We are so excited that he will be joining us at PaddleSplash in July! Slater has had an incredible SUP racing journey so far. He started racing at the age of 11 and became the “2nd fastest Stand Up Paddler in the World” at 14. This was in adult racing! He is currently ranked #16 in the world with his great performance in Europe recently – and I believe his future in the sport will be long lived.
All that is cool, but what really gets us excited is his belief in safety and developing Groms racing programs. Slater leads a lot of clinics for people to help them improve their technique, and he has 2 simple requirements for anyone joining these clinics.
- You need to know how to swim
- You need to wear a full PFD
Seems obvious but lets talk about these a little more.
Know how to Swim. I can already hear you – come on, only people who know how to swim ever get on a paddleboard. I wish that were the case. People get on a boat, a raft, and even a paddleboard with no experience and no ability to swim because they have a false sense of security on what they might consider a “boat”can do for them. This “boat” keeps them afloat, so it must be safe. When you don’t know how to swim or understand boat safety, this probably seems logical. This happens all too often unfortunately.
Wear a full PFD.Even if you can swim, it is best to wear a personal flotation device (pfd) or life vest. There are five different categories of PFDs and REI has a great blog on how to choose the right one for you. Type III Flotation Aids are best for beginners because they are comfortable to wear and often can put the paddler in a face-up position. They are already “activated” which means the paddler doesn’t have to do anything for the devices to help you float – which is important for beginners who may panic when they fall in the water.
Click here to read more about Slater’s upcoming clinics at PaddleSplash.