SUP boating is safe as long as you remember the normal boating basics, which are summarised in this article.

SUP safety guidelines

safety guidelines for paddling

Respect the sea/lake/river, nature will always beat you if it wants to.

Plan your trip according to your level and strength. If possible, paddle upwind first, then downwind.

Let your loved ones know where you are going and what your estimated time frame is.

Always wear a vest. Modern vests are thin, comfortable and stylish, which don't restrict your paddling. CE 50N approved self-launching, belt buckle versions are also available. SUP vestsif you want to get a tan at the same time.

Take a charged phone in a waterproof case with you.

Be prepared for the weather and check for sudden changes in the weather. In cold water and weather, use a wetsuit or dry suit, and slippers, gloves and hat/hood. Remember also in the summer heat to drink enough fluids and protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Anti-reflective polaroid glasses work well in the water.

Attach at fugitive from the sun, always! In a gust of wind, the raft travels surprisingly far and fast.

Always kneel down on the beach or next to the jetty to get to the traffic. If you happen to wobble or slip near the shore, you could, with bad luck, hit your head on the dock or a rock.

Also, in shallow water, dive off your knees.

Remember that it's easy to go downwind so far unnoticed that you won't have time to go back upwind, so plan your route carefully.

traffic instructions on the water

Be aware of other people on the water. If you are not familiar with the rules of the water, learn the general rules, for example the Traficom website. In general, you proceed on the right of way on shipping lanes, as you would on a road. SUPs are classified as watercraft and are subject to the normal water traffic laws. 

On a SUP board, avoidance must be done in such a way that vessels longer than 12m must always be avoided, regardless of the direction of travel. When encountering vessels less than 12m in length, the normal rules of navigation apply, but it is often advisable for the paddler, as the smallest party, to always give way and stay out of the waterways as far as possible. However, if you do have to use a shipping lane, always stay as far to starboard as possible.

Please note that on the water you do not have the right of way, but the obligation to give way. Everyone must make every effort to avoid collisions.

Keep your eyes open and be aware of what is happening around you. If you feel unsafe, get down on your knees well in advance. If you fall, try to fall into the water, staying as afloat as possible by spreading your limbs so you don't hurt yourself on something below the surface.

If you fall over, use a flexible slip strap to keep the board close to you and try to hold on to the paddle. Swim to the board and place it crosswise in front of you and lift the paddle onto the board. Grab the opposite edge of the board with one hand, lift your feet close to the water surface and pull yourself across the board. Turn yourself in the direction of the paddle, stand up and continue.

When paddling in low light or darkness, use a white light with 360 degree visibility.

These guidelines are freely available in online publications if you provide a link to the source More information