Self-rescue techniques include paddling assuming a kneeling or sitting position, paddling prone using the hands and advice as to when to use such techniques. A distress signal can include waving the paddle side to side above the head whilst straddling board or waving arms above head, side to side to attract attention. Stay with your board at all times, which is more visible in a rescue situation than a lone swimmer and will provide in most cases an adequate platform of safety. Avoid paddling in offshore winds and know how and when to respond if needs be.
This easy maneuver makes the Stand Up Paddleboard safer than the canoe or kayak which both require more skill and dexterity to get back on board. If your board flips, the maneuver is a little more complicated, and you will have to flip your board back around. Kicking your feet under you grab one side of the board mid-ships and pull up one side while you push down the other. If you are paddling an extra wide board, such as a Yolo Yak, it might prove to be too difficult to flip alone. Climb to your board upside down, and if you're not in immediate danger of nearby towboats simply ride the water and paddle towards the closest shore. You will be able to re-flip the board from the shore, especially from a shallow sandbar. If your board has been rolled over with gear attached and you can't return it upright you might cut loose your gear and then re-flip it.
If you find yourself struggling against a strong headwind or the water is very choppy to the point you can’t keep your balance then kneel down on your paddleboard. This will greatly reduce the wind resistance your body creates when standing up and lowers your center of gravity offering you a lot more stability. Choke up on the shaft of your paddle and start moving out of the area. Holding your paddle further down the shaft gives you better leverage and power, and it is just easier to paddle that way when kneeling. But if conditions are to the point that you are having trouble getting to a safe spot even on your knees, then the next strategy is to lie stomach down on your board and paddle with your hands. The prone position is the most stable position and offers the least resistance to the wind. Once you are lying down, slide the blade of your paddle underneath your chest so the shaft is angled upwards in front of you- this way you won’t lose it and it will be readily available when you need it.