As with any type of water sport, there is always some form of preparation and Stand Up Paddling Boarding is no exception. Before you step out onto the water, it’s important to be sure conditions are safe. Perhaps you are a beginner and you think you know if conditions appear right. Be assured, it’s always best to leave that decision to the more experienced canoeists, as they will carefully determine whether conditions are right for paddle boarding!

Things to Determine:

As you begin your new adventure, you have to know if the weather and water conditions are appropriate for paddle boarding. Some of the things to consider are the strength and direction of the wind, the current and expected weather conditions and the water temperature. If you have any doubt about moving forward based on the weather or water conditions, wait to see if the conditions change and improve.

Clothing and Protection

You may be Paddling boarding on a calm lake but your paddling style and the environment in which you paddle dictate the way you dress. Pay careful attention to the clothing you bring along for your experience and your day will be perfect. For example, pay attention to environmental factors such as cold exposure. During warmer weather, there’s nothing to be concerned about but in colder weather, Hypothermia can occur when there is exposure to cold. Another concern for paddlers is being aware of the water temperature so be sure to dress for conditions. Furthermore, protect your skin from the sun by wearing sun-resistant clothing, hats and sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers. You may start out in the morning when the temperature is cool and by afternoon the temperature has warmed up considerably. To alleviate being too hot or too cold, dress in layers so that you can add or remove clothing as conditions change.

Consider Accessories

When the weather is warm, a hat provides the needed protection from both rain and the sun. If the weather is cold, a hat also helps to keep you warm. When choosing a hat, consider one with a wide brim so that it blocks out the sun/rain. Besides your face to worry about, you should also keep your hands in mind. A paddler’s hands take a lot of abuse from the wind, so be sure to keep your hands as dry as possible. When the day is warm be sure to use a little sunscreen on your hands to protect them from the elements. You might even think about wearing gloves made of nylon or Lycra/Spandex as they provide protection as well as a good grip when you’re paddling.

Protect Your Feet!

Don’t forget about your feet as it’s important to keep your feet dry and warm. Of course on warmer days, your feet are not going to be a problem and so sandals, water slippers or tennis shoes work perfectly. But if you’re going out on a colder day, be sure to wear calf high rubber boots with socks worn inside the boots. Or consider thick soled neoprene booties which will let your feet get wet but they will remain warm.