We appreciate that winter can be off putting for many stand up paddlers. If you came into SUP as a fair weather type this mightn’t be a post you’ll give a second glance. But bear with us. We have a few suggestions of paths to take your SUPing this winter. This’ll see maximum fun being had as well as you branching out and diversifying.
Perhaps an obvious one but stand up paddle surfing season is now. And by that, we mean the chance of scoring waves is higher. When we talk waves we’re not thinking death bombs that’ll whomp you down. Moreover, we’re thinking heading to spots that can be flat in summer yet have a few ankle biters (or slightly bigger) in winter.
One of stand up paddling’s beauty with this kind of thing is the smallest of ripples are doable. The upscaled size of SUPs (when compared to surfboards) means additional glide and enhanced momentum for sliding along walls of water. You don’t need to be ripping big turns or gunning for the barrel. Mellow gliders are what it’s mostly about for the vast majority of SUP surfers. And this equates to maximum fun.
In summer there’s perhaps perceived motivation for heading off on a stand up paddle boarding adventure. But with the cooler months, with less people around, the views and sights are possibly more magical and fulfilling. Picking a suitable weather window for heading off piste can yield all sorts of seasonal wildlife spotting that you just don’t get to witness during school holidays.
The weather can sometimes be as sublime as summer as well – even if it’s a tad chilly. Frosty, bright mornings where ripples from your paddle blade break the water’s surface tension, not a breath of wind and an air of quiet that’s peaceful and serene. What’s not to like? Wear the appropriate winter SUP attire, pack those winter essentials and your off season SUP adventures don’t need to be arduous.
An offshoot of stand up paddle surfing flying above water really is a feeling that’s not as difficult to access as some might believe. With only small waves needed after a few sessions you’ll start to get the hang of flying above water and may become addicted. The sensation is quite surreal as you hover, Marty McFly style, a few feet above the wave.
SUP foiling has the ability of opening up previous venues thought not worthy by the stuck to water brigade. A small lump of moving water and you’re good to go. SUP foiling can be a nice compliment to your stand up paddle surfing shenanigans or fixation in its own right. Whatever you fancy basically…
White water river SUP.
By and large white water stand up paddling remains under the radar in the UK. Yet there are a hardcore few who love charging rapids and drops. For anyone looking to start out winter’s perfect as it generally means more rain. More rain pushes river levels up which can deliver more fun for white water paddlers.
McConks Go X Wild 11i | Whitewater SUP race and touring board
Mellow river runs can be just as rewarding as high volume routes (and without the increased risk). With a little bit of flow the enjoyment levels can shoot up and before you know it you’re a fully converted river rat.
Scoring the best winter SUP weather.
If none of the above float your boat (or should that be SUP?), and you’re a recreational paddler at heart, then simply keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast and looking out for those windows of opportunity is best practice. There’ll undoubtedly be bouts of yucky conditions (this is winter after all) but around that you’ll nab a few fair weather days.
Before you know UK spring 2022 will be back upon us and winter will be a distant memory. Keep the faith, make the most of stand up paddling as you see fit and it’ll all be right.
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