If you decide to ride a longer distance, want to paddle around headlands or go further offshore, then you should take into account some extra safety points.
- Wear a lifejacket. It pays to be safe when heading away from land or paddling in more extreme conditions.
- Wear a leash. Your board is the biggest floatation device you have, so stay with it!
- Communication. Carry at least one form of waterproof communication with you (for example, a mobile phone in a dry bag or a hand held VHF radio).
- Avoid areas with heavy boat traffic (shipping channels), strong currents, and dangerous rocks.
- Visible. Wear bright clothing so you stand out to other water users.
- Rules of the road (at sea). When out on your paddleboard you are governed by the same rules as other small craft. Go to www.nrc.govt.nz/onthewater to find out more.
- Safety. If possible, paddle with another person or in a group. Also, if caught out by deteriorating water or wind conditions adopt the "safe position" on your knees and paddle waka style – this will lower your centre of gravity, provide more stability and reduce wind drag.
- Check the weather forecast and tides and try to avoid situations where the wind direction is blowing against the tide, and offshore winds.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you'll be back.
If in doubt, don't go out!