Absolutely. Yes. 100%. For sure. Affirmative. Without doubt.
A leash keeps your body connected to the board in any unexpected water conditions
The board serves as a life-raft in an emergency. A leash helps you get back on your board easily
Without a leash, you lose control of the board. That could harm people around you
Say you’re paddling in flat or calmer waters and you’re thinking “I’m a good swimmer or “what can really go wrong” or whatever attempt to justify not using one and you take a fall. You see your board kick away from you and by the time you resurface it can easily be 9m/30m away and you’re left holding a paddle and swimming somewhat one handed — best case scenario. You could be injure or your board could have slide out and taken someone else out.
Sadly, there are deaths that could have been easily prevented if the rider was using a leash and were able to retrieve their board. It’s a giant flotation device, it just makes sense to have it near you if you hit the water!
With that leash around your ankle and attached securely to your board, it can’t get more than 10′ away from you. No panic swimming, no watching your board leaving you stranded, no hoping someone will help you get back to shore.
You may not need it most of the time but you’ll be glad it’s there when you need it.
This is meant to give a very basic understanding of how to use a SUP or iSUP and is not mean to replace proper lesson.
Carry your board downwind from yourself (the wind will carry your board away from you instead of pushing it into you).
Check that your leash is properly secured to your board and to your ankle. Put your leash on BEFORE entering the water and don’t take it off until you and your board are out of the water.
Transport Canada requires all SUPers to to wear an approved PFD and have an emergency whistle (both provided). If you just have the PFD and whistle on board, you are required to have a tow rope as well (not provided). The fine is $200 for not abiding by these rules.
Know the weather conditions for where you are. If going out in winder conditions, start by going into the wind. If in doubt of the conditions, don’t go out.
Walk your board out to a minimum of knee deep. Never start off on a dock, pier or rock, it isn’t a boat!
Get up on your knees first. When standing up keeping your eyes on a far away focal point to help with balance. Your feet should be on either side of the handle to start, keep a bend in your knees.
If you’re going to fall, try to fall forward and as flat as you can; never feet first and never dive. Try to hold onto your paddle.
Do not use your paddle to push off the shore/rocks/docks/boats/bottom/etc, A damaged paddle repair/replacement is expensive.
Get off your board in knee deep water. Never ride up onto shore.
If you happen to put a hole into the board, stop riding IMMEDIATELY, get it out of the water and get yourself to shore safely. A hole left unattended can put you in danger and ruin the board in a short amount of time.
A form must be completed prior to drop off by everyone using the board(s)