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Paddleboards: How to Fall and Recover Safely

Paddleboards are skyrocketing in popularity. They’re extremely flexible and accessibly priced, and overall, they’re extremely fun to use. They’re also great for staying in shape since they’re entirely man-powered. 

However, just like any other type of “board” sport, such as skateboarding and similar activities, there is one risk you cannot get away from regardless of how good you are; you are going to take a few tumbles. 

Falling off a paddleboard can, in rare circumstances, be dangerous. Luckily, those situations are few and far between since you’re on the water, and there are things you can do to minimize the risk of a fall. 

Today, we’re going to go over how you can fall and recover safely. 

Let’s get started. 

Falling Off Your Paddleboard Properly

It’s kind of hard to control your fall when you have no idea it’s coming, but there are ways for you to minimize how impactful it is. 

First and foremost, try to anticipate it. If there is a big wave coming at you from a speeding boat or just the tides in general, prepare yourself and understand where you’re going. If you do this, you can keep from flailing wildly or falling into a hazard that’s worse than just falling off the board.

Secondly, when you do fall, don’t panic. Panicking is the worst thing you can do because you’ll waste valuable time underwater flailing about instead of getting to the surface. Accept that you fell, and start following the recovery steps we’ll list soon. 

Finally, paddle in safe areas. You never know when a fall is going to happen. So, make sure you’re always in a spot where falling isn’t going to lead to anything worse. 

Typically, this means making sure you’re at a proper depth that you won’t smack right off the bottom. The water should at least be up to your waist to provide a proper cushion. Also, try not to paddle near things that could hurt you if you were to fall. If you’re fishing, that could mean brush near the bank, in general, you should stay away from submerged hazards such as logs and debris, and try not to go around boat ramps where you can get knocked off onto a concrete boat ramp. 

Recovering from a Fall

If you do fall, and you will, it’s important to know what to do. First, once you get knocked into the water, look for the surface. If you’re calm, you’ll be able to notice the light coming through with ease. Simply get your head over water, take a few breaths, and pull yourself back up onto your board. If you used your tether, which you should do, your board will be right there waiting for you. 

Once back on your board, take a moment to assess the situation. Sit down, check your limbs, let the adrenaline subside to see if you notice any pain, look for cuts or punctures, and generally make sure you’re all good. If so, you’re free to carry on with your day. 

If you do notice any worrying injuries, it’s important to get back to shore and get checked out immediately, and even minor wounds should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent infections. 

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