We live in an increasingly litigious society.
However, as serial paddlers and boaters, we take going on the water in any vessel very seriously from both a public liability and safety point of view.
We hope that the following information which is meant simply a helpful guide and not instructions helps you stay safe and compliant with your SUPs!
Check with your regular insurance if you are insured for loss/theft/damage of your SUP and to see if you have Public Liability and Personal Cover.
If not, we can suggest two very competitively priced annual options:
1. If you never plan to paddle on UK inland waterways (you should have a license to do so on most public inland waterways: rivers, lakes and canals in the UK) – if you are not licensed and have an accident, we understand that your insurance might not allow a claim.
Curtis Marine Insurance have put together a very simple to use package: SUPInsure.com
2. Insure and Get Unlimited UK Inland Waterway Licence for up to 2 paddle craft (license stays with the people, not the craft) with British Canoeing.
YES YOUR SUP OR YOU SHOULD BE LICENSED FOR BRITISH INLAND WATERWAYS INCLUDING THE RIVER THAMES!
If your visit is a one off, you can pick a license up from the lock keepers on the river Thames on the day.
British Canoeing has annual membership which covers Paddleboards and other paddle craft.
They have teamed up with Towergate Insurers and provide licensing for inland waterways – for up to 2 people on the water at the same time. BritishCanoeing.org.uk
*We are not affiliated & do not get a commission for either of the below – you must make your own enquiries and we are not responsible in any way for the service provided by the below companies.
*the following are guidelines only – not professional advice. You should always seek your own advice and if unsure engage a professionally qualified person.
- Always Wear Personal Floatation Devices
We always recommend the use of a Personal Floatation Device PFD or Life Jacket when Paddleboarding.
For weak swimmers, and young children we recommend proper Life Jackets of at least 100 Newtons. Get more Info HERE on this.
There are many inflating waist belts for paddlers - eg: Spinlock PFD
We recommend that dogs also wear a floatation device!
- Wear The Leash
If you fall off your board the first thing you will want to do is retrieve your paddle (but it’s always best to try to hold on to it!). In order not to get separated from your board, WEAR A LEASH!
As the sport has developed, people are paddling in more places and for those paddling in faster flowing waters, it is generally agreed that people should wear a quick release leash around their waist, so should they get tangled, they can release more easily.
- When to Stand Up
We suggest you start off by kneeling on the SUPs until you are confident to stand up. Do not stand up on the boards in shallow water or next to hard objects, such as pontoons or boats. Great Video HERE
- Wear Shoes
We recommend that users wear some form of shoe when Paddleboarding to protect the bottom of your feet should you need to step off in to shallow water.
- Always Supervise young People
Always supervise when on the water in all conditions.
- Follow any Local Rules and Advice
Water can be unpredictable and it is always advisable to check with the local sources of information on water safety in the area before you take to the water.
For example, rivers are rated by the flow and depending on the river, some craft are not allowed on the water during particular flow rates.
OR – there may be a particularly dangerous part of a coastal area you wish to paddle on so check with the local coast guard, the RNLI or Harbour Master.
Always take a cautious approach.
- Advise People On Land
Always tell someone land based about a trip you intend to take with times and vicinity and report to them when you are back safely.
Use a tracking APP - Check out options HERE
- Take a Mobile Phone (and a beacon if venturing out on the Sea)
If you can, always take a charged mobile phone, and if going coastal a radio beacon or VHF radio in a sealed dry bag in case of an emergency.
Download an app like: What3Words for exact location pinning.
- Take adequate clothing for your trip
Do not wear jeans of other water-logging clothes or wellington boots, waters, heavy waterproofs. If you are paddling a distance, take spare clothes in a dry bag.
If it’s cold, wear a wetsuit or a dry suit.
- Plan your journey
Always be realistic with the distance you plan to travel. Never paddle in the dark or in busy shipping lanes.
- River Paddling
If paddling on a river, stay on the correct side of the river (normally the right) do not go through locks and use the “Portage” areas and carry your boards round. Avoid the tops and bottoms of all weirs.
- Plan for Tides
If you are on the sea, be aware of the tide times and strengths and always seek expert advice if unsure.
- Protect yourself from the Sun
The sun reflects off the water intensifying it’s power, Cover up, wear sunscreen, a hat and decent sun glasses (even when it does not seem to be very sunny).
- Keep Hydrated and Your Energy Up
Take some water and some snacks if you are paddling a distance.
- Paddle in a minimum of Pairs
If you are going on an adventure trip, we strongly recommend that you buddy with another board or another vessel.
- Do not Use Faulty Equipment
Whilst we always check our kit before it goes out, things can fail. If you have any doubts, do not use and contact us and we will advise and do our best to sort any problems out fairly and quickly.
- Have FUN & Respect Nature!