McConks SUP user guide #12: stand up paddle boarding in wind.

With our local being the UK it’s safe to say Mother Nature’s weather moods can be changeable. For sure, we get those glassy, windless days where the sun shines. But more often than not it’s breezy to the point of being windy In this post we look at stand up paddle boarding in wind, as more often than not you’ll be confronted by breeze.

If you’re a coastal stand up paddler – particularly in summer – then you may come up against the middle of the day sea breeze phenomenon. You can learn more about sea breezes by hitting the following link – 

Whenever you go afloat it’s wise to arm yourself with as much info as possible. That knowledge reflecting your chosen put in, local effects (such as tides) and the day’s weather forecast. If it’s looking blowy then the path of least resistance is always a better course of action. This can be referred to as a SUP ‘downwinder’ which you can find out about via the following post –

Flowing with the breeze on your back, in some cases gliding effortlessly on the generated rolling swell, can be one of the most fun aspects of stand up paddle boarding. Sometimes, however, it may be you need to paddle back into a headwind. This could be because of the breeze coming up unexpectedly or simply due to not being able to avoid it.

SUPing when it's gets even a little windy
Paddling when even a little breezy can be fun if done correctly.

If this is the case then there are a couple of technique to make things less arduous.

  • Paddle hard. You’ll need to put the hammer to make headway with gusts hitting you head on.
  • Consider kneeling and paddling to reduce the amount of resistance; i.e. your body.
  • If you can hug a shoreline, where there may be shelter, then do so.
  • For paddlers in locations with blocking obstacles, consider zig zagging between them – even if this makes your journey a tad longer.
  • If there’s an option to get out and walk then maybe this would be a better course of action – especially if the wind’s strong.
  • Sit it out and wait for a better window of opportunity. You don’t always have to go paddling. SUPing another day may be more palatable.

To download a PDF of this article hit the button below –

You can read more from the McConks SUP user guide by clicking the link below –

And for further reading check out the following articles –

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