ACA Releases Standup Paddle Safety Video
ACA has a five-minute video explaining the rules and recommendations for these pieces of safety equipment. “’SUP: Leashes & Lifejackets” is intended to educate newcomers to the sport and experienced boarders,” said Catharine Lloyd, ACA communications coordinator. Using the wrong safety equipment or none at all could prove fatal.
For example, a straight leash is the crucial choice when ocean surfing because it allows you to maintain control of your board after falling, but it does not have the elastic quality of a coiled leash, which may pull the board back toward you in the surf zone.
Other tips in the video include:
A coiled leash is good for use in flat water, current or tidal areas and some open ocean, where there is no risk of entanglement or obstructions.
An upper-body mounted quick release leash is for use in moving water or white water. It must be quick release, and it must be accessible to both hands. Users should be informed and educated, because using this style of leash involves considerable risks.
A straight leash is for use in an ocean surf zone.
Paddleboard surfing in the ocean requires considerable swimming ability. You can’t wear a lifejacket because its buoyancy will prevent you from swimming underneath the waves when you fall, and will keep your head near the surface and potentially lead to an impact with the board.
Belt pack lifejackets provide high visibility when inflated, and the lightweight compact design makes it comfortable for continued wear in hot weather. This style of lifejacket is not recommended for non-swimmers, is not for children under age 16, and is not for use in white water or ocean surf.
The video was produced with funding from the National Safe Boating Council under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Headquartered in Fredericksburg, the American Canoe Association serves the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, helps protect paddling environments, and sanctions programs and events to promote paddle sport competition and recreation.