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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.
1. No Crowds (you can have your favourite paddle spot all to yourself!)
2. Serene Nature
3. Magnificent Winter Landscapes
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
0 - degree weather
Negative - degree weather
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:
It's all about being comfortable out there.
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.
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.