CANADIAN OWNED AND OPERATED FOR OVER 25 YEARS

Cold Weather Paddle Boarding

by Michael Ward

Cold weather paddle boarding

The fall and winter months bring cold weather across Canada & The US, so if you’re going to continue paddle boarding through the seasons, you’re going to need the proper paddle boarding gear.

3 REASONS TO GET OUT ON THE WATER IN THE "OFF SEASON"

1. No Crowds (you can have your favourite paddle spot all to yourself!)

2. Serene Nature

3. Magnificent Winter Landscapes

WHAT TO WEAR PADDLE BOARDING WHEN IT’S COLD

So of course you'll need all the usual gear (board, paddle, leash, PFD, whistle) but what we're here to talk about is the cold weather add-ons... All the gear that will keep you from freezing your butt off while paddling (warm layers, gloves, boots, etc.).

Wetsuits are a must in any weather below 50 degrees. A rule of thumb for winter paddle boarding: as the weather gets colder, your wetsuit gets thicker.

Wetsuits are designed to trap a small portion of water between your skin and the inside of your suit. Your body heat warms this thin layer of cold water keeping you surprisingly warm even in the coldest water.

The thicker your neoprene wetsuit, the more warmth it will provide you. There are 5 main options for wetsuit thickness. Generally, a winter wetsuit should be between 4 to 6 mm thick. However, increased thickness does decrease mobility. See below to find out which thickness wetsuit you will need for cold water paddle boarding.

 10 - degree weather

  • 4/3mm wetsuit
  • 3mm neoprene booties and gloves (if water is below 13 degrees)

0 - degree weather

  • 5/4mm hooded wetsuit
  • 5mm neoprene booties and gloves (for water temps lower than 10 degrees)

Negative - degree weather

  • 6/5mm hooded wetsuit
  • 7mm neoprene booties and gloves (for water temps lower than 4 degrees)

ALTERNATIVES TO WETSUITS

If you aren’t paddle boarding in freezing temperatures, you don’t necessarily need to wear a wetsuit as long as you plan on not getting wet. Winter wetsuits are pricey, so if you’re cold weather paddle boarding on a budget, the best way to protect yourself in 5 - 10 degree weather is to layer up. Wearing a warm, long sleeve base layer and then throwing a winter jacket over that will do the trick. The same goes for your bottom attire. A warm base layer (leggings or long johns) and then water-resistant pants. In addition, don’t forget a winter hat and gloves.

Our Favourite Winter Gear:

  • Cold Water Wetsuit / Neoprene System (5.5mm / 4mm thickness)
  • Drysuit With: Wool Base Layer / Long Underwear
  • Waterproof Gloves
  • Toque
  • Neck Gaiter (Neck Warmer)
  • Waterproof or Neoprene Booties (A Must)
  • Thermos 

It's all about being comfortable out there.

COMMON SENSE

Paddle boarding in cold temperatures can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Do your homework for the spot you plan to paddle. Find out the weather forecast for that day. Don’t go if the temperature is going to be below freezing, or if there will be high winds. Never go paddle boarding in extreme weather conditions alone. It’s important to find some friends to go with you, especially in rural paddle board locations.

POST PADDLE

When you get back to shore there is nothing better then getting into a cozy change of clothes and sharing a thermos of your favourite warm drink!

There is a particular serenity to be found out on the water this time of year and with a little preparation you may find the off season turning into your favourite season to get out on the water. ⁠⁠