Paddle Boarding in Winter

Paddle Boarding in Winter

Considering Paddling in Winter?

If you're new to paddling, the decision of whether to keep your paddle board out or store it away until warmer weather might cross your mind. However, winter paddling is entirely feasible and even favoured by some due to the opportunity to witness different wildlife, enjoy quieter popular spots, and experience a unique winter scenery.

When venturing out in winter, it's crucial to give careful thought to what you wear, what you need to bring, and what you should have on hand for unexpected situations. This article aims to guide you in preparing for winter paddleboarding on your SUP. Before diving in, two important pieces of advice apply regardless of the weather or season: always wear your Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and correct leash for the environment (we recommend contacting the BCU if unsure of which to use).

The Dangers of Cold Water:

Understanding the dangers of falling into cold water is essential. Water below 15°C is considered cold and can significantly impact breathing and movement. Cold water shock can lead to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and even heart attacks, emphasizing the importance of being cautious in cold conditions.

What to Do If You Land in Cold Water:

In the event of falling into cold water, take a moment to avoid panic. The initial effects pass quickly, so refrain from swimming immediately. If possible, climb back onto your board; if not, relax and float on your back. Holding onto your SUP can provide stability. Stay calm, attempt to climb back on your board, call for help, or swim to safety.

Dress for the Occasion:

The UK SHARKSUPs Distributor, suggests investing in premium clothing for winter paddleboarding. While cheap clothes may suffice for summer, they may not provide the necessary warmth and functionality for colder months. Quality gear ensures a more enjoyable and safer paddleboarding experience.

Wetsuits for Paddleboarding:

Wetsuits are the go-to choice for cold water SUPers worldwide. Available in various thicknesses, wetsuit selection depends on usage and personal preferences for warmth and flexibility. Despite being relatively inexpensive, wetsuits are durable and can last for years with proper care.

Alternatives to Wetsuits:

For those averse to wetsuits, layering up with a long-sleeved thermal base layer, outer layers, and a water-resistant winter jacket and trousers can provide warmth. Don't forget a hat and gloves, and pack a good dry bag with essentials such as a warm drink, dry clothes, hat, gloves, snacks, whistle, watertight flashlight, and a phone in a waterproof case, just in case.

Additional Tips:

  • Always paddle with someone else.
  • Inform someone on dry land of your whereabouts.
  • Stay close to shore and avoid paddling in the dark.
  • Opt for short trips initially to acclimate to the cold.

Above all, enjoy your winter paddleboarding experience!

#winterpaddleboarding #coldwaterpaddleboarding