Wind can be the bane of many a stand up paddle boarders life. Especially if it’s blowing hard onshore, causing all manner of flotsam, waves and chop to form. Likewise, sideshore and offshore winds can also cause problems – especially offshore types. but hang on, what’s all this mean? Onshore, sideshore, offshore what?
Seemingly simple terminology with relation to wind (at least simple to anyone with prior water experience) isn’t quite so simple to those without. If you’re a newbie stand up paddle boarder then hopefully this’ll help. There’s obviously a lot more to understanding wind and what its effects on SUPing can be. But for now, this is a start.
The wind blows directly onto the beach you’re standing on. When you look out across the water you’ll see white caps and chop/waves forming. Light onshores may only cause small ripples whereas strong onshore winds can jack up proper waves.
This direction of breeze is describes as blowing left to right or right to left across the beach. If you stand facing the water then one side of your body will have the full brunt of each gust, the other side of you not so much. If you’re out stand up paddle boarding in a strong crosshore wind you’ll find you have to paddle hard on one side to keep your SUP from veering off and heading along the coast.
Offshore winds blow directly off the beach and out to sea. If you paddle at an inland stretch of water then you may have a lea shore acting as a safety net to catch you. At the coast, however, this isn’t the case. Offshore winds can make the water close to the beach look calm and inviting. Yet it doesn’t take long to be swept away from your launch spot. Getting back, by paddling into a headwind, can be tricky. For beginners, it’s actually quite dangerous.
As we’ve said in many previous posts knowledge is power. The more SUP info you’re armed with, the better your understanding of the environment you’re about to put yourself, the more likely you are to have a nice time and not get into difficulty. Gen up on your SUP knowledge with posts like this or ask those who have prior experience. Above all stay safe this summer!
You can find more beginner SUP hacks via the link below –