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Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

SUP is one of the best sports of all time. However, winter doesn’t care how much you need a little time to grow. And what fun is there in freezing on your board? It can seem impossible to stand up SUPing in the colder weather, except SUP hardly has impossibility. SUP enthusiasts love it so much that they hardly do anything to enjoy the sport. If you are reading this, you must be one of those enthusiasts.

If you haven’t tried colder weather SUPing yet, a serene and divine experience awaits you. However, since it is winter, you should prepare a little more for paddling and take the necessary precautions.

Leashes are necessary if you’re paddling out in frigid weather, water or wind. Strap a drybag to your deck packed with extra layers, a thermos of warm water, and an energy bar. Don’t overestimate your skill level. Bring a thermos of hot soup for post-paddle.


  1. Before The Paddle
  2. Take care of your team
  3. Take care of yourself
  4. 10 Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

1. Before The Paddle

You can’t just grab your inflatable paddleboard and hit the water; it’s winter, and you need to be warm, comfortable, and safe.

Have a hot drink such as tea, coffee, or whatever is served to you, as long as it is not alcoholic. It’s also good to bring something because you’ll need it after the popsicle. Believe it or not, you will find this more relaxing, and it will add to your experience.

No matter how much you trust yourself, double-check and ensure you have all the gear you need like drinking water, leash, extra clothes, etc.

Let your friend, roommate, or spouse know that you are rowing and what time they should expect you to return. Leave your flotation plan (yes, you must have one) with them.

Get a waterproof container (you can buy one or use a plastic peanut butter container) to transport your phone and GPS. Those are important and should stay dry. Keep in mind that your charge doesn’t last long due to the cold in the winter, so make sure you come back before your cell phone turns off.

Check the weather report keenly. Take the temperature, wind direction, and general forecast into account before you go paddling – the last thing you want is a weather surprise in the cold. You won’t enjoy getting caught in the rain/wind storm.

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2. Take care of your team.

It would help if you took your team seriously. You want to have fun, not get sick. I assume you fall in the water without the correct gear? The thought itself is scary, but falls are inevitable sometimes. You should dress for cold weather and cold water temperatures. Know how to wear the proper layers.

Make sure your feet, hands, and head stay warm if you want a great experience. (But who wants a bad experience? Well, no one.)

A touch of neoprene or wool is perfect for the head. A beanie will do as well, especially if you value comfort because it won’t make you itch.

For your hands, get waterproof gloves; they’re not too bulky; you want to keep your hands warm and dry, not weigh them down.You have several options to choose from as you dress up your feet for cold SUP.

Take a look at the three options below.

  • A pair of neoprene boots will give your feet the warmth they need.
  • A pair of surf boots are also a great option.
  • Alternatively, you can get the Vibram Fivefingers shoes recommended by most SUP professionals. Their feet wouldn’t freeze in these even if they wanted to.

To dress up the rest of your body, this is where you’ll need more layers. Do you wear a dry suit or a wetsuit? There is no definitive answer to this, which means you can choose either one. However, a wetsuit is meant to be worn in the water.

The water comes through the wetsuit; your body heats it and keeps you warm. If you’re wearing a wetsuit over water, you won’t be able to take much heat, and you’ll feel chills. Again, these wetsuits are tight, and paddling can be uncomfortable. But if you still decide to go with a wet suit, get on top.

Suppose you can’t afford these suits (they’re a bit tall), waterproof pants, and a pair of long pants (fleece) will do the trick for the bottom half. Wear a long-sleeved t-shirt, a sweatshirt, and a waterproof jacket for the top half. Avoid cotton at all costs. It will soak in the water and end up very cold.

3. Take care of yourself.

It may be the last tip on the list, but it is not the least important. Not to scare you, but rowing in winter can be dangerous. However, there is no reason to worry if you take the necessary security measures.

For one thing, never forget to wear your PFD. While you might prefer the PFD waist pack in warm weather, you should wear your actual PFD in winter. Sure, it’s bulky; but on the plus side, warmth is added, and you can keep your power bar, camera, and whatever else in the pockets.

Second, use your SUP board leash. Imagine being in the freezing water after losing your board. That is scary. Position the leash correctly for you and make sure it is secure.

