Can I Stand Up Paddleboard During the COVID-19 Crisis?
These are crazy times right now and nobody really has all the answers, but if one thing is for certain it’s that water can bring calm, comfort and perspective to soothe the soul. Stand Up Paddleboarding can be a great way to get out in some fresh air, physical distance yourself from others and provide a much-needed break from the media that can be all-consuming in a pandemic like the Corona Virus. That said, we all do need to be cautious, responsible and especially risk adverse at this time. Most Stand Up Paddleboard events have been cancelled to avoid groups congregating on the shore. My hometown of White Rock BC has been on the national news shaming the crowds of people on the White Rock Pier who are prominently ignoring their civic duty of social distancing. There are responsible ways to go Paddle Boarding during this crisis and not so smart ways to go. Here are the main things to consider when getting out for a SUP during COVID-19 Global Pandemic:
Paddleboarding and Physical Distancing
- If your area is not under lockdown, you can probably get out to some local waters. Avoid contact with others. Don’t meet up with friends or a group, stay with your housemates only, those close contacts that you are self-isolating with. Don’t go to the most popular launch spot, choose a more isolated one. Go directly from your home to the water, avoid crowds, and if you are stopping for gas or groceries on the way home, wear your N95 mask to protect yourself and others.
Life Jackets & PFD
- If you are paddling alone, be extra vigilant of water conditions and stay within your skill set. The last thing you want to do is get hurt and be a drain on medical services. Always let somebody know where you are going and when you expect to be home, and always wear your whistle, leash and PFD.
- Think about your health and safety and stay within a reasonable limit for exercise. Moderate exercise is good for boosting your immune system, which is perfect for helping your fight this corona virus. Heavy weight lifting and very vigorous exercise is actually taxing on your immune system for days while your body rebuilds muscle fibers. The same goes for being too cold- if your body is expending a lot of energy to warm itself, it is less able to fight a virus. Be smart about your outing - make it a nice moderately easy paddle and put on an extra warm layer of clothing.
- Follow all local curfews and voluntary self isolation recommendations. If your town or city is on lock-down and you are told not to go outside, then practice other SUP basics inside like pumping up your iSUP, lifting over your head to gain strength to load, deflating and rolling up to fit in the bag. Do some pushups on your board to gain strength for paddling (only if inflatable, don’t stand on your hardboard out of water), and even some Russian Twist exercises holding the paddle to gain core strength. You can still love your SUP and dream about when you are able to get out there, while respecting the health of yourself and others.
- Think about your timing and consider if you can go out early morning to beat any crowds. You can enjoy the beautiful gift of a perfect sunrise at the start of the new day and steer clear of running into other people.
- Take some time to reflect. Enjoy your solitude and find some peace. This self isolation is not a holiday, it is serious business, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do your civic duty to stay away from others, find calm quiet waters and enjoy some soul searching on your SUP.
Stay safe out there!
Much love, Mandy.