Paddling Safety 101: Always Wear a Leash and Life Jacket

James J. Latham

This write-up was created under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Whether or not you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, fundamental protection methods implement to any and each individual paddler who methods off shore. The most basic of those people rules centers on a one, important piece of equipment: Constantly dress in a individual flotation unit (PFD), if not known as a existence jacket. For standup paddlers, that individual flotation extends to your paddleboard, in which it’s vital to anchor you to your board by utilizing a leash.

It is challenging to overstate the needed want for a existence jacket and leash with the uncertainties on any overall body of drinking water. Further than an unplanned swim that could swiftly change lethal, the regulation demands you to have one for each individual human being in each individual boat, plus federal regulation demands all young children under 13 to dress in existence jackets each time they are on the drinking water (point out rules may also implement). That consists of kayaks, canoes, and SUPs. The folks at your local paddling shop can assistance you locate the appropriate variety of USCG-accepted existence jacket, and the appropriate style of leash, for the style of paddling you do (especially for whitewater standup paddlers), and the appropriate match.

And if you’re one of those people people today who thinks existence jackets and leashes are only for young children or people today who aren’t sturdy swimmers, believe all over again. There’s a purpose that you’ll under no circumstances see an skilled paddler with no one. It’s the very first, most very simple, and appropriate alternative that you make prior to launch. And try to remember: A existence jacket and a leash only work to preserve your existence when you have one, and you dress in one. Constantly dress in a PFD. Constantly use a leash with your standup paddleboard.

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