To Whom it May Concern,In light of the recent tragic event in the Gorge this past weekend (where an experienced paddler is still missing after he fell from his SUP while Downwinding with no leash & no PFD attached to his person), we are penning this Open Letter to the Stand Up Paddle Industry. We believe that we, as a collective industry, must take a vehement stand in the education and encouragement of the use of leashes on all types of SUP’s, on all types of water, and in all conditions.
With the exponential growth of SUP, there are a great deal of boards being sold with very little safety education accompanying the sale. Like seat belts in cars, leashes save lives on SUP’s. If it is far enough to paddle – it is far enough to wear a leash.
A few ideas as to how to implement this are:
- A sticker on the tail of the board near the leash plug that states “Leashes Save Lives”
- Only showing images (both still and video) of paddlers that are using leashes. This is especially important in Manufacturers brochures and Industry publications (magazines).
- A Public Service Announcement video – featuring the top Pro’s in the industry advocating the use of leashes.
- Instructing Team Riders that they should be setting the example by always wearing a leash.
We need to educate our customers on how to safely use our products. Unfortunately, as is often the case, it takes a tragedy to create the momentum for positive change.
Imagine / Quickblade
This is a comp of the sticker that would go on the tail of the board near the leash plug: