Enjoying SUP in the Winter

Enjoying SUP in the Winter - SUP

Understanding the winter weather is crucial for winter paddling. The last thing you want is to get stuck in a snow storm or high winds as they can sap your strength.

Whilst paddle boarding doesn’t have to end when the warm temperatures of summer are gone, you will need ways to keep you safe and warm.

It is also worth noting when the sunrise and sunset occurs and plan you day accordingly. If you are on a small lake then this is not too much of a problem but when on open water or rivers then the lack of daylight can be problematic.

If you paddle on the ocean then it is worth taking a note of the tides, as paddling against the tide will cause fatigue especially in colder climates.

Use a PFD:

Whether you choose a buoyancy vest or PFD (personal floatation device), any help staying afloat is vital especially in colder conditions and surf conditions. Not only will a buoyancy aid keep you afloat, but it will also help give you time to recover when you fall in!

Waist belt PFD's are also an option for calmer waters when help is nearby. Ensure that any buoyancy aid is 50N or more to keep your head above water.

Stay Warm:

As the air is normally cooler, exposed skin on your feet and hands will get colder, shoes/boots and a thin pair of gloves that have a little grip in the palm will really help and reduce the chances of your falling in.

A Neoprene beanie will help reduce heat loss and keep you head warm even if you fall in the water.

Check the Forecast:

The change in weather in winter can be drastic, paddling into a biting cold wind against a current can sap you energy really quick.

Rain or snow can make it difficult to see when you’re on the water also.


Use a leash:

It is easy not to use a leash on flat water in the summer months, but in the cooler months – you should be wearing a SUP leash at all times.

Your board is a large floatation device and having a leash attached to you will reduce you from getting into any serious trouble.
Plan Your Route:

If you know the wind direction, paddle into it first while your fresh and use the wind behind you as you return home. It makes a difference.

The last thing needed is fatigue on your way back with the wind blowing hard in your face and your body temperatures dropping.
Carry a phone:

It’s always a good idea to have in case of an emergency but during the winter, safety is paramount. Carry your phone in a waterproof case and keep it close to you. The cold will also reduce your battery so ensure it is kept warm at all times.