This past weekend a paddler went missing after falling from his board in the Columbia River Gorge – near Hood River, Oregon.
His board was found within in hour of him being reported missing – as of this writing – he has still not been found. He was not wearing a leash.
With this tragedy, and the stories from a few customers of close calls due to not wearing a leash – I figured it was time that someone did something to begin a campaign for the education and encouragement of Lease use on Stand Up Paddleboards.
Below is the Open Letter to the SUP Industry that I wrote and sent to all my SUP contacts.
Dave Kalama added his endorsement to the letter.
The logo below – will be available at the store later this week, as a sticker, for free. Please help to keep our “family” safe by not only using a leash every time you set foot on a board – but also by telling everyone you know that paddles to wear a leash.
owner The Easy Rider
To Whom it May Concern,
In light of the recent tragic event in the Gorge this past weekend, 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.
Please feel free to reply to this email with any comments and or questions, and please share with any industry related SUP businesses.
Imagine / Quickblade