by Grant Cooper
(founding Board Member)
Photo by Author - Utah Lake Storm 06/02/2023
Living in the high desert area of Utah, Spring, albeit a late spring this year, and the transition into Summer is a time of afternoon thunderstorms and unpredictable winds.
This of course brings additional challenges to planning and enjoying time on the water paddleboarding.
A worst case scenario in windy conditions is becoming separated from your paddleboard. The paddleboard is your biggest flotation device in adverse conditions.
Leashes, and your understanding and use of them, can prevent separation from your paddleboard and potentially tragic outcomes from your paddle sessions.
In addition to taking the time to evaluate weather conditions, checking forecasts, checking flags that may be out on your journey to the water, observing the water and clouds, and then assessing your ability to paddle in those conditions, your leash should be the first piece of equipment you reach for once you have decided to paddle out.
But are all leashes created equal ? I would like to share here, an article from our friends at NZ SUP, more specifically Bill Dawes, the NZ SUP Safety Officer.
Unfortunately it is becoming an all too common occurrence for paddlers to be caught out in conditions which can change in an instance.
So if you are paddling and see someone with a leash dragging in the water behind the board, politely recommend they attach it to themselves and explain why.
And if you are a paddler that does not wear one, I shall leave you with this thought a race director shared with his competitors a number of years ago.
"As a race director I cannot force you to wear a leash, there is no law that says you must, but I would ask that you remember, each time you go out on your board you are an ambassador for your sport. You get to choose how you represent that sport"