5 tips for stand up paddling in winter

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The summer is over but you still want to keep stand-up paddling in winter?

Well you are so right. Why stop? But you also do not want to freeze your butt of in the cold or come into unsafe situations.

Here are 5 tips to help you along.


Tip 1 – What to wear, when stand up paddling in the winter?

Before you step out of the door. Check if you are wearing the correct clothing.


The wetsuit

The wetsuit has been the winter choice for a lot of  stand up paddlers. Check out the world wide web for all the different choices, designs and prices. There is a huge choice of wetsuits available from 7mm full on winter suits with built in hoods to 2mm summer suits. It all depends where, when and how long you want to paddle. Just during a bit chilly weather or during deep cold winter days?


The thicker the suit the warmer it is but with a trade off in flexibility, and each paddler will find their preferred combination of warmth and flexibility.


Wetsuits can be relatively inexpensive, it’s very easy to find one that fits perfectly and they are pretty robust and will last for years with a little care.


Dry suit

A new development brought to the paddling world is the dry suit. Filling the space between wetsuits and more traditional dry suits these are designed specifically for Stand Up Paddlers who do not need the protection and bulk of a surface immersion suit, for faster paddling and limited time in the water.

Like the more common dry suit there is no insulation in the SUP dry suit so a base layer will need to be worn underneath, top and bottom. Marketed at those who want to paddle fast the semi-dry suit is also a great solution for many more leisurely paddlers.


Do not want to buy a wetsuit nor a dry suit?

Well you can wear a pair of warm longjohns /ski underwear under your rain trousers as an option.

For your upper body, you can wear a warm midlayer, but try to avoid cotton, this soaks in the water and that will keep you longer cold. Over your midlayer a waterproof jacket is fine.


Tip3: What to wear for head and feet?

A fleece or neoprene tuque is great for the head. A fleece beanie or anything warm you prefer to wear is also good.

For your feet a pair neoprene shoes are great.


You will need some waterproof gloves or neoprene gloves for your hands. Do not want to invest? Then just your wintergloves. Preferable not the thin knitted gloves. These do not protect from the wind.


Tip 4: What to take with you during a tour in winter?

  • Keep it safe, use a leash
  • When it is getting darker a waterproof white light attached to your board or body is good for visibility and others can see you.
  • Dry bag
  • Thermos with something warm to drink
  • Water
  • Snack of own choise
  • Towel
  • Waterproof bag for cell phone.
  • Extra pair of clothes


Tip 5: Going to paddle in dark cold weathers?

Let somebody know where you will be paddling and for how long you are planning to do so.

When the weather changes a lot that day. Just recheck the weather forecast, so you will not be in the middle of heavy wind or a rain storm.