Paddle boarding is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy, especially if you’ve planned a day out at the beach. However, if you’re new to paddle boarding you might be wondering: can you paddle board in a lake?
In this article, I explore whether you are allowed to paddle board in a lake, so next time you’re planning a day on the water you’re well informed on where is the best place to go! Keep reading to find out more.
Can you paddle board on reservoir?
Getting out on the water is a great way to enjoy good weather, and frequently calm water is the ideal condition for paddle boarding. Generally speaking, lake paddle boarding is perceived to be much easier than ocean paddle boarding because flat water paddling is predictable.
The ocean, however, can have unpredictable swells that can affect how well you will paddle board and can be more challenging to master if you’re just beginning this hobby.
In America, there are a tonne of stunning lakes with breathtaking views that you can use your paddle on, including Lake Tahoe, California and Jenny Lake, Wyoming to name a couple that should definitely be on your bucket list if you’re a keen paddle boarder!
However, that being said, it is always worth checking whether it is safe to paddle board on a lake local to you. Bearing this in mind, then, you should always do your research to learn more about the lakes close to you before planning a trip out on the water.
This is because the rules can vary between countries. For instance, in the UK, how your paddle board is classified will impact how you can use it.
Unless your paddle board is classified as beach recreational equipment, using a SUP is prohibited in swimming areas. A good rule of thumb is to avoid bathers, as this is when an accident is likely to occur.
So, can you paddle board on a reservoir?
Yes, lakes and reservoirs are great for people just learning to paddle board as they often have calm and still waters. In the summer months, many rental companies open in order for you to rent paddle boards if you first want to learn before you commit to buying a paddle board.
However, rental companies tend to close over the colder months depending on where you live, so you will need access to your own equipment in order to paddle board throughout the colder months.
When paddle boarding, it is also worth mentioning that each paddler 13 years of age or older must have a US Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III, or appropriate Type V life jacket. This just ensures that you’re safe should you fall in, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar body of water.
When the body is submerged in cold water, you can go into cold water shock depending on the temperature. If you happen to be in the colder months, a life jacket allows you to catch your breath and float whilst you wait for the initial shock to ease.
Something important you’ll also need to consider is safety equipment. That being said, the extra gear you need will depend entirely on the type of paddling you are planning on doing. Although this is less important for paddle boarding in the ocean or on a lake, being safe when paddle boarding is crucial.
Shoes. Generally speaking, shoes are not necessary for lakes and reservoirs where your feet will never touch the ground or in shallow waters with sand, but for creeks and rivers you should consider wearing shoes or wetsuit boots.
If you don’t, you could end up cutting your feet on the rocky terrain alongside the fact that it’s generally pretty uncomfortable, also.
Helmet. If you’re paddle boarding on calmer waters in a lake or reservoir, you most likely don’t need a helmet. However, if you decide to venture out in creeks, rivers or anywhere with rocky terrain, then it is essential that you protect yourself by wearing a helmet.
It is likely that in the beginning, you will be falling off your paddle board frequently, and even the most experienced paddler has their off days. That being said, you should always take the proper precautions to protect your head.
To summarize, there are lots of different lakes and reservoirs that are perfect for learning to paddle board as a beginner as the conditions are often perfect. Not only will you be able to master paddle boarding, but you’ll make some pretty amazing memories, too!
That being said, you should always make sure that you do your own research on the area when planning a trip and take the proper safety equipment.
Most importantly, have fun and be safe!
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I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.