143035_DBW Course_r3

Chapter 3 X Vessel Operation

Before paddleboarding, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Sunglasses with a leash, sun screen, and a hat are good protection against the sun. Additional equipment depending on the conditions include: paddleboard leash, helmet and protective gear for swift water use, a dry suit, booties and gloves for extremely cold conditions and a dry bag with charts, basic first aid supplies and a tow line for emergencies. A spare, take-apart paddle may also be appropriate depending on conditions and water body. Personal fitness, swimming ability and a basic knowledge of boat handling all help promote a safe stand up paddleboarding experience. Classes are available at aquatic centers, the American Canoe Association and from paddleboarding suppliers. Water and Weather Safety Stand up paddleboarders, like other boaters, should know the body of water including hazards, currents, rules, and water quality before going out. Always check out river releases or tide conditions as well as local traffic on the water in order to be prepared. Always check the predicted weather and water conditions. Avoid paddleboard ing in heavy winds, lightning storms, hard rain and thick fog. Make sure the predicted conditions match your skills and equipment. Navigation Rules of the Road Stand up paddleboarders must follow the Navigation Rules in channels and open water. Paddleboarding navigation in swim and surf zones generally follow surf etiquette. ƒ Crowded waterway – Keep a visual and be sure to have a clear path before crossing a channel. Maintain course and speed when crossing and take the shortest path across. Stay visible and aware around blind corners or approaching a channel or fairway . Travel with flow of traffic or hug the shoreline. ƒ Swim zone – launching and returning – Kneel or lie down on the paddle board when departing and returning from a dock or beach. Stand only when in water that is at least waist deep and away from obstacles. ƒ Surf zone etiquette – Always paddle 90 degrees angle to waves. Paddle standing, kneeling or lying down. Never paddle out directly in front of, or behind, another paddler, surfer or swimmer. Paddle out towards the peak of the wave—away from the anticipated direction of surfers catching the wave. When riding a wave, the paddleboarder (surfer) nearest the peak has the right of way. Stand Up Paddleboard Rescue Depending on the body of water, weather conditions and the availability of help from a buddy, stand up paddleboard rescues are made differently.


Paddleboarding with a buddy is helpful for emergencies such as falling off the paddleboard or when an accident has occurred. Know what rescue signals to use with a buddy or to hail other boaters.

Stand up paddleboard


California Course for Safe Boating

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