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.
Wetsuit. A 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.
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 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.
We wish you a happy SUP experience!