Paddle boarding is most popular in the summer, but it isn’t available all year for the majority of the world. Paddle boarding, on the other hand, does not have to be limited to the summer; in fact, as long as you are equipped and calculated, you can paddle 365 days a year. Below, we’ve compiled our top 7 tips for paddle boarding in cold weather to keep you on the water all year long!
Choose The Proper Gear
If you want to go paddle boarding in the winter, you’ll need the appropriate winter paddle boarding equipment. You can dress in the same way you would if you were going jogging in the fall or winter. Dress in layers, starting with a moisture-wicking base layer and then add layers for warmth and protection from the wind.
Running tights are a terrific choice for your legs. Whatever attire you choose, don’t forget about your limbs! Your feet will benefit from water shoes or wetsuit booties, while your fingertips will benefit from a grippy pair of gloves. We also tend to lose a remarkable amount of heat through our heads, so even a light cap will help significantly. In addition, don’t forget to bring some extra warm clothes and towels, as well as a warm drink, in case you get wet or chilly during your adventure.
Check The Weather Forecast
Look for calm winds and clear sky in the forecast for the best paddle boarding experience. Because the weather in the fall and winter can change rapidly, don’t try to “beat the storm” when it’s cooler outside. When it’s raining or snowing, it’s tough to see when you’re out on the water, making it easier to drift off course and making it harder for others to see you. “When in doubt, don’t go out,” this is a solid rule, and it’s especially important in the colder months.
It’s critical to assess the weather and water conditions before setting out on your paddle. Because we all know how rapidly the weather can change, checking the forecast can give you an idea of what to expect. It’s a good idea to look at a few different weather sources to have a better picture of what to expect. However, because forecasts aren’t always accurate, it’s a good idea to be well prepared and ready for anything.
Also, keep in mind that rain, fog, and snow can significantly impair your visibility as mentioned earlier. Aside from the weather forecast, it’s critical to examine the wind intensity and direction, as any breeze can add resistance and chill to your paddle. It’s also crucial to keep track of the tidal times.
Only Paddle In The Water
What exactly does that imply? Basically, stay away from ice. Ice is a weighty, sharp, and unpredictable substance. It won’t help you or your paddle board in any way. If you’re going out on the water in the winter, stay away from frozen portions of the water. When there are large ice chunks floating around, don’t walk over ice to get to the water, and don’t stand up paddle board when there are large ice chunks floating around. You may easily get stuck or tipped over especially when you are not experienced.
Cold water can cause people to lose control of their breathing, leaving them gasping and sometimes hyperventilating. In the water, this can be exceedingly dangerous, as it can cause water to enter the lungs and eventually lead to drowning. Paddle boarding is a terrific year-round activity, but the most important element to always keep in mind is safety.
Remain Close To Shore
Stay close to the water’s edge. Yes, it’s safer this way. Cooler air implies colder water, and hypothermia is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. Never swim further from shore than you can paddle – and keep in mind that the distance you can swim in cold water is much shorter than in warmer temperatures, considering the amount of time you can (or can’t) stay in the colder water. It’s a good idea to change up your warmer weather paddling routes to stay closer to shore if you’re paddle boarding in the winter.
Don’t Forget Your SUP Leash
A popular misconception is that you don’t need a leash in flat water. But even the most seasoned paddle boarder should always use a SUP leash out on the water. You should use a paddle board leash in the colder seasons — we can’t emphasize this point enough. Your board is the world’s largest floatation device, and a leash will keep it tied to you and within 10 feet of you in the event of an emergency.
Do Not Go Paddling Alone
This applies all the time but it is often neglected during the summer. It is however, even more crucial to team up with a paddle boarding buddy during the colder seasons.
Paddling with others is not only safer, but it’s also more fun. Even if you’re searching for some private time, sharing an adventure with family or friends is usually more enjoyable. However, finding a group or companion might be difficult at times, so if you absolutely can’t persuade anyone to join you, make sure you tell someone when and where you’re going, as well as how long you intend to be gone.
Also, don’t forget to contact them as soon as you return to let them know you’ve arrived — this way, you’ll save them the trouble of worrying about how your trip went!
Return Before Dark
Returning before dark may seem self-evident, but as the cold weather and winter set in, the days become shorter, making it easy to get caught off guard. Check what time the sun sets in your location before your paddle and try to arrive on dry land at least 1 hour before the sun sets. This will provide you with a significant safety margin, and remember that you will lose light much faster before nightfall on those scruffier days. This safety margin is also necessary since, in addition to losing light, the air temperature will drop ad well. Being out on the ocean in the dark and cold is a situation you don’t want to find yourself in.
Enjoy Your Paddle Boarding Adventure All Year Long!
Even if the ground is covered with snow, you can still get out on your paddle board and enjoy some time on the water. You can use your SUP all year round if you follow these instructions and use good judgment.