Just Keep Swimming
Taking a SUP lesson with me is easy. I provide the equipment, check the weather, and choose the location. However, one requirement I have of all my students is that they know how to swim. Anyone going on the water, whether that be on a paddleboard or in a canoe, kayak, or motorized boat, should know how to swim, as there’s always the risk of falling into the water. It’s such a great skill to have and is simple to learn with a little practice. You don’t need to know any fancy strokes or be speedy. Knowing to swim is basically being able to tread water and keep yourself afloat. This will give you the confidence you need while being around water. It’s also great exercise and an essential skill if you’re looking to get into SUP surfing. If you have groms (also known as kiddos), consider signing them up for swimming classes; it’s a lifelong skill that’ll keep them safe near water.
Pack a Drybag
One of the first things I bought when learning to SUP was a drybag. In fact, seven years later, I’m still using that same drybag! It is such a simple piece of gear and one of my essentials. A drybag ensures that you are able to carry items on board and keep them accessible and safe from the water. Drybags even float if they fall overboard. Here are a few things I carry in mine:
- car keys
- mobile phone
- water bottle
Depending on the type and length of my excursion, I can add a few items. If I’m paddling in colder temperatures, I’ll add an extra toque and a light windbreaker. Lights come in handy if I’m paddling around sunset and expect to be in the dark. If I’m going on a long SUP excursion, I’ll add a portable cellphone charger and sunscreen so I can reapply as needed.