So...you just never know how a morning will unfold. A beautiful 6am SUP yoga class, sunshine, gorgeous weather...and an unexpected interview with a news anchor. What?!
Lakes Pace's cameo appearance on KVRR (whew! They are good editors!):
Here is the link to MN DNR's safe paddling page:
Animated safety video from American Canoe Association (funny, AND a good message):
Here are the 10 tips from the video along with a couple of links you might find useful:
1) ALWAYS have a PFD on board...preferably ON. Lifejackets are required to be ON BOARD any vessel in the state of MN. Any paddlers under age 10 must be wearing their lifejacket. (Cool tip: DNR agents might even stop up with a DQ treat coupon if young riders are following state lifejacket laws!) There are some neat fanny-pack style PFDs available now that you can wear around your waist. Here is a link to AMAZON to check them out: PFDs for SUP
MN Lifejacket Law: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/boatwater/pfd_selecting.html
2) ALWAYS portage around dams. Near us, we have Minnesota's "Best Park By a Dam." Paddling the river can be fun...but be safe.
Here's a list of MN state parks: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/index.html
3) Do not stand in swift moving water.
4) ALWAYS let someone know you are going paddling.
MN Paddle Planner: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/travel-trade/cvb-travel-organizations/21576/paddle-plannercom
5) Don't drink and paddle.
6) Obey navigation rules and be on the look out for boat traffic. It is also a good idea to have a whistle along when you are paddling alone, just incase you do run into paddle-trouble...that you can alert boaters near by that you are in distress.
MN Boating Regulations: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/boatwater/boatingguide.pdf
7) Wear appropriate clothing to help prevent hypothermia in cool weather or over-heating in hot weather. Don sunscreen or sun-protective clothing to prevent sunburn and bring along water to drink on long paddles. For any SUP classes, wear the type of clothing you would to go on a jog in the weather that day. I recommend wearing a bathing suit underneath and/or bring a change of clothing just in-case you do fall in or get wet.
What to wear: http://www.canoekayak.com/start-paddling/what_to_wear/#fjRFe6mxuLJS8RHF.97
8) Avoid hazardous weather. Stay off the water for 1/2 hour after the last clap of thunder to make sure any potential thunderstorm has passed safely. Also...be aware of WIND SHIFTING. Wind can blow a paddler across the lake quickly...and understanding weather patterns and forecasts can be useful to gage how long it is safe to be out on the water and where is the best place on the lake to launch. Many of my SUP yoga classes in DL move from the beach to a boat landing on the opposite side of the lake due to wind conditions. Unless the wind is blowing over 20mph, there usually is a calm side of a lake.
9) Know your paddling ability. Keeping in mind to stay with-in a safe paddle distance of shore and away from rapids. Also, remember to check the wind direction and speed (see #8 above).
10) Do not paddle in flood water. "SUP North" in MN, we have plenty of lakes that are lakes year-round. Be aware of any posted signs that warn you off the water or from trespassing on property. MN property owners are usually pretty friendly...but many are also very aware of some of the invasive species that have been entering our local waters. Some property owners may not allow you to cross their land onto paddle-able lakes. Be sure to check with them first.
Also, please be sure to rinse and dry your SUP and any water-related equipment before you enter another lake or river. Be conscious of the environment you are paddling and enjoy it without disrupting or destroying it.
Keep safety in mind this summer as you prepare for your fun on the water, and have fun!!
See you on the Lakes!