OK, so here’s what we now know about what stand up paddleboarding will look like at Level 3, based on the latest official guidance from the government and SportNZ, released earlier today.
The relevant guidelines from SportNZ for paddleboarding are as follows:
● Local paddling only (your nearest beach rather than your favourite beach),
● Stay within your bubble,
● No sharing of equipment,
● No gathering with others (even with physical distancing),
● Stay close to shore and only go out when conditions are calm.
● Remain close to the shore (no more than 200m away).
● If in doubt, then don’t go out.
To which we would add the following advice and further clarification of the guidelines:
● Maintain social distance while paddling, from other paddlers and other water users.
● Do not treat paddleboarding as a social activity, ie do not arrange to paddle with others outside of your current immediate bubble.
● Minimise interactions in the process of getting to and from the water (ie at the carpark, on the beach, etc.)
● Paddle in a safe way, avoiding any risk of getting into difficulty and thus requiring the emergency services of any sort. Stay close to shore. Do not go out in any sort of challenging weather or water conditions. Play it safe to the extreme. Technical paddleboarding activities such as downwinders or paddle surfing in any sort of challenging conditions MUST be avoided. Use your board as an exercise and mental wellbeing tool only.
● If you’re new to paddleboarding, this is not the time to start!
● Don’t be outside at all if you are in any way unwell – as with Level 4, you are best not to leave your house. Even if your symptoms are not exactly those of Covid19, don’t go out at all if you are unwell. Spread of any disease, even the common cold, will put extra strain on the system at this difficult time.
● If at any time there is any inconsistency between what is recommended in this post and any current official guidelines, where the official guidelines are more restrictive, then naturally you must follow the official guidelines.
Overall though, this is excellent news – hopefully most of you will be able to get on the water and enjoy some quality paddleboarding within the scope of these guidelines.