When Is The Best Time To Paddle Board?
Posted by Alex Clasper
Paddle boarding is one of those great activities that different people can enjoy in all sorts of conditions. The best time to paddle board is ultimately whatever you find the most enjoyable, but we think there are certain factors that are generally considered to be a universal improvement to the experience.
With that mind, let’s go into a bit more detail and start looking at the variety of factors that make up the best time to paddle board for you.
The Ideal Season for Paddle Boarding
Generally, summer is the favourite time for paddle boarders to start hitting the water in droves. With weather conditions being at their warmest, scores of people will be looking to cool themselves off from the sun and take in the stunning summer scenery. There can be no doubt that summer is an amazing time for paddle boarders.
However, if you are a paddle boarder that prefer a quieter environment you will most likely find popular summer paddling spots overcrowded, but there is a great opportunity to go off the beaten track and find somewhere new.
When paddle boarding in the summer, there are also several precautions that you have to take to protect yourself from the sun. High factor SPF will be necessary in order to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. We also recommend that you take care to avoid heat stroke and dehydration. If any of these things aren't ideal for you, it might be that summer isn’t the best time to paddle board for you.
The inexperienced paddle boarder would be forgiven for thinking that the idea of winter paddle boarding sounds crazy. But there are many who swear by it, for a few different reasons.
For the slightly more adventurous amongst you, a winter paddle boarding session can be a totally different experience. More than likely, you’ll find that you’re the only one out so you won’t be disturbed by the huge crowds that emerge during the summer months, and the winter vistas can be a truly beautiful background.
As long as you are appropriately dressed and prepared with some other very helpful kit, the cold weather can be mostly mitigated. Something like the RED Revolution Parka would be ideal to supplement a winter SUP session. Its awesome 3-in-1 capabilities mean that you’ll have a cosy changing robe to use before and after you get into the water, and then a warm fleece to change into once you’re done. It’s the perfect bit of kit for a winter excursion.
Generally, we don’t recommend paddle boarding in winter to the inexperienced, but if you know what you’re doing and have the appropriate clothing, you may well find winter the best time to paddle board for your enjoyment.
Spring and Autumn
While the weather can be quite unpredictable for these two seasons, spring and autumn do present an interesting middle ground between summer and winter where a good day can offer the best of both worlds.
Taking a SUP out during the tail-end of spring or the start of autumn can give you temperatures somewhat close to those of the summer while massively cutting down on the overcrowding. Similarly, the start of spring or end of autumn gives you the tranquillity of a winter session but with slightly warmer temperatures.
If your ideal experience is some amount of a blend between summer and winter, you may well find that your best time to paddle board lands somewhere during spring and autumn.
What About the Time of Day?
Like the season, the time of day you decide is your best time to paddle board is a matter of preference.
Many paddle boarders prefer to do a SUP session in the morning. It can be a great way to refresh your mind and body at the start of the day, without being exposed to the crowds you may expect to find later on in the day. A spot of early SUP Yoga is a fantastic way to achieve this, and is quite popular with morning paddle boarding enthusiasts. Take a look at our previous blog post here on how to select your ideal SUP Yoga board.
Day time comes with the warmest weather, which means if you’re looking to relax with some paddling in the warm water under the sun, this is probably the time for you. There’s also the additional benefit of having plenty of lifeguards available at the beach to watch over you if you’re inexperienced yourself or taking children with you.
Evening SUP is a great experience for unwinding at the end of the day. Paddling in the evening means that you’ll have free reign of the water, and can immerse yourself in a beautiful sunset on the water. It’s really a fantastic way to relax and prepare yourself for better sleep after a little physical exertion.
Be Sure to Check the Tide
Generally the best tide to be in if you’re an inexperienced paddle boarder. The slow, flat water won’t be massively exciting for most adept paddlers, but the conditions of a slack tide are perfect for a newbie trying to learn the ropes.
Generally a high tide will present more of a challenge. A high tide can often conceal rocks and it can often be difficult to take your board out of the water safely if your beach is a steep one. A high tide probably doesn’t offer the best time to paddle board for an inexperienced paddler.
For a learner, a low tide can be ideal in terms of conditions. The shallow waters are one of the best times to paddle board for anyone who isn’t totally comfortable with their ability to handle themselves in deep water.
Due to the shifting nature of the water, mid tide is not the best time to paddle board. Due to the fact that the water is shifting between high and low tide, strong currents tend to form which makes balancing your board very difficult. Even for an experienced paddler, mid tide is definitely something to avoid.
So if you’ve now figured out your best time to paddle board, it’s time to get planning your next session! Take a look at our blog posts on the top apps you need to best plan your trip, or get in contact with our team for any advice or help you need.