Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Safety Lasso for Inflatable SUPs

Having difficult climbing back on your 6-8" thick inflatable SUP?  We've seen this as a problem, especially for those who have little upper body strength or are under 5'-5", especially on boards 32" or wider.  Thick race boards are also an issue. Even a flip rescue can be difficult as inflatables are slippery and race boards sometimes have carved out decks with rigid raised rails which are uncomfortable to climb over.

Here's two solutions to try:

Stirrup Strap - Use the following North Water U-Link or fashion your own to attach one end to a clip or D-Ring on your board with a carabiner a or similar secure attachable loop.  Let the foot section of the stirrup sink in the water.  Place the paddlers foot in the stirrup while the other paddler holds down the opposite side of the board to keep it from flipping over the paddler. 

Try it out and see if it works. Make sure the carabiner can detach easily if necessary and that you have a place on the board or in a deck bag to store the stirrup when not in use. 

Testing this last week, I found attaching the caribiner to the leash string and climbing on the tail worked best. The narrow shaped tail less volume tail can be pushed in the water as you climb on top more effortly.  

North Water Stirrup

One of my students who is an EMT/Fireman says they always carry a loop strap in their jacket at all times for any variety of improvised rescues.  Order the North Water strirrup Here.


Wax the Rails of the Board - I learned this one from river SUP guys who wax the rails of their epoxy boards to easier grab them after falling off in moving current.  Make sure to use surf, not ski wax (sticky).  I wax the deck area just outside the traction pad along the rails and my nose area too for walking on the board.  

Have a creative Rescue Idea? Let us know, we would be glad to share it!

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