Video | Safety | Downwinder Gone Wrong

When you’re a mile or more from shore and a paddleboard is you’re only flotation device, your leash is your lifeline. If the wind’s up, a gust can pick up your sled and roll it like a tumbleweed. Without a leash, it only takes an instant for your board to be skip away and be lost among the whitecaps. It’s a harrowing fate and not one any of us want for ourselves, much less our paddling partners. So heed this warning from a duo who experienced just how bad a downwinder with no leash can get. The footage is shot from a GoPro mounted atop one of two boards that got away from them at sea. Sure it’s an older clip, but it’s a solid lesson we all might use a reminder to abide. And if you want to be on par with the US Coast Guard’s regulations, bring along your PDF every time you paddle, too.

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