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Essential Paddling Gear for Autumn & Winter

Posted by Catherine Morris

Don’t let the cold weather stop you from enjoying the beauty of winter Paddle Boarding. Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean your passion for water sports has to end. Venturing out on the water during the colder months can enable you to experience some stunning surroundings, and to see the natural world at its very best. Whether it’s a stunning coastal view bathed in winter sunlight or snow-capped mountains surrounding your lake or river, the winter months provide a different perspective. 

Likewise, you can often enjoy peaceful serenity during the winter months as less people take to the water, and you may even find you have a usually busy spot all to yourself, with more chance of catching a glimpse of the local wildlife. That being said, conditions can be a little more unpredictable and colder conditions mean you need to be well prepared before venturing out during autumn and winter. Understanding what essential items you should have in your kit and what SUP clothing you should wear, will not only ensure you stay warm, dry and safe, but will also mean you get the most out of your time on the water. Our expert team have provided some guidance on the key things to consider.

Winter SUP Clothing Guide

The weather during winter can be unpredictable, varying temperatures plus fluctuating body temperature as you exercise can alter what you need to wear when exploring on your SUP. Even though paddle boarding might make you break a sweat, warm but breathable clothing are essential during the winter so you don’t catch a cold. Layer up for the colder climate To embrace autumn and winter paddle boarding, layers are a must. It is important to check the weather conditions before you leave the house to ensure you are protected for every possibility - don’t forget that even if it’s nice as you head out, the wind might pick up or that the temperature will drop at the end of a sunny day. A technical base layer such as Red Original’s performance tee wicks away the sweat ensuring you stay dry and avoid getting a chill. Likewise, the high performance dri-release fabric of our soft and warm long sleeve top will provide an important layer of protection from the cold. Unlike a fleece or sweatshirt, it will breathe as you exercise so you don’t overheat, plus super quick dry sweat wicking properties will keep you dry. Extra features to help you cope with cooler conditions include the wrist covers to keep your hands warm as you paddle, and reflective zip and trim to ensure you’re seen in low light levels. Take a waterproof jacket with you to protect against wind and showers and you’re covered for a wide range of conditions. Extremities, such as your hands and head, are particularly susceptible to the harsher weather so head gear is essential . If you are paddling hard and don’t want to overheat, a paddle cap will provide some warmth whilst allowing moisture to wick away.

What shoes to wear Paddle boarding

Shoes are not usually a necessity when using your SUP as boards are designed to be used barefoot. However, similarly to your hands, feet can feel the drop in temperature and suffer. If shoes are needed, neoprene boots are a good option to take the chill off those toes and protect against cold water splashes as you paddle.

Is a Wetsuit required?

The disadvantage of a wetsuit is that if you are not likely to get wet, they can be extremely sweaty and uncomfortable to paddle in, with poor range of movement and chaffing a common complaint. Depending on how low the temperature goes and what type of paddling you’re doing will determine whether you need to wear a wetsuit. If it’s particularly chilly and you’re heading out into the waves then a wetsuit will give you protection if you get wet. . However, if you’re on flat calm water conditions, experienced paddlers will much prefer layering up with technical clothing to keep them warm and comfortable.

Safety first with a Personal Flotation Device

Using your SUP during autumn and winter can be slightly riskier than during the summer months with changing water conditions, shorter daylight hours and lower temperatures, so it pays to be prepared. Having the right clothing will keep you warm, however planning your route and checking the weather forecast prior to heading out should also be top of your list. Pay attention to the times of sunrise, sunset, offshore winds and tides, and plan your trip accordingly. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in danger and find yourself stuck in fading light conditions. Always tell somebody where you’re going and when you expect to return. As always, if in doubt, don’t go out. Ensuring you have the right equipment to keep you safe on the water is paramount just in case you happen to fall into the water. Not only is a leash essential but investing in a good quality personal flotation device is a necessity when venturing out and will give you peace of mind too. The Red Original Airbelt Personal Flotation Device offers you the support you need whilst not getting in the way, giving you the freedom to explore without being weighed down, and is an important part of safe paddle boarding.

Going out during winter comes with increased risks and while the likelihood of getting into trouble is unlikely, you’ll want to be able to make that all important call for help in case of an emergency. Store your phone securely in a waterproof dry pouchso you can have extra peace of mind and be safe in the knowledge that you can make a call if anything was to happen.

Post Paddle Boarding Session

campfire drinks bottleAfter finishing your session, you’ll want to make sure you have the right kit to keep you warm and dry as you head home. The last thing you want when you get out the water is to be shivering, so it’s essential dry yourself off quickly if you are wet. An alternative to a towel, an All-Weather Changing Robe will shelter you no matter what the weather conditions are like and will keep you dry and warm when you need to change out of the clothes or wetsuit you have been wearing on the water. The versatility of the jacket means you can also stay warm by wearing it as you pack up your kit and for the journey home. Last but not least, having a hot drink ready for you in an insulated water bottle will get you feeling toasty in no time and give you a boost of energy after your paddle.

A range of paddleboard gear, whatever the weather

Whatever the weather, we have an extensive range of paddle board clothing and accessories to keep you safe and warm in the colder seasons. So get dry, keep warm and stay covered – but most of all don’t let colder conditions put you off from getting out there and Exploring your World!

Waterproof change robe