Found some idyllic spots for your first SUP trip? Before running towards the water and inflating your board, take a minute to look at the Itiwit checklist for going out on the water. Let's see if you can tick everything off!
1. I Update Myself on the Weather Before I Head Out to the Sea
If you don't want to freeze to death or risk getting a sunstroke when you go out on your SUP board, it's vital to check the weather conditions you'll be facing out there.
Look up the tide timings and wind forecast, to stay safe.
Prepare a watertight container or bag to carry all you need for the forecast conditions.
Make sure you always have your phone with you, to let friends and family know if there's a problem.
Don't go further than 300m from a shelter, as the regulations require.
2. I Think Ahead and Wear Appropriate SUP Gear
IF IT'S COLD?
Choose a full neoprene wetsuit, boots and neoprene gloves, as well as a hood
IF IT'S VERY COLD.
A windcheater might be useful: take it with you, you can always store it in a waterproof bag if you get too hot from the exertion.
Add a hot drink and energy bars, because you lose more energy when the temperature drops.
IF THE FORECAST IS FOR HOT WEATHER?
Choose a neoprene tank top shorty suit. It's easy to slip on, and comfortable to paddle in!
Also take your equipment to deal with excessive heat and the sun's rays:board, shorts, lycra, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sun cream and water.
3. I Warm Up Before My Stand-Up Paddle Trip
You need to prepare for exercise, to minimise trauma for your body. For SUP, an optimum warm-up should take 10 to 15 minutes. It should prepare both your cardiovascular system and the muscles you'll be using out on the water. Going out for a full or half day? Warm up even more carefully, so that you don't have to come back earlier than planned
4. I Observe the Currents in My Chosen Spot
Before you put your SUP in the water, observe the surface water movements to check the sea conditions and currents in action. This on-site observation supplements the information you collected the day before from tide tables, which are available free online: coefficients, tide times, etc.
5. I Pick Up My Launch Site for My SUP
Select the most accessible point to get on the water: if there are big waves, it might be wise to use the floating pontoon of a marina, for example. Above all, avoid all swimming zones, and areas used by many sea users.
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