SAFETY & TIPS
We have put together a safety guide and list of tips to help you make the most of your experience and to stay safe. It is the hirer’s responsibility to follow these guidelines. Check the weather forecast, including the wind strength and direction, and tide times before you set out. If the water is too choppy, you might find it difficult, especially if you are a beginner. Be aware, the conditions can change quickly.
Always check the weather forecast. Even in the summer months it can change fast. Don’t get caught out.
If you can, go with a friend. You can help each other if you get into trouble. If you must go alone, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
Calling for Help
Always carry a mobile phone. We provide you with a waterproof case. If you need emergency help, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Avoid going out in strong winds, especially if they are offshore. It can be extremely tiring and difficult to paddle against strong winds as your body acts like a sail. You will find it easier to paddle if you kneel, or even lie, down. It is easier to start against the wind. On the way back, when you are more tired, the wind will help push you along.
The tides in the South Hams are big and strong. Keep to the sides of an estuary if you are struggling.
Children under 18 should only use a paddle board when being directly supervised by an adult.
We provide a buoyancy aid with every hire and we strongly recommend that you wear it. If you get knocked out when falling in or get tired and cannot climb back on, a buoyancy aid will save your life. We also hire them should you need different sizes for others in your group.
Surprisingly useful to stop the board drifting away if you fall off. Attach it just above the ankle, not around your wrist.
Wear suitable clothing for the time of year. Even in summer, you might want to wear more than a swim suit especially if you are planning on being in the water for a long time. In the winter, you will need to use a wet or dry suit, as well as covering your feet, hands and head.
We recommend launching from a beach, especially if you are not experienced. In Salcombe, launching from the slipways at Batson and Whitestrand are not allowed. Neither is launching from any pontoon.
It sounds obvious, but keep away from rocks, they will severely damage the paddle board. Watch out for rocks under the waterline too.
Some beaches in the South Hams have lifeguards at certain times of year. Speak to the lifeguards on duty about the best area for you to paddle. Many beaches have a designated area for surfers and paddle boarders. There should be less swimmers in this area, giving you more room to manoeuvre. Consider other water users by learning the rights of way in the surf.