Updated: Oct 26, 2020
Stand up paddleboarding or kayaking during the colder months can seem daunting for some particularly with the cooler weather and fading daylight. We believe that with just some extra layering you can enjoy taking to the water all year round. Paddling in the autumn/winter can be a truly amazing experience, allowing you to enjoy the changing seasons from the water.
We have put together our top tips to keep you paddling through the winter.
Get the right Clothing
In winter we definitely want to take more time to think about our clothing choices. Firstly, you may want to think about wearing a warm hat, either a woolly hat, or a neoprene beanie. A hat will trap in all the warmth we lose through our head, keeping you warmer.
Moving down our bodies it's best to wear layers. With varying winter temperatures, layers are a brilliant way to make sure you have a good time. A thermal base/mid-layer paired with a windproof layer can be a winning combination through winter.
And lastly, footwear (sorry flip flops you might have to wait until Spring). A good pair of wetsuit boots can keep your feet nice and toasty while you are out paddling.
These little things can help us keep paddling through winter. It's important to remember a change of warm clothes for after the paddle. If you want to be even toastier, why not take a look at a warm changing robe, or maybe even a dry suit paired with an under fleece.
Remember your Buoyancy aid / Personal floatation device
A buoyancy aid is an important piece of kit, from helping you to float to making sure you have your phone and snacks to hand. A buoyancy aid can also help you keep warmer in the winter. Those who SUP can also think about a waist belt PFD, a lightweight option instead of a full buoyancy aid.
Always take a Dry Bag
While this should never be forgotten on any paddle, it is even more important to make sure you have a good quality Dry Bag to take your paddling essentials with you. Some suggestions on what this might include are, a warm jumper/jacket, water, flask, lights and most importantly some snacks. You might want to put your car keys or phone in this bag (if you can it's best to have your phone on your person).
Always carry a way to call for help
A waterproof phone case or pouch is essential. Be sure to purchase a case that you can use your phone through. This means you can use the phone and not worry about those splashes. If possible have this on you, not attached to your board/kayak as this will allow you to call for help if you are separated from your craft. Also you can capture those brilliant photos to encourage your friends to join your next winter paddle.
Make sure to warm up
Something that is quite often missed from going paddling is a warm up. A quick warm up on land can get our bodies and minds ready for the paddle ahead. Especially in the cold a warm up is important to help prevent injuries.
Have a plan
Where are you going? How long am I paddling for? When will you return? These sorts of questions allow us to make sure we have everything we need from deciding to go for a short or a long paddle to having a flask. In the winter don’t forget to take into consideration the shorter daylight hours which can be made shorter by overcast weather. Make sure you tell someone your plan for your paddle!
Check the weather forecast
It's always important to make sure we have the most up to date information. So check the forecast then keep checking as you get closer to your paddle so you don't get caught out by the wind or adverse weather conditions.
Know your limits
While we all enjoy pushing ourselves to keep getting better we need to take extra care in winter to stay safe. With the air and water starting to get colder again getting into difficulty can be even more serious.
So what are you waiting for? Layer up, gather your equipment and go out for a paddle this autumn/winter.