3 Tips for Paddle Boarding in Cold Temperatures

When you think of paddle boarding, you probably think of paddle boarding in the beautiful warm sun, in your swimwear, with sunbeams that shine on the water and make you get a tan.

Paddle boarding in cold weather can also be very good. In fact, there are people who enjoy going paddleboarding in the freezing cold.

This is of course very possible and safe if you want to paddleboard all year round to keep your stamina up and stay in shape.

But you need some extra things to be able to paddleboard safely in cold temperatures.

Just so that you can enjoy paddle boarding in icy temperatures, we would like to give you three tips.

Paddleboarding in cold weather Alaska
Picture from Stand on Liquid

Make sure you are well prepared

It is important to make sure that you are warm before you start paddleboarding in cold temperatures.

It is therefore advisable to bring a thermos jug of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

In any case, you should drink this before you start paddleboarding so that your body is warm before you get on your paddleboard.

Then do a warm-up before you actually go paddleboarding.

3 Tips for Paddle Boarding in Cold Temperatures 1
Picture from Yolo Board

A good warm-up before sport is always important, but in cold temperatures it is even more important.

Your muscles are slightly colder and therefore need a good and healthy warm up to start. This prevents unnecessary injuries.

Check everything carefully before you start. Is the SUP-Leash securely attached to you and your paddleboard? Are your clothes okay? Is your life jacket all right? In short, check that everything is all right before you start.

Call someone or send a message to let them know that you are now going on the water to go paddleboarding. Indicate the time you think you will come back.

Call again or report when you are back on land safely. Then check the weather reports, e.g. on your smartphone.

Especially when the weather is cold, it is important not to have to deal unexpectedly with storms or strong winds. Also rainfalls are not very pleasant.

Have the weather forecasts changed and a severe storm is coming? Then don’t go paddleboarding in the cold!

Do you still want to go paddleboarding? Stay close to the shore so that you can get out of the water quickly if necessary.

If you are far away from the shore in bad weather, it is very difficult, exhausting and dangerous to return to the shore.

group paddleboarding in cold weather
Picture from Tahoe SUP

Make sure you have the right paddleboard outfit

In summer you only have to wear swimwear if you go paddleboarding, but in winter it’s different. It is important that you wear clothes that keep you warm.

Of course you prefer a warm wetsuit, especially knowing that even the most experienced paddleboarders sometimes fall into the water.

The water is extremely cold and you can quickly become hypothermic. You don’t have a wetsuit and don’t want to buy one?

Make sure you wear enough layers of clothing to keep you warm during paddleboarding.

Think of fleece clothing, which is great for maintaining body heat. Of course, you shouldn’t just think about keeping body parts that are normally covered warm.

You should also think about good protection for your hands and face, especially your ears.

On the coast you can stay warm in cold temperatures, but on the water it is different. So be sure to keep your whole body warm.

You should preferably wear thermos socks to keep your feet warm, thick gloves and a good hat. There are several waterproof gloves that are ideal for paddleboarding.

These gloves are no longer so thick that you won’t feel the SUP paddle well anymore, but they make sure your hands stay dry and warm.

If your hands get too cold, you can lose feeling and no longer control your paddleboard well. Many people think that a thick cotton sweater is also good.

However, it is very important not to wear cotton when paddleboarding in cold temperatures.

Cotton gets soaked completely in water and quickly causes hypothermia.

3 Tips for Paddle Boarding in Cold Temperatures 2
Picture from iSupWorld.com

Safe paddleboarding goes above all else

Do you have a bad feeling about paddleboarding in cold temperatures for any reason whatsoever? Then don’t do it.

The risk of something going wrong is considerable and especially in cold weather you want to avoid it at all times.

Do not go onto the water without a life jacket. Even people who swim very well can get into trouble if they fall into very cold water.

In the best case you should choose a lifejacket with waterproof compartments to carry important things like a mobile phone, a signal whistle or a camera.

Even in cold weather you should not board the paddleboard without a good and safe leash.

Make sure the leash is completely in place and securely attached to you and your paddleboard.

cold weather paddle boarding
Picture from Isle SUP

Do you really want to go further away with your paddle board in the cold?

Then make sure you have a waterproof bag on your paddleboard in which you put a dry set of clothes and possibly some warm drinks.

In the meantime, you can sit on your paddleboard to drink a warm drink, and after a fall in the water you can get changed first before returning to the coast.

Are you going paddleboarding in the afternoon? Remember that it gets dark early.

It is therefore important to always bring a waterproof and bright light. It may happen that circumstances prevent you from being back on land before dark.

With the lamp you can not only see more yourself, but boats will also be able to see you.

It is useful to choose a light that you can attach to your body so you don’t have to hold it.

I might earn a small commission when you make a purchase through my link, so that I can keep my site running and pay the hosting bill. Read my affiliate policy to learn more.
Best Paddle Board Banner

Download our 60-page SUP Guide

* indicates required
The Best Paddle Board of the Year

2 responses to “3 Tips for Paddle Boarding in Cold Temperatures”

  1. Can Inflatable SUP be used in very cold water temperatures ? Example Lake Ontario @ -25 degrees ?

    • Hi Paul,

      This is indeed possible, just make sure to take the right precautions, take warm drinks and dress right. Never go out alone and make sure people know where you are.

      Have a good and safe trip!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)