Don’t you just love paddle boarding? So many people would fall in love with it, especially when the sun’s out and you get to enjoy the heat by the waters. And once you start getting hooked to the sport, you wouldn’t want to give it up even when winter and colder weather comes, wouldn’t you?
Well, what if I told you that you can go paddle boarding in cold weather? It’s totally possible, as long as you prepare ahead! If you’re ready to take on lower temperatures, read on!
How to Go Paddle Boarding in Cold Weather
Who said that you can’t paddle board during the colder weather? As long as the waters aren’t frozen over and that the temperatures aren’t going to risk your health, nothing can stop you from paddle boarding!
With that said, paddle boarding can be a bit different when doing it in colder weather. That’s why it’s important to gear up and know what you should do for a safe and fun ride. Here are a few tips you should follow:
1. Prepare Ahead
Before you even head out to the waters, there are a few steps to take.
- For starters, always have a thermos of warm water or tea, before, during, and after your paddle boarding session. Not only will this be comforting, but it helps warm you up and help make your experience much better.
- Check your gear and make sure that everything is in good working condition. All of your gear has the necessary requirements to ensure a safe and fun session, so inflate your board to PSI 20 for sturdiness and that your board is made of high-quality materials to withstand the waters and cold weather.
- Be sure that all of your safety equipment is with you before leaving your home, such as your leash, drinking water, a dry bag, extra clothes, a proper life jacket or PFD belt, and a cellphone.
- Make sure that you let a loved one or trusted contact know where you’re going and what time you expect to come home.
- Check the weather for the date you plan to go paddle boarding, as it’s better to go paddle boarding in calm waters, especially during cold weather. Check the wind direction, temperature, and the overall weather forecast before getting to the waters. If the winds are strong and the temperatures are too low, it’s best to postpone the trip to a later date, when the weather gets better.
2. What Should You Wear?
You don’t want to paddle board in your bathing suit when the weather is freezing! Also, you wouldn’t want to fall into the freezing waters, which may happen. Sometimes, falling is inevitable, which is why you should be dressed according to the right temperature.
When selecting the layers you plan to wear, consider the body of water you’re paddling on, how far you will be from the shore, and how easily you’re able to swim to safety, if needed.
Start with your head, hands, then the feet. These three are major areas that need to stay warm to enjoy paddle boarding.
- For your head, wear a beanie made of fleece or neoprene tuque.
- For the hands, wear neoprene and/or waterproof gloves made for paddling.
- For the feet, opt for neoprene boots with a pair of wet socks.
As for the entire body, it depends on where you’re paddle boarding. For the ocean, invest in a high-quality wetsuit or drysuit, especially if you think you’ll be in the waters, as neoprene traps water against your body, keeping it warm. If you don’t think you’ll be in the waters, then dry suits are warmer and more comfortable, since you can wear layers underneath.
But for the calmer waters like lakes and rivers, you can wear a pair of fleece leggings or waterproof pants for your bottoms. For the top half, wear a moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirt, a fleece sweatshirt, topped off with a waterproof and/or windproof jacket.
Avoid cotton at all times, as this would soak up the moisture and water, so you will feel chilly very quickly. Oh, and never forget your flotation device as well, may it be through a life vest or belt!
3. Play Safe
Besides preparing all the gear you need, take note that the days are shorter during the colder seasons, so it gets dark earlier compared to summer. So plan your trip accordingly!
If you think you’ll be out during dusk or after dark, then have a waterproof white light attached to your board and/or body so people can see you. However, you’re better off avoiding paddle boarding in the dark, because while it may seem cool and eerie, it isn’t safe.
For those who want to watch the sunset from your paddle board, do so closer toward the end of your trip so you can make it back to the shore quickly when the sun sets. You can prepare ahead by packing a headlamp or any other safety light just in case.
havePlay things safe and paddle with other people rather than be alone. Not only is it safer, but more enjoyable! Furthermore, I recommend that you surf along the shore rather than go too deep, avoiding ice or ice edges. Paddle by clear waters, as you never know what can happen when you hit the ice!
Wrapping It Up
You don’t need to stop paddle boarding just because winter arrived! You can still have fun on the waters, just be sure that you prepare your gear, what you’re wearing, and prioritize your safety. That way, you won’t have to spend months just waiting for summer and getting your workout in.
I hope that this guide on paddle boarding in cold weather helped you out. So if you’re ready to take on the waters, be sure to take these tips in mind and plan your trip now!