Being on the water has been proven to be beneficial for your physical and mental health. It can lower your heart rate and reduce the level of stress hormones in your body.
However, it can be a dangerous environment if the right measures are not taken so here are some tips to staying safe on the water:
Always wear a flotation device.
Make sure at least one person in your group has paddle experience.
Paddle Boarding and Kayaking is not suitable for non-swimmers.
Children and anyone under the age of 18 should always paddle with an adult who is an experienced paddler.
Always fill out a travel plan and leave a copy with someone on land. We have emailed this to you and included several blank plans in the hire’s pack delivered with the boards.
You should always know what the weather forecast is for the duration of your trip and only venture out onto the water if the forecast is good and remains good. The following website is what we would recommend to check the weather, wind speed and direction https://www.xcweather.co.uk
With SUP’s and kayaks you should not plan a coastal trip if the wind is off shore (blowing out to sea) as you could get blown out to sea.
Always know how big the tide is and what time it is going in and going out. The tide times can be found here.
With both SUP and kayaks you should pay attention to the tides as a big tide that rips out, often at a rate of 5 knots, are difficult to paddle against.
If exploring the coastal creeks you should pay attention to the tides so that you don’t run out of water and become stranded on the marsh.
Always take a cautious approach.
Always wear appropriate clothing. If it is sunny wear a hat, t-shirt, sunscreen and sun-glasses. If it is cold then wear a wet or dry suit of appropriate thickness.
Never wear jeans or any other clothing that can become heavy and a drowning hazard when waterlogged.
Always wear appropriate shoes. Never wear wellington boots or any other shoes that can become weighted when waterlogged.
You should carry a mobile phone with you and this should be kept in a dry bag which can be easily accessed should you get into trouble and need to call for help.
If you need to call for help then dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
If it is sunny you should take water and stay hydrated.
Paddling is an exertion sport so do not under-estimate the energy you will need. If your trip is long then you should take food in order to keep your energy up.
No alcohol should be consumed prior or during your trip on the water.
Always let someone on land know your travel plan; where you will launch, your destination and your expected time of arrival. To assist with this we recommend you download the RYA Safe Trx app which monitors your trip and alerts emergency contacts should you fail to arrive on time.
What-ever stretch of water you plan to paddle on, if inland waterways or coastal, always seek local advice from The Broads Authority, RNLI, Harbour Office, Life Guards or Coast Guards. Seek local knowledge from experienced SUP and kayakers in the area.
Do not paddle in the dark.
Do not paddle in busy channels are you might not be able to quickly manoeuvre out of harms way.
Kayaks: Remember that you are low in the water and will not be easily visible to large boats and vessels so stay well clear of them.
SUP: Make sure the board is attached to your leg via the leash so that if you fall off you are able to get back to your board. You should attached the leash on the paddle to your arm
Kayak: You should attach the leash on your paddle to your arm
Our Kayaks and Paddle Boards have special reflective tape attached to the topsides of them so that if you do get in difficulties it will be easier for rescue services to spot. If you do get into trouble then either paddle to the closest shoreline and, if this is not possible always stay on your board or kayak. Call for help and try to keep as much of your body out of the water as possible.
We always check our equipment carefully for defects before and after every hire but if you find any then please let us know as you should never paddle with any defective equipment.
You should always respect nature and the environment and if paddling in the creeks please do not disturb the wildlife and nesting birds.
Carry a small first aid kit for any scratches and cuts or bites.