Winter Paddling And Safety Guidance
Paddling in winter can be a rewarding experience, but it also requires some extra safety precautions. Here are some tips:
- Dress Appropriately: Dress in layers and consider wearing a dry suit or wetsuit to help stay warm. Opt for synthetic or wool materials, as they retain warmth even when wet. Avoid cotton, which loses its insulating properties when wet.
- Stay Safe: Always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). Also, consider wearing a leash to keep you connected to your board in case you fall off.
- Check the Weather: Always check the weather before heading out. Avoid going out during storms or when the weather is unpredictable.
- Paddle with a Buddy: Paddling with a buddy not only makes the experience more enjoyable but also safer. If you do choose to go alone, make sure to let someone know where you're going and when you expect to return.
- Stay Close to Shore: Stay close to the shore where it's safer and you're more visible to others.
- Be Aware of Hypothermia Risks: Be aware of the symptoms of hypothermia and how to treat it. If you start shivering uncontrollably, get out of the water, dry off, and warm up immediately.
- Keep Equipment in Good Condition: Cold weather can be hard on your equipment. Make sure your board and paddle are in good condition before you go out.
- Stay Hydrated and Energized: Just like in warmer weather, it's important to stay hydrated and energized. Bring a thermos with a hot drink and some snacks.
Remember, safety should be your top priority when paddle boarding in winter.