Author Topic: Leash Education  (Read 14425 times)


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Re: Leash Education
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2016, 07:44:40 PM »
The other great personal accounts are the two videos that DJ has posted in the past, showing firsthand how quickly things can turn bad.

+1. It should be mandatory for any new paddler to see those accounts. DJ was very fortunate to survive. Kudos to him for sharing his experiences.
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Re: Leash Education
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2016, 12:44:27 PM »
YES, wear a LEASH when SUP ...... of course I believe that now, but I did not always think that way .... here is my, almost, horror story:

I recently got an in inflatable stand up paddle board (iSUP) as a Father's Day present from my wife.  When were purchasing the board, the sales person recommended that we get a leash; as the wind might quickly blow the board away if you fall into the water .... At the time, I stupidly thought, "... well, if I fall off the board, I will just swim back to it'.  So we did not get leash for our SUP board that day.

I considered myself an intermediate Paddle Boarder.  Event thought this was the first SUP I owned, I had rented SUP’s many times before.  I frequently take my young children out with me, with them sitting down on the board, on the calm water bay areas of San Diego.  Like many other people I see paddle boarding; at least on the waterways of San Diego, I don't wear a leash and only strap a life vest to the board, but don’t actually wear it.

Fast forward to August 5, 2016, during our vacation to the Yosemite National Park area.  We drove into the park and decided take our iSUP Board out onto Tenya Lake.

I took my young son, who was 6 years old, out with me .... he was wearing a child's life-vest.  I only strapped my life-vest to the board.  The Tenya Lake beach area was pretty crowded with people that day.

As my son and I paddled out onto the lake, the afternoon winds started to pick up and the chop on the water increased.  I decided to turn around and started to bring the iSUP back to the beach area from where we started ...... as we made the turn, with the wind now at my back, I lost my footing and fell off the back of the board into the water .... the wind very quickly blew my iSUP 15 to 20 feet away from me with my son still sitting on it.   

I immediately tried to start swimming back to the board, but with wind blowing at least 10 mph, it quickly blew the board away from me quicker then I could swim.   And with the cool water temperature and the high altitude of over 8,000 feet, I quickly became very tired .... I quickly realized I was not going to get back to the board .... and started to struggle to just tread water .... and I soon became very exhausted ..... I was doing all I could do just to keep my head above the water.

By this time, we were about 200 feet from the shore of the lake ..... I prompted my son to start yelling for help .... and I did the same .... by this time, my son was obviously very scared .... though he was still on the board and was wearing his life-vest .... and the wind was blowing him back to the shore of beach from where we started .... I, on the other hand, was starting to drown.

On that day, I believe Angels over looking us ......  there happened to be three off duty Yosemite EMT's and a triathlete near by at the beach that day.

The triathlete swam got out to me very quickly to provide some support ... two of the EMT's soon followed and were carrying a flotation device …. with me grabbing on to the flotation device, the three of them pulled me to shore …. The third EMT swim out to my son and pulled him and the board back to shore.

In the end, we were all safe …. though was I was within 1 minute or less of drowning ….. one of EMT's later told me that when he first got out to me, it was very obvious my body was starting to go into shock.

In summary, I almost died ..... if those EMT’s and triathlete where not near by at the lake that day or we were farther out on the lake, this story could have ended very differently.

- When stand up paddle boarding, always wear the leash that attaches to the board.    The wind can  blow your board away from you very quickly.   This would have been a non- incident if I was just wearing a leash …. And I almost drown by making the stupid mistake of not wearing one (or even owning one at the time).

- Always wear, don’t just bring along, some type person floatation device when on the water.  Having a personal flotation device just strapped to my board made it absolutely useless when I fell off suddenly.

- Swimming and treading in a fresh water lake is a lot harder then in saltwater or in a swimming pool.

- Being at high evaluations (any place over 4,000 feet) can quickly lead to exhaustion.   This is especially true for anyone who normally lives at sea level.

- Even in August, the alpine lake water temperatures are colder in comparison to what most people to are used to ... this can also lead to quicker exhaustion and your body going into shock.

p.s., And now, I am the proud owner of a $20 coiled SUP Leash and I ALWAYS WEAR IT .... YES, SUP Leashes DO SAVE LIVES .... and NOT wearing one might result in a story like mine, but with NOT such a fortunate ending.
Fast is FUN!   8)
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