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VDWS International

Fascination SUP

A sport with side effects

VDWS Go for SUP: Go safe – go for licence

SUP is a "sport for everyone" without safety risks and special requirements. So much for the impression that some hobby paddlers give when they want to try stand up paddling for the first time with their newly purchased "discounter SUP board".

SUP is a sport that attracts masses. Why? There are several reasons.

The fascination of Stand Up Paddling is not only based on practical aspects. Rather, it results from a successful mix of experiencing nature, doing something for yourself and your body and being able to spend your free time with the whole family. There are no limits to the diversity of the sport. You can just paddle, get an effective workout, practice yoga on the board, compete in races, experience team sports in SUP polo, hit the waves, white water ride and much more.

With the prevailing "inflatables", the inflatable boards, SUP is a highly mobile sport that is associated with a maximum of fun, active and nature-oriented experiences by sporty and less sporty people alike.

Added to this are the low costs compared to other watercraft and the fact that the sport can be carried out within a very short time. That rounds things off.

From the point of view of the VDWS (Association of German Water Sports Schools), the international training association for water sports instructors, there are also some negative side effects. A lack of knowledge about the weather, currents and wind, about safety and clothing, about avoidance rules and prohibited zones or about environmental and nature conservation are increasingly causing discussions and restrictions. The VDWS schools would like to take countermeasures and clarify this.

The VDWS member schools offer the full range of SUP sports. Apart from the correct handling of the material and the actual paddling technique, the subject of safety is addressed and practiced in the courses, and the avoidance rules and environmentally friendly behavior are discussed. The latter aspects in particular are the ones that tend to be forgotten (after all, we are talking about a nature sport here), and in the recent past have caused many complaints, rescue operations and also area bans for paddling (and other bans in standing in view).

With the 2021 season, the VDWS is not only launching a new "workbook", an ideal reference work for all SUP beginners and advanced users, but also offering a certificate of qualification for the first time; the VDWS SUP basic license. On the one hand, this license helps to provide the SUP students with legitimation (a prerequisite for some areas), and on the other hand it represents an optimal documentation of your own training in order to be able to borrow material worldwide.

At the same time, the VDWS schools are equipped with the necessary tools that enable an orderly, nature-friendly and safe handling of the SUP sport. It is precisely these aspects that tend to be forgotten with the flood of current "SUP discounter enthusiasts". Let's make this beautiful sport safe and tolerable together.

The following 10 SUP safety rules should serve to educate newcomers.

1. AREA
Inform - otherwise rule violations, hazardous areas, environmental damage

2. WIND & WEATHER
Inform - otherwise drift off, distress at sea, danger to life

3. OWN SAFETY & CLOTHING
Self-assessment - otherwise endangering yourself and others
Hypothermia/overheating is dangerous

4. NATURE & ANIMALS
Respect - prudent handling protects against prohibitions

5. WATER TRANSPORT REGULATIONS
Take into account - otherwise misunderstandings, trouble and accidents

6. PROHIBITED & SWIMMING ZONES
Note - otherwise it can be uncomfortable, dangerous and expensive, risk of injury and fear of the swimmer

7. NATURE SPORTS
Respect - quiet and careful handling protects against disturbances and prohibitions

8. TRASH
Take away - also applies to and on the water

9. INFLUENCER role model
SUP is hip and many try it, the newcomer is based on the pro. Be a pro and show us how to do it right

10. TECHNIQUE
Learning & doing your license - otherwise it will be exhausting and not fun