Secure your dry bag to your paddleboard. It is essential in case you want to bring some extra clothes. Also, when you’ve pushed yourself a bit, you’ll need a place to store your layers.

Remember, during the winter, the days are pretty short. Don’t get lost in the serenity of staying out later than you intended. If you think you might be tempted to stay out at night (or for extra measures, even after dark), bring a waterproof white light. Please attach it to a visible place (your body or your board) so that other people can see it.

4. Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

Watch out for duck hunters. You must know where they are and avoid the area. Otherwise, you may not be seen, and dodging a bullet is not that easy.

Eating in the winter may not be as safe as in the summer, but the experience is out of this world. You can only experience it, but you can’t describe it, especially if you’re crazy about rowing. Don’t let winter keep you away from this beautiful activity. Just be very careful. Take everything you need to stay safe, put on the right gear and be careful. One thing is for sure; you will love the cold SUPing.

Paddle Suping in colder weather
Paddle Suping in colder weather

10 tips to continue practicing Paddle Suping in colder weather

It’s starting to get cold. Here are some tips for you to keep paddling in the winter! For this reason, we rescue our post with tips for practicing SUP in the cold because we know that many fans of this sport keep their board at this time, giving up the practice until spring comes again. And this post is also perfectly valid for other water sports.

Winter is cold and rainy, yes, but it is also the perfect time to enjoy nature alone, after the typical summer crowds, and of course, the season we can surf the best waves. And improve our skills in this modality.

Practicing SUP and other water sports at this time can be just as fun and very rewarding. For this reason, we remind you of these ten tips for Paddle Surfing in winter, which will help you protect yourself from the cold and stay safe by avoiding unnecessary risks. We encourage you to read it before putting your board in the storage room!

1. Always check the weather conditions.

It is recommended all year round, but in winter, it is essential to check the weather forecast since unexpectedly encountering adverse conditions such as strong winds or a storm will not be pleasant at all and can be dangerous. 

Thanks to the specialized pages, you can know the state of the sea, the height of the waves, the forecast of tides, the possibility of rain or storm, the temperature in the air and the water, and the strength and direction of the wind. 

Everyone knows their level and should be aware of their limits, but we always recommend following this basic rule: if in doubt, don’t go in the water. Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

2. Choose the spot or the route well for your Paddle Surf session.

In winter, you should pay particular attention when choosing the place for your SUP session and thus avoid dangerous situations or unexpected difficulties.

If you make a journey, you must plan the route well on the map, be clear about the entry and exit points, check the distance to travel and the time needed to do it really to avoid doing too much. Late and have to do part of your excursion at night and with even lower temperatures. And if you go rowing in an estuary or a bay, you should be aware of the tides. You may want to plan for possible escape points in case of an emergency. 

If you are going to surf in a new spot, try to find information in forums, or ask local riders who know the particularities of the place. Also, keep in mind that the places you have paddled in the summer may change the conditions in the winter, as the currents may be more robust and the waves larger. 

3. Always inform a family member or friend of your plans.

Tell at least one family member or friend whenever you go out to sea in winter. Inform him of your plans, so that he knows where you will be and for how long, so that there is always someone alert in case you have a problem, and who will also know where to go to look for you. Today we have different WhatsApp groups to notify our colleagues before entering the water. Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

4. Pay special attention to safety.

There are specific basic safety rules, which are essential in winter SUP: 

  • It would help if you always used a leash, but it is hazardous to drift in cold water, so never paddle without it, and check it before each session.
  • Use a flotation vest or some other safety element, and we recommend the ION Booster vest that also has a compartment for hydration bags.
  • At this time, the days are short, and any unforeseen event can make you catch the night. For these cases, we recommend that you bring a light that allows them to see you in the dark. 
  • Row in the company. Whenever possible, avoid going SUP alone in winter

5. Do a good warm-up before getting on your Paddle Surfboard.

When the temperature drops, the body notices it in the thermal sensation and physically. The muscles are stiffer and tighter, and this can lead to injury. We must do a good warm-up before practicing Paddle Surf to avoid this. In winter, it is more difficult to warm up thoroughly. Therefore it is necessary to emphasize the preparation of muscles, tendons, and joints for the exercise on the table. Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

6. Hydrate and eat correctly

 The body reacts through vasoconstriction and thermogenesis to maintain body temperature, thus consuming more calories. For this reason, we must take care of our diet when we SUP in winter.

