SUPs are generally very safe products. As long as you know how to swim well, and you use common sense in the water, it’s unlikely that you’re going to hurt yourself.
However, when you’re fishing from a SUP, there are some added dangers. You’re not just paddling around in swimming trunks and occasionally taking a quick dunk. You have sharp objects, heavier equipment, and of course, thrashing fish to think about.
So, how can you take advantage of a fishing SUP safely?
Let’s take a look.
1: Life Vest
Most recreational SUP riders don’t wear life vests unless they’re new. However, they’re just paddling around in swimming trunks, and they’re usually ready to swim, anyways.
When you’re fishing, you have a lot more going on. You will likely be wearing more clothing, including shoes or boots, and you might have some equipment on your body.
This makes it a lot harder for you to swim if you do end up falling off your SUP, and that can be disastrous.
Even if you’re a solid swimmer, make sure you wear a life vest when fishing from a SUP. You never know when you’ll go overboard with all your gear on.
2: Handle Sharp Objects with Care
Sharp objects are a part of fishing. You’re always going to need to cut some line, chop up bait, open packaging, and do other things that require you to handle sharp objects.
When you’re on a SUP, that poses a risk.
You can be using your fishing knife just like you always do, and a guy speeding by on his fishing boat can send a big wave your way; knocking you over on your boat. You can lose your balance while trying to cut a stuck line from a larger fish’s mouth, or you can just lose your balance in general.
That can result in you stabbing yourself.
If possible, try to buy a fishing knife with a blunt tip. You can still get a nasty cut, but at least you won’t plunge the knife into your body when you fall.
Regardless of what you’re using, consider sitting down while cutting things. It might be a hassle to keep getting up and down, but at least you won’t have to worry about slipping with a knife.
3: Waterproof Phone and Contact Information
Because fishing from a SUP is inherently more dangerous than racing, casually paddling, or yoga, it’s really important that you do two things.
First, always carry your phone on you to ensure you can call for help if something bad does happen. You’ll want it to be waterproof or in a waterproof case. Keeping your most-trusted contacts on speed dial, as well as emergency services, is also key.
Finally, make sure people know where you are and when to expect you back. If you go to a remote fishing spot, and you don’t tell anyone, it might be days before anyone thinks to look for you. If you tell them ahead of time, they’ll know something is wrong the second you miss your deadline to get home, and help will be on the way.