So, you learned to paddleboard over the Summer, and loved it so much that you’re thinking about continuing through winter?
Problem is, it's cold!
Well we’ve listed some helpful tips to keep you safe, dry, and warm during your sessions on the water.
Wear a wetsuit or drysuit to keep warm in cold water temperatures. Layer up with thermal clothing underneath for added insulation.
Remember to wear a hat and gloves to protect your extremities from the cold.
Personal Flotation Device
It's always best to wear a PFD, or buoyancy aid, whilst paddleboarding to keep you afloat and reduce the risk of drowning if you were to fall in.
There is a lot more focus on paddleboarding now, so you can actually buy PFDs that are specifically made for paddleboarding.
Choose The Right Board
Opt for a wider and more stable board to help maintain balance in choppy winter waters. A longer board can also provide better stability.
Be Aware of Weather Conditions
Check the weather forecast before heading out and avoid paddling in extreme conditions such as strong winds or heavy rain. Especially take note of the direction of the wind, if you are paddling in the ocean, an offshore wind will take you further out to sea. Winter weather can be unpredictable, so staying updated on any changes is important.
Paddle With a Buddy
It's always safer to paddle with a friend, especially in winter when conditions can be more challenging. Having someone with you can assist in case of an emergency.
Stay Close to Shore
Stick to areas near the shore where you can easily reach safety if needed. Avoid venturing too far out into open water, especially if you're not an experienced paddler or as mentioned above, there is an offshore wind.
Even though it's cold, it's still important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and after your paddle to keep your body functioning properly.
Have a Plan
Let someone know your paddling plans, including the location, route and estimated time of return.
This way, someone will know to look for you if something goes wrong.
You're going to need a towel, and a change of clothes in the car after you come back (maybe even a flask of hot chocolate) just in case you’ve taken an impromptu dip.
Make sure your self-rescue techniques are well learned so you can get back on your board after falling into cold water. This skill can be crucial in case you find yourself in a difficult situation.
Cold water can lead to hypothermia, so be aware of the signs and symptoms. If you start feeling extremely cold, fatigued, or disoriented, it's time to get out of the water and warm up.
When you’re not paddleboarding, it’s vital to stay fit to avoid any injuries.
You could do at-home workouts or even join a gym. Don't just work on your cardio, do some strength training as well to ensure you maintain strong ligaments.
Winter paddleboarding can be an exciting, awesome experience but remember, safety should always be a priority!