Winter stand up paddle boarding on flat water.

Winter stand up paddleboard on flat water.

Don’t put your inflatable paddle board away for winter!

If you are well trained and prepared, the winter months have some of the best lake paddling conditions.

Find the following advantages of winter paddleboarding:

These tips do not apply in specific to flat-water paddling (lakes and rivers flowing slowly). The general rule is to keep out of the water and to remain dry.


Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is very aerobic. Like winter hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing, you start sweating – and sweating is your foe.

The solution is simple for a durable winter paddle: wear synthetic clothing layers just as you would for winter running. Do not wear cotton. Please do not wear them. Carry an almost empty backpack and quickly peel the guilt object and store it in your bag when you start to sweat. After a mile of paddling in subzero, sunny weather, it’s not unusual for me to have almost everything in my bag. When you pick your paddling wardrobe, always remember how easy you can get out of it. Check for posts without buttons, zippers, and velcro. All three are incredibly difficult to attach/unfasten with gloves.

If you feel wet, remove the layer before you crack a sweat. Put it on again later if you get cold, just before you get chilled. Try handling your company to stop sweating first. Your layering is an art and is only enhanced with repetition, so get out!

Winter paddlers slip into the pit for the first time with bulky parks, snow coats, and heavy turtleneck sweaters. Don’t do that. Please don’t do it. Bulking up is terrible for two reasons: there is no place to stash the heavy objects before you start swimming, and large clothing appears to absorb large amounts of water when you are immersed. Dream about it. Dream about it. If you fell into the water, your dress quickly drank so much water weight that it is impossible to recover.

The debate about the wetsuit

Wetsuits don’t paddle on a lake for winter. If you stay out of the water (and better), the suit triggers sweat instantly. Before you get more than 100 yards, you will be saturated with your swing. And if you’re soaked from sweats or lake water, you’re at high risk of hypothermia exacerbated by wind chills. The thin neoprene of wetsuits does not fit the conditions of subzero. The exception is foot coverings: I wear neoprene socks with a layer of integrated plastic that prevents water from touching my feet. Yeah, my feet suck at a higher rate, but I can do it, as you almost always stand in lake water puddles from time to time.

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If you are still not persuaded, do a simple test: give your wetsuit and your favorite shoes for a 1⁄2 mile winter time in your town. If you are lucky enough to escape the mockery of your neighbors, you will undergo the cycle of overheating, sweating, and wind chill intensified. When you get home, you will shiver, and you will regret not wearing a wetsuit in the winter on a paddleboard.


Wear a light backpack that includes a bottle of water, snacks, waterproof telephone, and adequate clothing space throughout your trip. Do not bend your waist to the optional belt. Program your brain in the event of unexpected water evacuation, first to shed your backpack deep. Ensure your bag doesn’t interfere with your ability to inflate your PFD belt if you want PFD.

Ice Board

There’s something that first-timers don’t take into account in winter: the deck of your paddleboard could quickly freeze over. Ice comes from water breaking through the bow or dripping from the paddle across the deck repeatedly. This accumulation can build a slippery surface under your feet. There is no cure for this, and be mindful that, if your feet start to glisten, you will not be afraid to cut your session shortly after an hour. Once the deck is over, the game is over. The most proactive thing you can do is to avoid water from first reaching the deck. Consider a less aggressive pace and set your training target at a distance rather than at full speed.


This is an excellent reminder for all winter sports. People are conditioned to drink, not when dehydrated, when it is hot. This is terrible because, in winter, you won’t get hot when you paddle. So remember to drink to stay hydrated sometimes. Hold your bag with a water bottle. Your heat is going to keep it in liquid shape. It’s time to go home if it freezes.


There is no need to go to the center of the lake. Paddle the shoreline and sit 1/8 mile from the ground. But be mindful of ice: lakes typically first freeze calmly and flaccidly near the shore.

Keep dry, always stay dry.

Therefore, you have a healthy balance on your board, but don’t forget your lake and launch. Plan an approach that keeps your feet dry. If necessary, try to start from a dock. When you step into the sea, your perfect day would be compromised.

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In addition to the above advice for winter, follow the following normal SUP activities updated for winter:

Buddy System

This is a must, but it is also a two-edged sword—another redundant comfort and safety layer with a co-pilot in winter. Plus, in the winter, you have someone to take photos of you. But here’s the problem: unless your buddy is seasoned and practices these indicators as well, they will easily be a danger to your fun and your life. If you have to help save water, and you’re going to risk whatever advantage you’ve planned for at a moment because you’re a good guy. As soon as you both come out of the water, your life expectancy is measured in minutes. Choose qualified mates, prepare a joint action plan, and convey the rescue techniques.

Dry Wear

Even in the summer, in case I end up swimming, I usually change clothes. In the winter you have to wear dry, warm clothes in the car. That warm parka I dissuaded you from paddling? Have it waiting in your car with open arms. Knit caps are also great, mittens, wool socks. In the winter months, I even have a stash of emergency clothes in the car. If your dress is damp or saturated, stretch down to the dry (or bare skin) layer and get into dry clothes. It’s no other way. I suggest leaving the car keys in or near the car when I’m talking about stuff to go in my vehicle. If you’re in a safe place, consider unlocking your vehicle. Make an emergency entrance for a panicked mind and an addicted finger easier. What are the excellent car keys if they are now at the bottom of the lake in your backpack?


Before and during my paddle session, I still review radar and local weather forecasts. And I paddle on lakes in winter that I know very well. The greatest threat to your life is the wind, just like summer paddling. Before it begins, be able to see it. Watch often on the horizon the action of the water or the trees. Look for watercolor changes or cloud shapes, or coloring changes. In winter, I have no chance: if the direction of the wind shifts more than 90 degrees, or if the temperature + /- 5 degrees, I head straight to shore. If you belong to a party, you should plan to bail before you even leave. Speak to the lake via the Go / No-go signals on your drive. Don’t waste time arguing or analyzing water during the storm.

Tell friends about your plans.

This painless procedure mustn’t be so complicated. At the very least, change your status on social media to let us know that you are about to push off at the port. Perhaps they are going to be envious, or maybe they’re going to brand you a narcissist. But they’re going to be told, and that’s why you’re safer.

  Stand up paddle board


Wear your PFD still. It gives you a better chance to survive and stops you from obtaining a police ticket. I wear an inflatable, coastguard-approved belt with a broad yellow handle that I find on my gloves and my eyes closed. Don’t tie it around your waist as you shed extra clothes. This prevents your belt access and your ability to inflate correctly. Do you want additional protection? It is no bad idea to bring a regular PFD on the board bow if you have tie-downs.

You should wear a river-certified PFD over your layers on unusually cold days. This over-floating jacket traps the heat very well, and I overheat it unless it’s freezing.


This is a flatwater no-brainer for me. A leash + PFD + common sense is the most vigorous defense against a fatality together.

Last Things

Those are the markers for a flatwater SUP in winter. As always, test your skills and commitment before you try to paddle in winter. This isn’t for everybody, but I guess that’s for you if you’ve done it so far.

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