The Flare Effect: Top 3 Reasons to Paddleboard with Flare
1. Safety- First and foremost, being on the water is all about having fun and being safe. Similar to backcountry skiing or snowboarding, wearing bright and vibrant colors is important for safety because it increases visibility and makes it easier for rescue in case something goes terribly wrong.
2. Visibility- To go along with safety, flare adds an increase in visibility, which is beneficial for a couple different reasons. A bright moving object on the lake means an increase in visibility for boaters and sailers and less of a chance for an accident. Visibility is also good for your paddle partner especially in lower light conditions, mist and fog situations. In the varial river flowing environment, flare is key for rescue and safety.
"Color makes river paddlers safer. High vis is important from pfd to paddles. I wore a black suit in Japan. Never again, primarily because there were no good shots. A black suit in whitewater dissappears. Colorful equipment gets you noticed on the river. Good thing if you need a hand or are a model looking for attention." -Photographer Paul Clark
3. The Peacock Effect- The way you dress and look is a reflection of who you are, your professionalism and the way you paddle. Several paddlers have utilized personal flare for branding and identity. They key is to be consistent, to represent the same colors and to wear them with confidence. Several board companies have succeeded creating a brand color to represent their product: Naish with its yellow and bamboo board lines and Fanatic with its vibrant red colors. And perhaps the best athlete with this effect is top paddler- Danny Ching, the most identifiable athlete in a SUP race because of his consistency with neon green flare on his hat, boardshorts and board, or all three at the same time, not to mention he wins races.
Flare vs. Natural Flare? While some have to wear flare to stand out, others, like Yolo Board athlete EJ Johnson, have natural flare, or flare without flare. EJ has stood apart from the crowd for years with his long hair, tribal tattoos and adventurous personality and along with his natural hunger for speed he continues to flare the curiosity of paddlers and live like a "Paddle God."