Safety First: Always wear an inflatable PFD & whistle (personal flotation device) Its the law. Always wear a leash at all times. I always have a cell phone in a dry bag as an extra precaution. So now you have 3 lifelines!!Let people know where you are going as well if you intend to paddle alone.
- PFD and Whistle
- Cell Phone
You got their back, they got your back. The environment of the ocean can be a dangerous place. You’ve usually only got each other.
Just Like anything else, there are “rules of the road” for all vessels on the water?
Whether you’re on a sailboat, a fishing boat, a kayak or a stand up paddleboard, you are required to know and abide by all applicable vessel traffic and safety laws and regulations. By learning general SUP etiquette, you’re better prepared to naturally abide by those laws and to have a fun and safe experience out on the water.
Within the Hilton Head Area, Sounds, Creeks, and Inter-coastal waterways for example, it is important to understand the proper flow of vessel traffic, so that you know how to maintain safe distances from motorized vessels.
RESPECT:Certain areas within the in the creeks and sounds, such as the boat launch ramp and designated docks, are off-limits to paddlers and other HPW (Human Powered Watercraft). In addition, it is expected that paddlers consider all the docks as neighborhoods, with the boats moored there as private homes. As inviting and fun as the boats appear, they are not open to the public to board, nor for use as “rest stops” along your way. Respect Private Property.
IMPORTANT General Guidelines: (Sharing the Waters)
- WATERWAYS: The main channel through the waterways, especially near the boat launch ramp, is rather BUSY during the summer.— stay to ONE SIDE and allow faster vessels to pass. It is your responsibility to avoid collision with other vessels — don’t expect that other boats can stop or easily change course. STAY OUT OF THE MIDDLE, IN BOTH WAKE ZONES AND NO WAKE ZONES. Have AWARENESS of your surroundings.
- OPEN AREAS (throughways) in the Sounds and Creeks are not places to congregate with other paddlers on the water, any more than you would set up a picnic on the freeway — it’s not safe, and makes it difficult for BOATS and SKULLS to safely navigate around or through your group.
- LAUNCHING: Have your Boards and gear ready to go when you get to the launch area. Other Boats will likely be launching boats on trailers or trailering before exiting the ramp. These TRAILERS are not easy to back up to the water and often there is a wait!!. Give them plenty of space so traffic can move peacefully. The boards and the gear that you have MAY NOT require you to take up a space on the launch ramp! Please Consider.
- Keep an eye out for prohibited areas, and avoid them.
- Interacting With Marine Wildlife: Please follow Sanctuary guidelines.
- Safety: Please wear(or have with you) a PFD(personal flotation device) or leash with you at all times.
- get a lesson with an experienced Paddler if you are begginning.
- If you are looking to launch call Me and I can advise you where to go and when to go. 843-247-0004 (Ken)
Please be aware that Standup Paddling is becoming very popular, showing respect to marine life, boaters and sharing the water. Be safe and have fun. Any Questions call me 843-247-0004