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‘Forrest Gump conditions’ – when weather forecasts don’t always play ball.

We bang on all the time about getting accurate weather info, learning to read a weather charts and interpreting that data for your chosen spot. Even inland this is imperative to not getting caught out when SUPing. If you’re new to stand up paddling then proper weather reports (not just the forecast that comes after the news) can be daunting. And yet with so many available websites displaying info in fairly simple to understand ways it can still remain a quagmire until you actually learn and understand what you’re looking at.

That said the UK’s weather, as we all know, is an unpredictable beast. Whilst every effort is made by forecasters and those designing forecast modelling software our land’s geography, in relation to our European conterparts and surrounding bodies of water, means things can change at the drop of a hat. What predictions tell you for your area don’t always come to fruition. But turning a blind eye to weather info is unsafe so it’s certainly best practise to learn, digest and understand. Knowledge is power after all…

Sometimes though the SUP conditions you actually get on the day at your chosen put in are what you could call ‘Forrest Gump’ esque. In the 1994 film, starring Tom Hanks as a man with an IQ of just 75, there’s a classic line: “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” To lesser or greater extent this sentiment can be applied to UK weather.

A classic case in point can be reading the a daily chart only to find that gales are forecast with seemingly little chance of SUP in traditional sense – i.e. standing and paddling (windSUP may still be on the cards). But to quote another often used sentence, solidified by Hawaii’s North Shore legend Eddie Aikau’s formidable rep: ‘Eddy would go’ (yep, we’re all about one liners in this article!) meaning if you don’t have a look/see then you could miss out.

OK, we’ll admit. Most of the time weather forecasts do actually prove to be accurate. If it’s predicted to be windy and wet then it most likely will be. But every once in a while you do get ‘Forrest Gump weather’ that doesn’t reflect what the meteorologists tell you, leaving a clear window for a spot of unexpected SUP action… Our advice? Tune in to what’s going on weather wise and when a window opens just go for it!

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