Stand Up Paddling - good to know!
One of the things that make Stand Up Paddling (SUP) so much fun, is that you do not need much! Buy or rent a board + paddle, put on you bathing suit, and off you go! But like every sport, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Stand Up Paddling allows you to enter the smallest rivers and get very close to the flora and fauna. This brings a certain responsibility. So please make sure you:
- do not leave anything behind and take nothing but pictures;
- do not enter the vegetation on the sides of the canals, including the water lilies;
- do not bring music or loud voices, nature is full of sounds;
- take rubbish out of the water if you encounter it.
Being on the water requires special safety measures. On a SUP board, there is nothing that protects you, so please make sure to:
- Check the weather forecast and regularly take a look at the sky during your session. No go's are: strong wind, thunderstorm and fog.
In case the weather does change for the worse, get ashore, when necessary on your knees or bottom or even flat on your belly (use hands to paddle).
Do not take any risk - you are very vulnerable on the board.
- Prepare your tour by studying the map, the local rules and regulations and ask locals about the waters.
- Put on sunscreen, wear a hat and/or UV-protecting clothes. (Sun)Glasses can only be worn if secured by a tight neck strap (they will definitely sink when you fall of the board).
- Take extra care if you Stand Up Paddle all alone:
- wear a safety leash
- wear a life jacket
- bring your mobile phone in a water tight bag/case/container
- Stay away from the shore if you're not landing (in case you fall of the board, you could seriously hurt yourself if you land against the shore)
- Drop to your knees or bottom when a fast boat passes by or gets too close to you
- In the harbour start and end your tour on your bottom or knees (in case you fall of the board, you could hurt yourself or bring damage to the boats)
- Give way to sailing boats (they depend on the wind and therefore have right of way) and stay far away of large ships (they have right of way in case they perform commercial shipping and they suck the water towards them, which could cause you to get sucked under the ship).
Tips & Tricks
The best way to enjoy Stand Up Paddling for the first time, also on your own board, is by taking a beginners course. These are a few of the most important Tips & Tricks to help you enjoy the session to the fullest:
- Carry the board under your arm, with the fin in front of you
- Lay the board far enough in the water, so the fin doesn't get stuck in the sand
- The front side of the paddle is the side of the brand sticker (yes that's the other way around as you probably expect).
Enjoy your Stand Up Paddle session!