In the safe SUP practiceWe must pay attention to various factors, both meteorological (wind and sea "conditions") and personal and sports.
Currently, and given the extraordinary situation generated by COVID-19, our sport, due to its characteristics (it is individual, not contact and is practiced in an open environment), is becoming one of the best sports to practice. For this reason, it is important to know and take into account various factors that we are going to explain, in addition to being essential to find out about the specific regulations in each municipality.
We have already seen the occasional spectacular rescue of frightened tourists refugees in a cave on our coasts while the waves and the wind ruthlessly lashed the rocks, and all after an apparently safe departure in the eyes of the head of the expedition. This has to make us remember that the environment where Paddle Surf is practiced, the sea, is a “living” and changing environment And just like when we go to the mountains, we must be prepared for any setback.
Wind. It is quite possible, practically certain, that the wind changed intensity or direction in the course of a few hours, even more so in spring-summer (or hot days). Thus, if we have "calm girl" first thing, it will be an ideal time for everyone. Normally around noon the wind begins to blow with greater intensity and usually stays until the end of the day.
Before entering the sea, it is essential to look in which direction the wind moves flags, palm trees and other trees. It will always be more advisable to paddle first against the wind to return later, and with less effort, with the wind down. In addition, if there is wind we should not move away from our starting point and we will have to always be attentive to land references (buildings, etc ...) to see if the wind or currents are moving us and in what direction.
If the wind blows from land towards the sea, it is advisable not to go rowing. We can have a good scare. And the same if there is a strong wind from sea to land, forecast storm and waves, attention.
Waves. We are not going to extend. Be careful if there are waves, they may form on a hard and sharp rock reef, or an area with little depth, discovering this can be very painful. On the other hand, the large size of our boards makes them very dangerous if they get out of control, being able to hit other bathers. Maximum caution.
Hydration and sun protection. They are never left over. Before and during, it is highly recommended to bring water, a bottle or a camelback. Face cream and cap are always a good idea. Remember to clean your hands well later, otherwise the paddle will slip. In winter, a neoprene or rowing technical clothing are good allies to enjoy our experience.
Sports factors (technical):
Leash or invention: It is the seat belt that must NEVER be missing, it keeps us attached to the board avoiding accidents, blows to third parties or losing our board as a result of the wind or waves.
Vest: Mandatory in certain competitions, it is highly recommended, since in addition to guaranteeing our buoyancy, we can carry water, telephone and other security elements there.
Telephone: Carrying the phone in a waterproof case will allow us to ask for help if necessary or to take great photos of our departure.
Finally keep in mind other important factors that can affect your safety or that of others. Boats of all sizes always leave a trail of waves in their wake that can throw you off balance. Likewise, it is important to make us see if it is necessary to be rescued or if there is maritime traffic, wearing a yellow or orange shirt will always be a good decision.
And this is almost everything, prudence and fun.
Stand Up Paddle is a safe sport, if we do it safely. When in doubt, consult with local athletes or specialized stores in the area.
See you on the water!
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Text: Dénia Surf Club
Photos: Dénia Surf Club