Paddle boarding is such fun water activity, though it can get quite scary if the wind plays against you! While you can predict the wind strength with a good weather app, sometimes you get caught up with unexpected winds or underestimate the wind speeds.
To prevent accidents and panic, it’s best to learn more about the safe wind speed for paddle boarding. Read on to find out!
The Importance of Knowing the Wind Speed When Paddle Boarding
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced paddle boarder, it’s recommended to know about the best conditions for paddle boarding. However, there isn’t a simple answer to this, since the answer depends on what you’re using as your paddle board and the experience you have.
But if there’s one thing for sure, the wind can be your enemy when paddle boarding. This is because your body will act like a sail, with the wind taking you where you might not plan on going. This would prevent you from going back to shore. Furthermore, when you paddle during strong winds, it’s difficult and impossible, as it can stop your paddling progress, forcing you farther out of the waters.
This can be a scary situation, especially for beginners! Higher winds would create choppier waters, which is dangerous and will have you struggling to balance and stay afloat. That’s why it’s crucial to plan and know the wind speeds.
The Safe Wind Speed for Paddle Boarding
Those who are experienced in paddle boarding shouldn’t go out when the winds are over 46 KPH unless they are paddle surfing or downwind. Anything over that may increase the risk of trouble, even for advanced paddlers.
But if you are a beginner, it’s best to go out only when the waters and winds are flat and calm, with little to no wind at all. It may also be best to paddle only as far as you can swim, in case you fall off the board!
Another factor to consider is your board size. If you have a wider board, it would feel more stable and secure during strong wind conditions. But, it would take more effort to propel forward and become slower when paddling through stronger winds.
How can you know the wind and ocean conditions? There are websites like WindGuru and Windy, which shows you common themes in wind direction and its strength.
As a rule of thumb, you can refer to these numbers:
- Less than 15 knots, or less than 27 KPH, is ideal if you’re a beginner as these are flat water conditions. 10 knots (or less) is the most optimum condition for all types of paddlers.
- When the winds reach 15 knots or 28-36 KPH, small waves and whitecaps will start forming. It’s best to postpone your paddle boarding if you are a beginner or even an intermediate paddler.
- 20-25 knots, or 37-46 KPH, are best for experienced paddlers for downwinding. However, make sure that you are following safety precautions as you go out to the waters at this wind speed.
- If the winds are higher than 25 knots, this is unsafe for all types of paddlers. It’s best to go perform another activity outside the waters (like jogging or cycling) and stay safe.
Besides the wind, you should also take into account other weather forecasts, such as the wind direction, temperatures, any rain coming, and others. The fog, tides and currents, and the speed of waters and waves are also important factors! Such weather features can affect your paddle boarding.
Once you have the weather and wind conditions, you can plan out where to go paddle boarding, along with the route you plan to take. Eyeball the conditions and be sure to prepare ahead, expecting the best and worst. If you end up paddling through very windy weather, get on your knees, lie down, and paddle downwind.
There are also other safety tips to follow when planning out your paddle boarding session, and during times the winds become stronger as you go paddle boarding. Follow tips such as going out with a friend, wearing a personal flotation device, using a leash, and of course, to practice more to gain strength and experience!
Wrapping It Up
You shouldn’t go out paddle boarding when the winds are too strong to handle! With the right tips and knowledge on what wind speed you should paddle board in, you can stay safe and have fun with the waters.
I hope that my article on the safe wind speed for paddle boarding helped you out. Be sure to stay aware of when it’s best to paddle board for your fun and safety!