When I train my students and instructor candidates on rescues we cover a lot of options, as no rescue is the same.  Conditions vary, as well as gear and those involved or the situation which led to the rescue.
It’s best to have as many tools in your toolbox to be ready for any situation.In the video below, I’m working with my PSUPA instructor trainees (from AK) to learn one of the most simplest ways to get another paddle boarder to shore without using a tow system.

In this method use your board to push another to shore. Here’s a few tips to make this technique more successful…

Watch the Video Here

Tips for Performing the Push Rescue:

– Work on your pivot turn and lifting your board nose out of the water by stepping on the tail of the board.  Doing so will allow you to place you board nose on their tail to better push them.  A common mistake in doing pivot turns is to walk on the board with the paddle blade out of the water. Instead as you walk, keep the blade flat on the surface of the water and knees bent for more stability.  If you get tippy get low – don’t stand up with arms above trying to balance. Lower center is gravity is better.

– Try docking different types of boards onto various board tails.  A displacement pointed nose may not connect well to a 6″ inflatable board or vice versa. Some boards will lock perfectly the first time, others not.

– Have the rescuee sit, kneel or lie prone (on belly) to keep a low center of gravity while being pushed.

– Try pushing the board from different angles and different parts of the board for varying effects. I’ve pushed boards at the middle just 5 feet from swift current into an eddy for safety.

– If paddling upwind, the rescuer and rescuee may both want to remain low to reduce wind drag.  Prone paddling certainly works for the rescuer.

– Play around by pushing multiple boards at once, even in a long train.

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips