boating Safety Course and be confident when on the water. If you are always aware of the effect your boat has on other paddle boats, swimmers and the shoreline than you’ll make the waterways a safe and enjoyable place for paddlers to spend their time! Now that you’ve thought about ways to stay safe on the water, get outside and try SUP boarding this summer!

Thanks Lindsey for the great advise!

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