Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a great activity for the whole family, both out on the ocean and on open water environments. 

However, in the last 5 years in the UK, 37 people have lost their lives whilst enjoying manually powered boats on the water.*  Ensure you follow our guidance to keep safe whilst having fun on the water.

Red Paddle SUP Safety Tips

We have teamed up with Red Paddle to simplify the safety messages to help you SUP safely. Although the buoyancy of a board provides a crucial floatation aid in an emergency, it is important to consider our safety tips to enjoy your stand up paddleboard session.

Top water safety tips for SUP - PLOT your paddle
Personal Floatation Device
Personal Floatation Device
Always wear a buoyancy aid - if you fall into the water it will help you float and keep your airway clear
Use an ankle leash for surf or non-flowing water and a quick-release waist-belt leash for flowing water or tidal waterways
Offshore Winds
Offshore Winds
Check the weather conditions, taking note of local currents and the wind direction - DO NOT paddle in offshore winds
Take a mobile phone with you in a waterproof pouch, if you are in trouble - call 999. Ask for the Fire and Rescue Service when inland and the Coastguard if at the coast
    Further tips for your SUP session
    • If you get into difficulty, stay on top of your board and signal for help
    • If you fall into the water and lose your board - Stay calm, float on your back and call for help
    • Let somebody know where you are heading and what time you're due to be back
    • Paddle with somebody else, it's more fun and they can help in an emergency
    • Launch and recover in the relevant lifeguarded zone (black and white flags if at the coast)
    • Understand your capability in the conditions, if you're unsure paddle another day
    • Stay clear of swimmers and other paddlers
    Bystander rescue during your SUP session

    Bystanders rescues save lives - you could play a critical role in saving somebody's life 

    • If there is a dedicated rescue service on land raise the alarm with them before you attempt a
    • Take a mobile phone with you, and if you see somebody in trouble in the water - call 999.
      Ask for the Fire and Rescue Service when inland and the Coastguard if at the coast.
    • Never enter the water to rescue - Your personal safety, in any situation is the number one
    • Avoid direct contact with somebody in trouble. Your paddle is a good reaching aid that you
      can release quickly
    • Know how to perform CPR and learn some basic lifesaving skills

    Want to learn more? Watch this safety video by Red Paddle

    View our range of Stand Up Paddle Boards on the RLSS UK Shop

    *source: WAID 2017-21