Ocean safety tips for stand up paddle boarders
By Micah Moen
Staying with your board is one key to survival… There are plenty of other things standup paddleboarders need to keep in mind.. EVERY time out. KITV-4’s Andrew Pereira is standing by LIVE at Kewalo Basin — with the details. Andrew? Yunji, one of the most important factors to consider is your level of experience compared to the weather conditions. Over the past decade or so, standup paddle boarding has gone from novelty to vogue. Big Wave Dave Surf Co. in Waikiki is riding the wave of popularity. CHRIS CARVALHO: “IN PEAK SUMMER I WOULD SAY THAT MAYBE A GOOD 30 TO 40 PERCENT OF OUR LESSONS ARE STANDUP PADDLE LESSONS.” But before you grab a standup board and paddle, be sure you’re also armed with knowledge on how to play it safe. First and foremost, find out about the waves and the weather, primarily the wind. ALIKA GARCES: “YOU’RE STANDING UP AS A STANDUP PADDLE BOARDER AND THEN YOU’RE ACTING LIKE A SAIL. SO, IF YOU WASN’T TAUGHT HOW TO GO AGAINST THAT, OR WITH IT, WE NOW HAVE PROBLEMS.” CHRIS CARVALHO: “ON WINDY DAYS WE REALLY TRY TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY NOVICES TO GET IN THE WATER 159 AS IT’S GOING TO BE A HAZARD FOR BOTH OUR BOARDS AND MEN.” Then there’s the equipment. Being prepared is much better than the alternative. ALIKA GARCES: “JUST UNDERSTAND THE BOARD, WHAT’S THE NOSE, WHAT’S THE TAIL. WHERE YOUR LEASH GOES, WHICH IS RIGHT OVER HERE, AND WHAT’S CONNECTED TO YOUR ANKLE.” CHRIS CARVALHO: “WE GIVE THEM SIMPLE TIPS AS FAR AS HOW TO PADDLE AROUND THE BREAK, WHAT’S THE RIGHT OF WAY; HOW TO AVOID SITUATIONS.” And if you find yourself having to choose between your board or your paddle, always choose the board. First, the board will float you and then you can try using your arms to get to shore. CHRIS CARVALHO: “YOU KNOW IF THE WAVES ARE BIG, MOVE CLOSER TO THE TAIL BECAUSE YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF PROPULSION PUSHING YOU ON THE BACK.” ANDREW PEREIRA: “NOW, IN ADDITION TO SAFETY TIPS THERE ARE CERTAIN COAST GUARD REGULATIONS THAT EVERY STANDUP PADDLEBOARDER NEEDS TO BE AWARE OF WHEN THEY LEAVE THE SURF ZONE.” ALIKA GARCES: “ONCE YOU LEAVE THESE PARTICULAR ZONES, YOUR STANDUP PADDLE IS NOW CONSIDERED A VESSEL, WHICH I THINK YOU NEED LIGHTS, A LIFEVEST, A GPS AND SO FORTH.” In fact, if you’re standup paddle boarding away from a surf or bathing zone, the Coast Guard says you should also have a whistle. “WHISTLE” But perhaps the most important tip, if you’re in unfamiliar surroundings, depend on local knowledge. ALIKA GARCES: “EVERYBODY WHO COMES TO THE WATERS, THEY’RE UNFAMILIAR, THEY SHOULD REALLY TRY TO ASK US FOR HELP.” And of course if you’re going to be a standup paddle boarder, it pays to also be a strong swimmer. Live at Kewalo Basin, Andrew Pereira KITV4 News.