Safety equipment includes lifejackets (of course!), PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices), and reefing systems that can hold your board up in the air while you’re not using it. Before getting out on the water, make sure to find an appropriate spot. Be aware of wind direction and strength, wave action level and type (surf or power), tide height and time of day. The best spots are usually close to shore or near other boats so that you can help rescue someone if needed. Once you’ve found a spot where you feel comfortable paddling out, it’s time to get ready! Pull your board close to shore so that it’s just off the sand – this will help keep your board more stable in choppy water.
Boating enthusiasts of all levels will want to stock up on marine accessories, such as lifejackets, before hitting the water. Here are four essential items for every boater: a lifejacket, first-aid kit, flares, and a whistle. A lifejacket is essential for everyone who takes to the water. It should be worn at all times while boating, even if you are only standing on the dock or in your boat’s cabin. Many jackets have straps that go over your shoulders and cross your chest; this way, it is difficult to lose and will stay tied around your body in an emergency. Make sure the jacket fits well so it won’t come off in an emergency; often a lifejacket will stretch with wear.
A first-aid kit should contain supplies such as bandages, aspirin, antiseptics, and pain killers. Always keep these drugs nearby in case of an injury; they can help lessen any pain and make treatment easier. Also pack some sunscreen and insect repellent if necessary. Flares are used to signal for help when emergencies arise on the water. They look like small cigars and emit a bright light that can be seen from great distances. Flares can also marine safety epirbs be used to attract attention during law enforcement procedures or during recreational fishing trips when you may not want others to know what you are catching.