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ian the badger
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Post by ian the badger »

Casual observation, none of the the paddleboarders I've seen wear buoyancy aids or protection from the cold other than, maybe a wetsuit, is there a reason?

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Re: BAs?

Post by Incayak »

Because they conceal muscle definition

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Re: BAs?

Post by Alec »

Same as surfers. If they're attached to their board the board takes the place of a buoyancy aid. Alternatively they may be wearing something more like a self inflating life jacket. Much smaller and more comfortable if you're very unlikely to need it.

Wetsuits are perfect for protection against the cold. Just make sure you buy one that's warm enough for where you're paddling.

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Re: BAs?

Post by Jim »

Context is everything.
If you would be swimming off the beach in just a pair of shorts, why would you need to wear anything more to pootle around on a board at the same location, especially since you will be leashed to it.

If you are going out to deeper water or places where you cannot easily swim to shore, more appropriate clothing would be worthwhile. Whether or not there are some people who don't realise and tackle more serious conditions in just shorts/swimsuit might remain to be seen? Certainly the long distance paddle boarders I know all dress appropriately for the conditions in wetsuits or dry suits as necessary.

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Re: BAs?

Post by CM2 »

I once had a go at paddle boarding (everyone had a BA and wetsuit except I took my drysuit) and they mentioned that a lot of paddle boarders think that a drysuit makes it very difficult / impossible to back on the board, it isn't an issue I found it easy to get back on the board, in most circumstances a wetsuit offers perfectly adequate cold water protection I find my drysuit more comfortable but others are the other way round, or can not justify the expense of a drysuit. Not having any cold water protection is common not just on SUP but also in kayaks in the UK regular kayakers assess the risks and generally wear suitable clothing beginners might not but are generally in a position where they can get (or be taken) ashore to warm if if necessary, this is less common in other countries and it is possible that SUP is too young to have different cultures in different countries. I was once considering a kayaking holiday in Alaska all but one company I saw only offered foul weather gear or a kayak cag for protection against the water.

BA's are a different issue. I believe there was a court case in the US that said that surfing was designed to be done near shore and therefore a BA wasn't necessary but kayaking was a form of travelling and therefore you could be a long way from shore and it would be reasonable to expect people to wear a BA. I am not convinced on that but I expect it would be a lot harder to paddle a surfboard out with a BA on and surfers sometimes duck dive under waves that might not be possible in a BA (possibly resulting in getting caught in the wave though a BA might help you rise to the surface if you do). I don't know if paddle boarders ever duck dive but a SUP in surf is somewhat of a cross between a kayak and a surf board. In flat water I would find it harder to justify not wearing a BA but with the amount of SUP yoga going I I can see people not wanting the restriction of a BA. Paddle boarders are generally lashed to the board so they do have a big floaty thing to support them if they fall and maybe that is enough but I would certainly want to wear a BA.

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Re: BAs?

Post by Mikebelluk »

Wetsuits are buoyant themselves, due to the closed cell neoprene. I would much rather surf/paddle board/body board in cold water in a 5mm wetsuit than a drysuit with fleece underwear and a BA

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Re: BAs?

Post by sunstreaker »

I have made this comment before but I think it's an individual's route into paddleboarding that determines, if you come to paddleboarding via surfing your less likely to wear a BA than if you come to it via a paddling background.
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Re: BAs?

Post by uxb »

When paddle boarding you are ( or at least I am) attached by a leash and a BA would be useless.
Also I usually wear a wetsuit which is just as good as a BA.

Note, not a life jacket which is a different thing altogether ( and I woukdnt bother with one of them either on a paddle board.)

In surf a BA is a dangerous encumbrance which Is more likely to drown you as to save you as it will float you to the surface of the water - under the white water...

Ditto for a dry suit


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