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Local Paddling Conditions

Before you paddle an unfamiliar run you should learn about the tides, currents, exit points, weather, dangers, and local safety responders. A website like this is typically not the best source for up-to-date information that is specifically local. So before you go out, check in with locals who know whereof they speak. If we get specific risk information we will include that in downwind run descriptions (where there are and/or links we hope you will find local safety issues described there). Many if not most downwind runs mentioned here have simply been found via videos which do not necessarily provide any relevant safety warnings.

What You Should Know

Shipping/Boat/Foil/Kite/etc. Traffic/Access

  • Local Powerboat Traffic - (How much, where, when, how many tend to be drunk, speeding??, etc.)
  • Local Launches - (Good locations, Availability for unplanned exits, Shoreline stretches that allow little or no exit - rocky, steep, shorebreak, etc.)

What to be Aware of / Avoid

  • Shallows (near shore or off shore reefs, banks, rocks, ledges) - too shallow to boat over? or cause waves to increase in size and/or break (boomers)/bommies? Whether off shore waves break is dependent on how shallow the water gets and how large the waves are. You can have a shallow area where only the largest waves break intermittently (and unexpectedly if you are not familiar with the area). Areas that are problematic at low tide or the potential source of boomers can be anticipated via nautical charts.
  • Wild Life (dangerous, protected, invasive, etc.)
  • Local Political Tension/Hotspots
  • Local Crime, Spots to Avoid, Parking Breakins

What to Seek Out/Potential Help

  • Local Boaters, Guides, Folks in On Water Businesses
  • Coast Guard, Police, EMS, Other
  • Cell Reception, VHF coverage, Dead (No Reception) Zones?
  • Scenic Paddles, Wildlife, Good Downwinds, etc.

Pirates of the Caribbean :

Gibbs: “Look alive and keep a weather eye, men! It's not for naught it's called Shipwreck Island where lies Shipwreck Cove in the town of Shipwreck.”