Basic safety rules and code of conduct for boardsports
Boardsports like kite boarding, windsurfing, surfing or SUP (Stand Up Paddling) are generally considered rather safe activities compared to other sports - as long as some basic safety rules are observed. Good swimming skills are a definite basic requirement.
All boardsports associations also strongly recommend the wearing of life jackets and the use of leashes (i.e. safety lines which connect athlete and board) as unmanned SUP or surf boards tend to drift off very quickly in strong winds or currents.
Observe the safety rules If you plan to venture out onto the water on your board, always make sure to get all the information available on the actual area and the specific situation at the surf spot. You should be aware of currents, drift, shoals, shipping channels and traffic regulations or restricted areas for the sake of your own safety and others. Always adhere to the general traffic regulations as they help to keep you safe when encountering other - often much stronger - watercraft: the vehicle with better general manoeuvrability must make room and should always pass behind the other.
It is safer in a group In order to fully enjoy the fun on your board, get the local weather report before you head off. Ask at the local surf school or shop if you feel unsure. As in all watersports activities, it's not just more fun to go in a group but it is also much safer as you can take care of your fellow boarders if needs be. And finally, never go further out from the shoreline as you can safely go back swimming in case any problems arise.
General codes of conduct For any kind of leisure activities on, in or under water, there are some basic rules that should generally be observed. Whoever spends their spare time anywhere near the water, should for their own safety always be able to swim safely as well as know and respect their own limits. Also, always leave a note with someone on shore about your planned trip, where you are heading and when you plan to be back. Wearing a suitable life jacket should be a matter of course for all boaters, whether sailors, motorboaters or canoeists, stand up paddler, kiters or anglers. For their own good and as a role model for young people, who are often rather hostile to this type of security measure.