Winter Paddling Guide: How To Paddle Board In Cold Weather?


During the winter season, the temperatures can be incredibly low. However, this does not mean that your best Isle SUP board has to stay in storage until the winter season is over. With the right paddle boarding gear, you should be able to keep paddling all year long, as long as the waters haven’t frozen over.

In this article, we will make it possible for you to use your best SUP paddles during the winter. On top of showing you the gear you need to invest in, we will show you how to stay safe while paddling.

Cold Weather Paddle Boarding Gear

Having good gear is extremely important. Good gear will keep you warm and cozy in freezing temperatures. When transporting your stand paddleboard to your favorite paddling spot, make sure you have packed the following cold weather paddleboarding gear.

1. Boots

If you intend to take up winter paddling, you should invest in some 7mm or 5mm wetsuit boots. To avoid paying a lot of cash for the boots, you can purchase them during the summer season (off-season) and then store them until the winter.

2. Dry Suit

While you could wear a wet suit, it is worth noting that the wet suit won’t hold heat. Also, the wind will cut through it. Wet suits tend to be tight on the body. Hence, they may restrict your ability to paddle.

When compared to the wet suit, dry suits are much better. They offer you more warmth and they aren’t too tight. Before starting your cold-weather paddleboarding adventure, you can improve the dry suit warmth by layering underneath.

3. Hats

A neoprene hood may not have the ability to block the wind by itself. In comparison to a wool cap, it will hold less heat. When planning your cold weather paddleboarding trip, you should consider investing in a couple of headgear pieces.

4. Gloves

If you do intend to try cold water paddle boarding, your hands have to be protected from the cold. Before heading to your favorite winter paddling site, make sure you have invested in gloves that keep your hands warm, offer dexterity, and also allow a good grip for both speed and cadence.

5. Socks

Depending on the quality of your boots, you may or may not need socks. If you would like to add a layer of warmth underneath your boots when cold weather paddleboarding, consider getting yourself some nice socks.

6. Hand Warmers

If you are a recreational paddler, you can use this gear to improve hand warmth. However, if you need smooth transitions and dexterity for regular cadence (necessary for winter racers), putting on the hand warmers may not be a good idea.

Cold Weather Paddle Boarding Safety Tips

Know the Conditions

Before loading your paddleboard accessories into your car, make sure you know the conditions to expect. You need to know the:

  • Water and air temperature
  • Wind direction and speed

When winter paddling, wind chill is an extremely important factor. For example, If you check the temperature outside and notice that it’s, say 340 F, but the wind is currently blowing at approximately 12 knots from the North, the wind chill could be in the 20s.

Plan the Winter Paddling Route Beforehand

It is never a good idea to wander around in winter conditions. You need to have a plan. Also, ensure you stick to the plan.

If you are already familiar with the wind direction, you should paddle into the wind first when you are fresh. Let the wind be behind you when you paddle back to your car. You wouldn’t want to have the wind blowing hard in your face and your temperature dropping while you are already fatigued.

Make Sure Someone Knows You Are Out Winter Paddling

Cold weather paddleboarding does require caution. Make sure someone knows when you will be launching and when they should expect you to return. Also, you should let them know the route you intend to follow. If something happens or you fail to return when you are expected back, whoever knows about your cold-weather paddle boarding plan can check on you.

Protect Your Phone

When heading out into the waters, it is a good idea to ensure that your phone is inside a plastic carrier where the water cannot reach it. Also, keep your eye on the battery percentage.

The cold can increase the rate at which your device consumes the battery power. Head back to the shore before the device shuts down completely. Having a working phone can help you in case of an emergency.

Make Sure You Can See the Shore

While it can be tempting to paddle away from the shore, you must always stay within the shore sight. Also, you should always be prepared to swim back to the shore. If you happen to fall, you should have the ability to swim back to the shore before you get too cold.

Keep Dry Gear in Your Car

Part of winter paddling which can be quite challenging is getting out of the water, strapping your bamboo paddleboard to the car, and heading home. It is always a good idea to keep some additional gear in the car.

Immediately after coming out of the water, you can put on your second pair of gloves and change into your dry boots. You wouldn’t want to drive home while wet and cold. If possible, you can always bring a coffee or tea thermos with you. The hot liquid can warm you from the inside if you are feeling too cold.

Globo Surf Overview

If you enjoy paddleboarding, you shouldn’t let the cold winter weather keep you from doing what you love. As long as what you are wearing is capable of keeping you warm, cold weather paddleboarding should fun.

You might also be interested in: What Is SUP (Standup Paddleboarding)?

Winter paddling can be risky. Therefore, ensuring that someone knows when you will be leaving and when you will be back is always an excellent idea. If you fail to return when you are expected, you will have someone to check up on you.

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