Seasonal Paddleboarding: Tips for Each Season

Paddle boarding is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed year-round, provided you’re prepared for the different challenges each season brings.


Paddle boarding is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed year-round, provided you’re prepared for the different challenges each season brings. Whether you’re gliding over calm summer waters or navigating chilly winter waves, here are some tips to help you make the most of your paddle boarding experience in every season.

Spring: Reawakening the Waters

two women on paddle boards

Spring is a time of renewal, and it’s a great season to get back on the water after winter. However, the weather can be unpredictable, and water temperatures are still on the cooler side.

Tips for Spring Paddle Boarding:

  1. Dress Appropriately: Layer up with moisture-wicking clothing and consider wearing a wetsuit, especially in early spring when the water is still cold.
  2. Check the Weather: Spring weather can be changeable, so always check the forecast before heading out. Look out for wind conditions and potential spring storms.
  3. Gear Check: Before your first paddle of the season, inspect your equipment. Check your board for any damage and make sure your paddle, leash, and personal flotation device (PFD) are in good condition.
  4. Start Slow: If you’ve taken a break over the winter, ease back into it. Start with shorter, less intense sessions to rebuild your stamina and balance.

Summer: Embrace the Heat

paddle boards on lake tahoe

Summer is peak paddle boarding season, with warm temperatures and long days making it perfect for water adventures. However, the heat and increased water traffic can present their own challenges.

Tips for Summer Paddle Boarding:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water with you and take breaks to drink, especially during long sessions.
  2. Sun Protection: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and apply waterproof sunscreen. Consider wearing a rash guard for added sun protection.
  3. Avoid Peak Hours: To avoid crowds, try to paddle early in the morning or later in the afternoon. This also helps you dodge the midday heat.
  4. Explore New Spots: Take advantage of the pleasant weather to explore new locations. Whether it’s a local lake or a coastal bay, summer is the perfect time for paddleboarding adventures.

Fall: Enjoy the Tranquility

sup yoga in the fall 

Fall brings cooler temperatures and stunning scenery as the leaves change color. It’s a quieter time on the water, offering a peaceful paddleboarding experience.

Tips for Fall Paddle Boarding:

  1. Dress in Layers: Fall weather can be variable. Wear layers that you can easily add or remove as the temperature changes.
  2. Watch for Debris: With the changing foliage, be mindful of fallen leaves and branches in the water that can obstruct your path.
  3. Shorter Days: As daylight hours shorten, plan your paddleboarding sessions accordingly. Ensure you have enough time to get back before dark.
  4. Capture the Beauty: Fall’s vibrant colors make for stunning backdrops. Bring a waterproof camera or phone to capture the seasonal beauty.

Winter: Brave the Chill

inflatable paddleboard in the snow

Winter paddleboarding is for the adventurous, but it can be incredibly rewarding. The key is to stay warm and safe in the colder conditions.

Tips for Winter Paddle Boarding:

  1. Wear a Drysuit: Unlike wetsuits, drysuits keep you completely dry, providing superior insulation against cold water.
  2. Use Neoprene Accessories: Neoprene gloves, boots, and hats help keep extremities warm and maintain dexterity.
  3. Be Mindful of Ice: Avoid areas where ice is forming or has formed. Ice can damage your board and pose significant safety risks.
  4. Paddle with a Buddy: Always paddle with someone else during winter. The cold can quickly become dangerous, and it’s safer to have a companion.

General Tips for All Seasons:

  1. Safety First: Regardless of the season, always wear a PFD and let someone know your paddle boarding plans.
  2. Stay Informed: Check local regulations and water conditions. Be aware of any seasonal hazards specific to your paddleboarding location.
  3. Maintain Your Gear: Regularly inspect and maintain your equipment. Seasonal changes can affect the condition of your gear, so keep it in top shape for safe and enjoyable paddling.

Paddle boarding is a versatile sport that offers unique experiences throughout the year. By preparing for the seasonal variations, you can enjoy this wonderful activity safely and comfortably, no matter what time of year it is. Happy paddling!