With summer right around the corner, you might be tempted to head out on your stand-up paddle board. Sure, the water’s still a bit chilly, but you can’t wait to get back at it. Before you grab your board, check out our tips and tricks to getting back to stand-up paddling after winter.
Get Back In Shape For Sup

If you’ve spent most of the winter hiding from bad weather and watching Netflix, now is the time to get back in shape. While we recommend keeping up your fitness year-round, not following this advice isn’t a deal breaker. A few weeks before you plan to head out on the water for your first post-winter stand-up paddle boarding session, start practising some of these key exercises.

A good stand-up paddleboard workout should focus on improving your balance, build essential muscle groups. You should strengthen your core muscles to help with balance, leg muscles for greater stability when on the board, and of course arm muscles for paddling. Experts also recommend exercising barefoot as this allows you to train your feet and ankles.
Stand Up Paddle Board Exercises

These exercises can be used a few weeks before you re-enter the water to build your strength or directly before to help warm up key muscles. We recommend that SUP warm-ups last for about 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll want to exercise for even longer if you’re using these exercises to stay in shape over the winter.
Ankle Exercises

  1. Start by sitting on the ground and wrap an exercise band around the top of each foot. Attach the band to a something stable in front of the body, like a pole or even tree.
  2. Flex your foot so that it moves towards your shin. You should feel your shin muscle contract.
  3. Keep your toes relaxed as this exercise should focus on ankle muscles.
  4. Repeat.
Single-Arm Pull

  1. Attach a resistance band or cable to a sturdy object
  2. With your feet hip width apart, pull the resistance band back slowly till your elbow reaches the side of your body
  3. Tuck your shoulder blade into your spine
  4. Hold this position for a count of 30
  5. For extra balance, try standing on one leg (the opposite leg) as you pull the resistance band and rotate your torso slightly
Modified Warrior 3

  1. Start with your feet standing hip-width apart
  2. Standing on one, supporting leg, tilt your weight forward till you other leg is parallel with the ground
  3. Reach the opposite arm forward
  4. Hold for a count of 60
  5. Release slowly
  6. Repeat

  1. Start stomach down on the ground with your hands directly below your shoulders
  2. Push up till you reach a push-up position. Your body should make a straight line so your hips should not dip
  3. Push your shoulders away from your ears
  4. Hold for a count of 60 seconds
  5. Lift one arm off the ground and reach towards the sky, flipping your body sideways

  1. Start with your hips shoulder width apart
  2. Push your hips back till your sitting in a chair
  3. You should still be able to see your toes
  4. Reach your arms directly above you
  5. Hold for a count of 60
Plan Ahead and Wear Appropriate SUP Gear

Water temperatures in the UK can remain chilly year-round. If you’re tempted to get back on your board before summer really begins, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared. With the right gear, you can continue to paddleboard during the winter as well as early summer months.

Winter Paddle Boarding Gear

Wetsuit. wetsuit is essential if you’re heading out into chilly water. For winter weather, choose a wetsuit that’s at least 4/3/2mm thick for the winter or 3/2mm thick for the summer. Thicker wetsuits will keep you warmer, but limit your movement and flexibility. So, if you’re looking to get back to paddleboarding during the early summer months, opt for a mid-season wetsuit which leaves your arms free for easy paddling.

Neoprene Booties. If it’s cold enough to wear a wetsuit, it’s also cold enough to need a pair of neoprene booties. Booties will keep your feet warm and often have grip on the bottoms for extra stability. You can get booties with a range of thickness, typically between 1.5mm to 5mm. Thinner booties allow you greater control over your board and are often preferred weather permitting.

Gloves. You might also want to opt for neoprene or wool gloves. Gloves help your hands stay warm should you fall into the chilly waters. Wool gloves are often cheaper, but neoprene gloves, like the Olaian 3mm Neoprene surf gloves, will keep your hands dry and most have curved fingers made specifically for paddling (with a price tag to match.)

Thermal Base Layer. If you’re paddleboarding during winter or spring months, you’ll want to add an extra warm by wearing a thermal base layer. Thermals, unlike cotton, wick away sweat and other moisture (like rain) keeping you dry and warm. And, staying warm and dry is absolutely essential for winter stand-up paddle boarding. This layer goes under your wet suit and is only needed when using a sleeveless wetsuit.

Buoyancy Aid. Stand up paddleboarders should always wear a flotation device. This will help you stay afloat should you fall off your board. Think of it as an extra layer for warmth as well as safety.

Leashes. A leash is essential for stand up paddle boarding. It’ll keep your board next to you.

Dry Bag. For winter or early spring stand-up paddleboarding, you’ll also want to bring water, food, warm, dry clothes should you fall in and even a mobile phone or locator should you get into trouble. A dry bag can help keep your belongings dry and makes it easier to bring the essentials with you on your board.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding Safety Tips

Stand-up paddle boarding in chilly waters requires extra safety precautions. Winter or early spring stand-up paddleboarding is a fantastic experience as you’re likely to have the waters to yourself and can experience the tranquility of nature. However, you should take the following advice if headed out in cold or bad weather.

  • Tell someone where you plan to go and when you plan to be back
  • When wearing a wetsuit, keep outer layers on till right before you enter the water
  • Make sure you have all the essential gear like your leash, extra layer, buoyancy aid, etc.
  • Whatever your skill level, always dress for the water temperature.

We wish you a happy SUP experience!