On the days you go rowing, it is advisable to eat carbohydrates, as they help maintain the level of glucose in the blood, essential for heat production and preventing fatigue.

Even if you don’t need to drink, cold and wind please dehydration. Always carry enough water with you or an isotonic drink. You can use a hydration bag to move comfortably while you paddle.

As we have mentioned before, physical exercise in low temperatures requires a higher caloric intake, so we recommend that you bring energy foods, such as bars, nuts, or chocolate.

Finally, we advise you to avoid vasodilator foods, mainly alcohol, and highly seasoned food, as they produce a sensation of momentary heat. Still, in reality, they will make us lose body heat. 

7. Protect yourself from the cold by wearing the proper clothing

In winter, one of the most important aspects to prevent is hypothermia. The temperatures are different, and you must choose the appropriate clothing depending on the type of activity you will do. 

We could highlight three primary modalities that require specific garments :

  • SUP Surf: Here, you will need to choose a full wetsuit with long sleeves and legs. The thickness of the material usually used is 4/3 or, if you are in a warmer area, 3/2. In icy regions, it is even advisable to wear booties or gloves. You can also use thermal lycra to increase your feeling of warmth. It would help if you chose wetsuits with enough elasticity to facilitate paddling.
  • SUP Crossing: In case of walks or crossings in rough waters and waves, you can also use full neoprene. If you are going to row on flat waters with 0 risks of falling, you can wear thermal clothing or pants and jackets that are not so hot since you will not get wet. You can also use dry suits, the best option to keep warm with thermal garments as the first layer.
  • SUP Whitewater: Here, it is 100% recommended to use SUPSKIN type dry suits since the waters get very cold in winter.

8. Prepare everything you will need after paddling.

In summer, you can happily get out of the water in swimwear and change outdoors without any problem, but when the temperature drops, you have to think about the post-paddling moment. Here are some ideas that will make your winter SUP session much more enjoyable: 

  • Have dry and warm clothes ready, and a good thermos of tea or some other hot drink
  • Fill a large container with boiling water before you leave the house. When you get to the car, it will still be warm, and you can use it to get rid of the cold, at least from your feet and hands. 
  • Take dry towels, or better yet, a poncho towel, to stay warm while you change quietly and in privacy. 
  • Use a changing mat to remove your wetsuit, so you don’t have to put your feet on the cold floor. 

​9. Stay fit to enjoy your SUP sessions

The usual thing is that we practice our favorite sport less in winter and are out of shape. Shorter days, adverse weather conditions, and low temperatures mean that we row fewer days, and when we do, we spend less time in the water.

To enjoy our winter SUP sessions and avoid injuries, we must do another physical training, such as going to the gym. Ideally, it would help to do specific exercises to improve your SUP level. A good way is to use unstable platforms and functional training.

10. Look for extra motivation to practice Paddle Surf often.

We know that the cold can be quite a deterrent, that in winter, it is more difficult for you to find time to go rowing, and that when the weather is terrible, laziness increases, and the sofa and the blanket seem much more appetizing. To combat winter sluggishness and maintain your fitness and SUP level, you’re going to need more motivation, and to get it, you can use these tricks:

  • Sign up for all the events and hangouts, surely they organize one in your area, and if not, you can always make a trip to other regions. It will keep you motivated and active on your paddleboard all winter long.
  • Create your own SUP group on social networks. Believe it or not, in winter, many people row, and you can organize training sessions and outings of all kinds. You will be surprised at the excellent reception it will have since this sport is very social and those who practice it are looking forward to going out with more people. 
  • Use GPS, video cameras, etc. If you have the opportunity, record your SUP sessions with GPS to analyze them later and share your routes with your fellow SUPers and, of course, you can take photos and share them too. It will motivate your friends to go paddling with you and enjoy Paddle surfing in winter.

We hope that these tips will help you continue paddling throughout the year or shorten the dry season to a minimum in those areas where conditions are harsh in winter.

If you need any Paddle Surf accessory that gives you security or makes your sessions more comfortable, we will surely help you get it. We remind you that we will be happy to answer any questions on this subject.

Tips you should know when SUPing in colder weather

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Last update on 2022-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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