Paddleboarding ALONE - Front Royal, Virginia

Truth be told, I’m an avid adventurer and do many things alone. I’m a strong swimmer, and I’m dying to get my new iSUP out on the water.

My plan is to hit the local lake (typical gathering spot for other paddlers) and give it a go in the morning, but NOT without letting my bestie or another friend near by know where to start looking if need be. Facepalm

What are some of the things I should consider? Supplies, permit, lifejacket? I’m all ears!!

SUPs are considered vessels by the coast guard, with the exception of when they are in surf or swim zones. Vessels require that each person have a properly sized life jacket readily accessible. So you do need to bring one with you. Better yet to wear it, especially if you are alone.

Note - if you use a belt-worn inflatable PFD, that is required to be worn.

Ankle leash is very good to wear. When someone falls from a SUP, quite common for them to try to catch themselves by basically running. Without the leash, that running motion shoots the SUP way away from where you hit the water. Without a leash (especially if any wind), you may not be able to get back to the SUP.

Have a good paddle

1 Like

Quality life jacket and dress for immersion. Add a leash.

1 Like

For open lakes a leash is probably your most important safety item. There are versions that fit around your ankle, some around your calf or above the knee, and lots of folks who paddle long distance have waist leashes. Learn how to to take it off when your leg is underwater, in case it gets tangled in something. Also learn how to hang onto your paddle and fall to the side of your board, don’t land feet first unless you know for certain there is a smooth sandy bottom. Practice paddling prone to your paddle if you lose a grip on it . Most states don’t require permits, for inland waters a PFD is required. Keep a whistle attached to your PFD.