We might be biased here but in our opinion whether you knew the big ‘ol man in red was getting you a paddleboard for Christmas or not it’s without a doubt one of the best Christmas presents you could have received (bonus points if you received a Saltie one, naturally). Now, you might not think that paddleboarding in the winter months can be done. But, we assure you some of the best paddleboarding trips we’ve taken part in have been during the winter. But, no matter if you fancy a winter SUP trip or prefer to wait for the warmer months being prepared is our number one tip. Ensure you have some basic knowledge of how to SUP, what equipment you need and the best conditions to get out on your SUP. Read on to read about our top tips on what to do if you received a SUP for Christmas.
Do your Homework!
If you can wait, before you get your new epic inflatable paddle board out of its box, make sure you’ve done your homework. Read up on tides and their timing, as well as what to do if find yourself in some choppy conditions.
You can read all about the tides in our blog post here The tides explained.
What are the tides? And why in the world do you need to know about these to SUP? The tides are determined by the moon and the sun. They have their own gravitational fields, just like the Earth. Whilst they won’t pick us up and make us float off into space, they are powerful enough to move the oceans around the planet and therefore create ‘good and bad’ times to go paddleboarding. And, by good and bad we mean safe and dangerous. So, ensure you at least know the basics of these before heading out.
Another great source of information that you can utilise before your first inflatable paddle board tips are all of the SUP apps that are out there.
You can read all of our favourite ones here the 6 SUP apps every paddleboarder should have here.
Get suited & booted in the right gear for winter
Depending on how generous your gifters have been or how well you’ve hinted prior to Christmas will determine if you already have all of the extra gear that you might need for your paddleboarding trip. Before heading out on your first Saltie inflatable paddle board adventure, you’ll need to make sure you’re dressed properly for the occasion – particularly if you plan on heading out in the winter months.
Make sure you have an appropriate-sized buoyancy aid, as well as a swimsuit and a wetsuit for over the top – Because, trust us, when you’re learning you will fall in! Your wetsuit should be nice and tight to keep the warmth in. If you are planning on heading out whilst it’s still cold you might also want to consider some extra layers, including gloves, boots and extra layers. Click here for our SUP Winter Clothing Guide to read all about what you need to buy for your winter SUP trip. A warm and cosy drying robe can also be a blessing after you get out of the water.
You can shop for your drying robe here.
Practice On Solid Ground Before Even Getting On Your Paddle Board
You might feel a tad silly, but trust us, the easiest way to learn how to paddleboard is to practice on solid ground first. Then when you feel ready to hit the water, you’ll already have the technique nailed. Plus, it’s a great way to get to use your board before the sun comes back again if you don’t fancy paddleboarding in during the colder months.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fall In
As we have previously mentioned no matter how much prior research or practice you’ve done or how easy you think it might be, you will fall in when you’re first starting out! And if you don’t then we’re seriously impressed. When you first get out on the water, have a few practices of falling in. While this might seem counterintuitive, it is an important safety step in ensuring that you are able to self-rescue.
When you do fall in, it’s also really important to know how to get back onto your board. Our top tip is to get on from the side instead of the back. Grab the handle and pull yourself using your upper body, back onto the board. Once you’re on, kick your feet and rotate your body until you’re lying flat back onto it. Then, start back on your knees and start paddling away again. Standing only once you feel balanced again.
Look Up Not Down
It might feel more natural to look down at your feet but, while looking up from your board not only helps you stay balanced, it is also super important to enjoy your first SUP experiences. Look at the horizon, the shoreline, try and spot fish beneath your board it’s all part of the fun and games.
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