7 Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Safety Tips


7 Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Safety Tips

Regardless of your experience level, it’s important to stay safe on the water when paddleboarding. Prepare for your time on the water with these tips.

Check the Conditions

Be sure to check the weather forecast when you arrive and for the entire day. Changes to weather conditions can occur rapidly, making paddleboarding more difficult or dangerous. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to make sure you go out on a calm day when the water is calm and wind minimal. Exercise caution when winds are blowing away from shore or towards open water as the wind can make it difficult to make it back to shore.

Be aware of your SUP location’s hazards. This includes tides, other boaters, swimmers, submerged structures, or anything else you might encounter on the water.

Dress for Safety

Dress for the water temperature. If the water is at or below 60° Fahrenheit, you should wear a wetsuit. Wear brightly colored clothing to make it easier for power boats and other watercraft to see you. Don’t assume other power boaters can see you. Paddleboards can be difficult to see due to being flat.

Wear a Leash

Be sure to wear a leash when paddleboarding. The leash prevents your paddleboard from getting away from you if you fall into the water. Even a light breeze or slow current can quickly separate you from your paddleboard if you’re not attached. Use a quick-release leash if you are paddling in any conditions where being tied to your paddleboard could prove dangerous.

Wear a Portable Floatation Device (PFD)

Even if you are an experienced and confident swimmer, you should wear a life jacket while on the water. Be sure you’re wearing a Type III life jacket for paddling.

Communicate Your Plans

Always let someone who is not paddling with you know where you will be paddling and at what time you plan to be back. Don’t leave on your trip without taking a way to communicate during emergency situations. Your cellphone should be stored in a waterproof pouch, and only considered as a backup communication device. It could get wet, or you might not have a signal. Take a handheld VHF marine radio. This allows you to communicate with boat traffic and the Coast Guard.

dry bag strapped down on a paddleboard

Paddle with a Buddy

It never hurts to paddle with a buddy. It’s going to be more fun and memorable to share the experience with someone, and should the unexpected occur, having someone to help is always a plus.

Take a Course

Consider taking some stand up paddleboard lessons from a local class or check out the ACA paddlesports online course.


Ascend Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard Package

Ascend Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard Package

It's time to start exploring. The Ascend® Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard Package comes with everything you need to enjoy your time on the water like never before.


Ascend Glide Adjustable SUP Paddle

Ascend Glide Adjustable SUP Paddle

The Ascend® Glide Adjustable SUP Paddle lets you carve through any waters with ease in personalized fashion thanks to its fully adjustable shaft. Able to adjust and lock at your preferred length 76"-86".