You’ve purchased your SUP and now you want to head out paddling every day? This guide will give you the essential tips to paddle board safely in the winter.
Layering is key:
When paddling in cold weather, it's important to wear layers to help regulate your body temperature. Start with a base layer made of synthetic material, rash vests are great for this. Then add a wetsuit or drysuit, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
Protect your extremities:
Your hands, feet, and head are especially prone to getting cold in the winter months, so it's important to keep them warm and protected when out on your paddle board. Wear gloves but make sure you can still use your hands to effectively paddle. A trick we have found is using gardening gloves they are cheap and designed for dexterity, allowing you to grip your paddle but still keep your hands warm. Wearing insulated wetsuit boots is a great way to keep your feet warm and maintain grip with your SUP's deck pad and finally, a beanie or waterproof hood to keep your head and ears warm.
Consider a wetsuit or drysuit:
If you'll be paddling in cold water, you will want to consider wearing a wetsuit or drysuit. A wetsuit will keep you warm and provide some buoyancy, but you'll still get wet. A drysuit, on the other hand, will keep you completely dry, but they can be more expensive and less flexible than wetsuits. Gul has a great selection of wetsuits which we stock.
Other important considerations:
- Without a doubt, the most important piece of advice is to make sure to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times while on your paddleboard, make sure it fits and is securely fastened. It should be the outer clothing layer and visible for all to see.
- Make sure there is a change of clothes and a towel with you for when you finish on your paddleboard.
- Make sure you always check the weather and prepare for all conditions, the weather changes much faster in the winter months so wearing more layers won’t hurt and you’ll be grateful if the weather changes.
- Don't forget to apply sunscreen, even in the winter. The sun can still be strong, and the reflection of the water can increase your risk of sun damage.