Paddlers need to be prepared
Paddleboarding is a popular pastime however it’s important to be prepared before you hit the water so you’re not caught out by wild weather.
Wind is a major risk for paddleboarders. While you may be setting off in smooth waters, offshore winds create breaking waves within 500m of the shore meaning you may end up in choppy seas faster than you think.
Here’s what you need to know before you go!
Top safety tips for Standup Paddleboards
- Lifejackets: lifejackets are required to be worn on Standup Paddleboards when greater than 400m from the shore, however Safe Transport Victoria recommends wearing a lifejacket whenever on the water.
- Wear a leg leash: paddleboarders need to utilise a leg leash. A leg leash connects the operator to their craft and so they are less likely to become separated.
- Carry waterproof communication devices: even on a paddleboard, communication devices (as a means of calling for help) are important to carry at all times. This could be as simple as a phone in a waterproof pouch.
- Check the weather before you go: understand how offshore winds present at your chosen location. Avoid paddling in offshore winds. Use BOM MetEye or Boating Vic App to verify wind strengths and directions. Conditions can change quickly; paddleboards are more likely to be affected by offshore winds and can easily be blown out into deeper water.
Be Aware: Inflatable boards have more windage and are harder to paddle in a breeze. If you are not wearing a leash - your board may windmill away from you.
For more information and safety advice on paddle crafts visit: https://transportsafety.vic.gov.au/maritime-safety/recreational-boating/paddle-craft