Staying Safe on the Stand-Up Paddle Board in Windy Conditions

Stand-Up Paddleboarding pic

Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Image: rei.com

Based in the Florida Keys, Edwin Hammond Meredith maintains a successful career as a chef. Also involved with the local stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) community, Edwin Hammond Meredith regularly takes part in SUP competitions and events, including a 33.8-mile long-distance crossing from Key Largo to Flamingo.

Given the variability of marine conditions, one of the most important aspects of enjoying SUP involves taking proper safety precautions. Winds are a major factor, with strong offshore gusts presenting challenges to even the most experienced paddle boarders. If unsure of the currents and weather conditions, either go out with an experienced SUP buddy or stay out of the water altogether until conditions are placid and predictable.

Should winds increase unexpectedly on the open water, making forward paddling impossible, lay down on the board with your paddle firmly lodged between chest and the board. This will significantly cut down on wind resistance and allow easier forward progress. Using your arms in an alternating right and left stroke, paddle back toward shore.

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Stand-Up Paddleboarding – A Sport Growing in Popularity

Stand-Up Paddleboarding pic

Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Image: rei.com

A chef in the Florida Keys, Edwin Hammond Meredith enjoys stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Taking advantage of South Florida’s extensive marine recreation opportunities, Edwin Hammond Meredith competes in local SUP races and undertakes group long-distance water crossings.

A unique combination of kayaking and surfing that involves standing on a board while using a paddle to traverse water, SUP has roots extending back to the 1960s. The beach boys on Waikiki’s famous white sand beaches would stand on longboards and employ outrigger paddles as a way of going out a distance and taking stock of surf conditions.

Unlike traditional surfing, which requires a coastal locale with waves, SUP can be undertaken on any body of water, including lakes and rivers. This had led to its adoption by outdoor enthusiasts far-removed from traditional water sports meccas.

SUP’s popularity was given a boost when top-class pro surfers such as Laird Hamilton started integrating it into their workout routines when wave conditions were flat. Nearly impact-free, SUP provides an excellent combination of balance and cardio fitness workouts, and enhances core strength.