Photos: Marko Butraković
Stand Up Paddling has gained huge popularity in the last few years due to its many different purposes. It is an extremely diverse sport with many disciplines, including wave surfing, racing, riding on white waters and fishing, but it is also ideal for leisure activities without a high level of performance, like cruising, relaxing, yoga, taking kids and pets to a ride and many others. For those who are interested in SUP, therefore, it is important to know that, as with all sports, there can be certain inherent risks. The following contains key security points to remember when using your JP-Australia board and/or JP-Australia Accessory. Observe the following safety standards and safe operating practices whenever using your board:
• SUP can be very dangerous and physically demanding. The rider should understand that participating in this may involve serious injury or death.
• Seek SUP instruction from a licensed or certified instructor.
• Check your equipment prior to use for signs of wear and failure, these should be repaired or replaced immediately and before further use.
• Take time to study the conditions including sea state, tides, currents, weather conditions and forecasts before you decide to go paddling. Beware of paddling in offshore or strong winds. Do not paddle in flood conditions. Never use the SUP board in thunderstorms and lightning conditions.
• Be aware of the conditions as they change. Always return to the beach if there is a significant change in the conditions i.e. wind increasing and or waves increasing.
• Familiarize yourself with any new location before venturing onto the water. Ask the locals to tell you about any hazards. Beware of things such as rip currents, underwater obstacles and heavy shore break.
• Watch out for other beach users, especially swimmers and children. Make sure you keep your board and paddle under control at all times. Never use the product near other boat traffic, or watercrafts.
• Always use appropriate protective gear and wear a personal flotation device. Wear the correct protective clothing for the conditions such as a wetsuit or a UV top. Cold water and cold weather can result in hypothermia. Always carry identification.
• Wear a helmet when appropriate.
• Always use a SUP specific board leash. Do not use ankle or knee leash if paddling in rivers! Use a river specific leash system with quick release within the reach of the hand (waist or chest belt).
• Make sure to stay hydrated during paddling. SUP is a physically demanding sport and dehydration can also occur in cold temperatures.
• Watch when surfacing after falling in. The board maybe closer than first imagined due to waves, wind, board leash, etc.
• Never paddle alone.
• Children should always be under adult supervision.
• As you learn the sport, work within your limitations and do not exceed them.
• Never use the SUP board in conditions that are beyond your ability (such as, but not limited to, high surf, riptides, currents or river rapids).
• Do not exceed maximum weight capacity listed on the user manual. Regardless of the number of persons on board, the total weight of persons and equipment must not exceed maximum weight capacity.
• Do not operate the board under the influence of drugs or alcohol.