Paddleboarding is a pursuit that many people associate with sunshine vacations. Furthermore, it is something that they would never dream of doing during the winter months, when the weather is colder. However, winter paddleboarding is actually a very popular sport. But is if safe? Should you be getting your paddleboard out on the freezing cold water?
Why Winter Paddleboarding is Popular
Paddleboarding in the winter is much more peaceful as there are fewer crowds. With plenty more room on the water, you can relax and enjoy the experience more. In fact, according to the folk at Salt Lake City’s Canyon Sports, paddle board rental does not stop when the winter months approach. Those looking for thrills and adventure will not be put off by a bit of cold weather, with some finding it easier to practice their skills at this time of year without worrying about crashing into others on the water.
Another benefit to paddleboarding in the winter is that you get to see some of the most magnificent landscapes from the water. This could include snow-topped mountains or mist swirling around the leafless trees.
Winter paddleboarding is ideal for those who hate having to hang up their paddleboard when the colder weather approaches. There is certainly no need to stop paddling for six months of the year.
Is Winter Paddleboarding Safe?
The main reason that most people assume they cannot paddleboard in the winter is because they believe it to be unsafe. Nevertheless, this does not need to be the case if you take the proper precautions.
It is best to paddleboard with another person, but if you are paddling alone then you should make sure to stay close to the shore. This is because the distance you can swim in cold water is shorter than that which you can swim in warmer water. Don’t assume you can stick to the same paddling routes that you take in the warmer weather.
Always use a paddleboard leash as this will prevent your board from floating away from you should you fall off the board. This is important at any time of the year but vital during the colder months when you should not remain in the water for any length of time.
The type of clothing you wear for winter paddleboarding is crucial. Moisture-wicking base layers are a good idea, with added layers on top to ensure protection from the wind. This will help to keep you warm and comfortable. Make sure you are wearing water shoes or boots for warmth and grip as well as a lightweight pair of gloves. In cold conditions, a hat is also a good idea as this will prevent you from losing excess heat through your head.
If you prefer, you can wear a wet or dry suit. A wet suit is recommended for those who are paddling in rougher waters and are likely to be in the water. A dry suit is more ideal for those paddling in calm waters.
It is best to avoid paddling in icy waters to prevent any damage to your board. And above all, make sure that you only paddle in the hours of daylight. Early morning or late evening paddling is never recommended in the winter because it affects visibility, and the temperatures will be much colder as well.
Paddleboarding does not have to stop in the winter. In fact, paddling at this time of year can be very enjoyable. However, it is important that you take steps to always ensure your safety. Try to paddle with a friend but if you must paddle alone stay close to the shore, and always use a paddle board leash.
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