It seems that, as each year passes, there is an increasing number of individuals who discover the joy of water. More are taking to wild swimming and diving, as stand-up paddleboard and kayak ownership figures increase. The reasons for this rise in popularity, especially for those already enjoying such activities, are clear, with many not only revelling in water for enjoyment but also the mental and physical health benefits too.
However, with a greater number of first-timers taking to the water, there must be extra caution taken. There are a number of safety considerations for those dipping, diving, swimming, and paddling. A great deal of extra safety, as well as comfort, can be drawn from essential accessories too, eight of which we are recommending to those looking to enjoy their time on the water.
For those frequently spending time in the water, there is a risk of damage to one’s ears, manifesting most often as swimmer’s ear. Prolonged exposure to water, especially at cold temperatures, can lead to damage to the ear canal, which is why many will choose to wear ear plugs, especially during colder months.
Safety of one’s belongings, ensuring they do not get wet or, in the case of electronics, damages, is important. This is why dry bags are essential, especially for those travelling across bodies of water. Additionally, certain bags can also double as a floatation device during an emergency.
Also known as swimming booties, these snug-fitting accessories help to keep feet in the water warm while simultaneously offering grip on boards and protection against any sharp rocks hidden below the water.
When venturing out with your four-legged friends, you must consider their essential safety equipment too. For those dogs that will be sailing, surfing, and even paddleboarding with you, a dog buoyancy aid is a must-have.
Surfers and paddleboarders, no matter whether they are just starting out or competing professionally, will each ensure they are equipped with a leash. This small but robust bracelet connects your ankle (or in some cases, waist) with your board, ensuring that neither becomes too far separated.
A hat, when out in or on the water, is important for two reasons. Firstly, it helps to keep the head warm. Secondly, a brightly coloured hat can ensure visibility, helping others to spot you should you need assistance.
An important item in specific circumstances is a kayak’s spray skirt. This covering prevents water from rough rapids and rainfall from collecting inside a kayak. They help to ensure a kayak stays both nimble and afloat, and can be quickly removed when the water begins to calm.
Surfers might appear to be following trends but sunglasses on the water are for safety too. Even a small amount of sunshine can cause disorientation on the water, amplified by the surface sheen. This is why, alongside sunscreen, sunglasses are also recommended as they help to maintain visibility on the water.