Taking to the water on a stand up paddleboard needs to be done with the utmost respect for both nature and your fellow water users. Red Paddle Co have put together the following Red Code, which we totally subscribe to, and wholeheartedly recommend that all NZ SUP riders should follow.
It's a simple and sensible set of guidelines that should go a long way to keeping you safe and making sure you can coexist in harmony with your fellow water users.
Learn the basics in flat, calm water – your self esteem will thank you
Check the weather – Always check the forecast before heading out on the water.
Avoid offshore winds – they will blow you far from home
Check the tides – Do you know how the currents and tides effect your location?
Don’t paddle alone – stay safe and paddle with a friend
Don’t use the board in surf until you are confident
It is really important to realise that stand up paddleboards have the potential to do a lot of damage (both physically, and to the sport's reputation!!) in the surf line up.
They are big and long, and on long leashes. To a regular surfer they look HUGE, scary - and unwelcome. They also enable us to get more than our fair share of waves. So it is vital that SUP surfers behave responsibly - especially over the next few years, while we go through the transition from being a novelty, to a normal part of the line-up.
Start slowly in the surf, going to places with easy, small waves where there are FEW people, if any, around you.
Always wear a leash – this will stop your board becoming a weapon when you fall off.
NEVER paddle out into a busy line up – the beauty of SUP is that you don’t need the most perfect wave to have fun. Paddle further down the beach, away from the crowds.
There you will most probably find your own, empty wave.
Never try and paddle on to a wave that somebody is already riding.
With an SUP board you can catch a lot of waves. This does not mean you should. Be nice and if you are surfing close to others let them have their fair share of waves. There is always another one coming. Don’t be a wave hog. You and SUP surfers in general won’t be welcomed back.
For more thoughts on co-existing with surfers have a look at the SUP-TALK blog...
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