Updated: Aug 25
Winter is Coming | How to enjoy Paddling in the Winter.
Do you enjoy Paddle Boarding during the winter months?
Taking your VAST iSUP out in the summer is a dream come true. With warm blue skies, board shorts, and a rash vest, you can explore the warmer UK waters and experience pure bliss. But what about the cold, dark, and gloomy grey of the winter? Don't worry; preparing for winter paddling is easier than you think. You can embark on incredible adventures in beautiful areas by being educated in winter paddling and prioritising safety. In this blog, we'll assume that you're one of the brave individuals who will venture out into UK waters this winter instead of jetting off to a paradise island. The key to successful winter paddling is proper preparation.
1. Before you enter the water
iSUP Gear for Paddle Boarding
During the summer season, it is highly recommended to inspect and assess the condition of your iSUP gear before heading out, ensuring it meets your desired standards. However, in winter, this step becomes crucial. Inflate your board, confirming it maintains proper pressure. Verify the usability of your leash and mobile phone safety case, ensuring they are securely stored. It is recommended to carry your mobile phone for emergencies. Lastly, carefully examine your buoyancy aid, ensuring there is no damage to the foam construction and that it is fully functional. For high-quality iSUP gear, please visit the link to accessories.
Weather for Paddle Boarding
Once you have your perfect gear setup, the next crucial point is to plan according to the weather. This is something that we cannot emphasise enough in terms of importance. Summer is more forgiving, with tides and winds being the primary concerns. However, in winter, conditions can become more dangerous. Therefore, it is highly recommended to take the time to understand the conditions in which you can and cannot enter the water. Research and comprehend factors such as wind direction, wind temperature, and water temperature. It is strongly advised not to paddle without seeking expert advice if you are unsure. The RNLI is an excellent resource, offering valuable instructional videos and courses on Paddleboard safety.
Clothing for Paddle Boarding
When preparing for cold winter waters, selecting suitable clothing is crucial for your comfort and safety. Ensure you have the following essential items:
Thermal base layers
Thick winter wet boots
A warm woolly hat
A dry suit
Additionally, after your water activities, it is essential to have a high-quality change robe like the ones available at Vast Board Sports (https://www.vastboardsports.com/robes-1) and dry clothes to change into. Remember that drying off naturally might not be possible in these conditions.
2. Fun in the Water
Company while Paddle Boarding
When paddleboarding in winter, it is highly recommended never to paddle alone. It is essential always to have at least one companion with you. Simple tasks like falling off the board and getting back on can be more challenging in colder water temperatures. In case of a fall, it is advised to take a moment to float on your back and then prioritise getting back on the board. Hypothermia poses a real risk during winter paddling, so it is crucial to avoid panicking upon entering the water. Having a paddle partner can assist you in getting back on the board.
A valuable tip for preparing for winter paddling is to practice water escapes during the mild summer months. Before paddling in summer, make sure to warm up for 10 minutes and work on floating in a starfish position and getting back on the board.
Lastly, social media platforms like Facebook can help find paddleboarding groups in the UK. There are numerous national and local iSUP groups where you can connect with supportive individuals to paddle with.
If you feel Fatigued while Paddle boarding
During your paddling session, it's imperative to develop an understanding of your body and its limits. This requires a willingness to adapt and adjust your plans as needed. It's crucial to avoid finding yourself stranded in the water while exhausted. If you feel your body becoming tense and fatigued, returning to land promptly is recommended.