Are you wondering whether paddle boarding in the rain is possible??
The answer is YES.
If you want to practice paddle boarding regularly, you have to take into account that not every day is a sunny day. There will be moments where the day is gloomy or even pouring with rain outside.
To be honest with you, rain isn’t a problem in and of itself.
The only downside of rain is that it can make your board slick. When your board gets slippery, you will lose your balance and the paddleboarding experience may not be as enjoyable.
So can you paddleboard in the rain? If yes, then what is the true challenge? The actual obstacle is dealing with the cold or windy conditions that often accompany the rain.
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What Do You Wear When Paddle Boarding In The Rain?
1. Wear or Carry A Personal Floating Device
If you are residing in the US, the United States Coast Guard requires all paddleboarders to carry a PFD when outside of surf. Different countries will have different regulations, but it is always a good idea to carry a PFD around for your own safety.
2. Quick-drying Material Layers
If you are paddleboarding in the rain, you should opt for materials that dry quickly.
I would recommend getting boardshorts and a rash guard. Both will keep you protected from the sun and also dries quicker than a normal pair of Tee-shirt and shorts.
The materials of rash guard that you can look into are:
-Nylon: dries quickly
-Neoprene: stretchy, gives you flexibility
-Polyester: breathable and you won’t feel suffocated
-Lycra: moulds tightly to the body
Remember to have the leashes attached to your ankle and paddleboard. This is to ensure that you will not float away from the board in the event that you have fallen into the water.
4. Water Shoes
Water shoes, or also known as aqua socks snug perfectly into your feet and tight enough to provide you with flexibility. You should ensure that the water shoes are snug perfectly because if not, you might face balancing issues on the paddleboard.
Things to Keep in Mind When Paddle Boarding in Rain
Many people would only think and prepare for paddleboarding in the sunshine, but many forget to get ready for paddleboarding in rain. Let’s dive in now:
You Will Get Cold
A very important aspect of paddleboarding in the rain is that it can get freezing cold. Always keep in mind the combination of water and rain. Ideally, you should be prepared for a sudden drop in temperature as well. This is to avoid the occurrence of hypothermia.
Your Board Will Get Slippery
If you are paddleboarding in the rain, your board gets more slippery than a normal day. Not only will it affect your grip, you would struggle to paddle forward. My advice is to get a traction pad that will keep you on the board.
Stick Close To The Shore
As a beginner, you are better off sticking to waterways that you are familiar with. In the event of rain, you would be able to manoeuvre your way through when water gets choppier. Before you head out, remember to check the weather conditions such as windage, currents, marine forecast.
When Should You Not Paddle Board?
You should avoid paddle boarding when there is a high wind speed. High wind speed creates choppy water that is dangerous for beginners.
When the wind speeds are high, you are at risk of losing balance and struggling to stay afloat.
A general rule of thumb is to paddleboard at a wind speed of under 10 knots. If the wind is travelling above 10 knots, please think twice before you go paddleboarding in the rain.
TIP: Take notice of the direction the wind is blowing as you paddle. One way to not get tired easily as you paddle back to the shore is to paddle against the wind direction.
What Is The Best Weather For Paddle Boarding?
It is different for everyone. I will break it down into four categories: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert.
As a beginner, you would prefer warmer or hotter weather, somewhere around 85 Fahrenheit or warmer.
Now that you get the hang of paddleboarding, you are more likely to be stable and reduce the chances of falling into the waters. Now, the weather of around 80 Farenheit would be suitable, because you will most probably spend a long time standing in the middle of the lake under the hot sun.
I would suggest 70 Farenheit be perfect for paddleboarding. Not too warm to cause overheating and the water is not too cold.
The best temperature for this category is 60-70 Fahrenheit. Usually, people under this category tend to paddle more aggressively, thus they will generate enough body heat to keep themselves warm.
Is It Best To Paddle Board At High Tide?
The short answer is it depends. If you are a beginner, the best time to paddleboard is during slack water (a short duration when the water is unstressed with little movement in the body of the tidal water) which usually takes place after an hour from the high or low tide.
During this time, the water is stationary and does not cause any sudden water movements in any direction that might cause the paddle boarder to fall in the water.
I suggest you start off when the water is still and weak. During slack water, you can try to get the hang of paddleboarding without worrying about any choppy waters.
Once you have mastered the basics, you can now become an advanced paddleboarder.
This category of paddleboarders usually prefers more challenging waves that happen during different tidal states. The best tide will be normally on an incoming tide. This takes place 2 or 3 hours before high tide.
Can You Paddle Board Without A Fin?
The answer is no. The fin on the paddleboard allows you to manoeuvre properly.
When you paddleboard without a fin, you will lose stability to the board. Thus, causing you to spin around in circles which could potentially lead to unwanted injuries. Hence, you should always have a paddleboard with the fin.
How To Stay Warm While Paddle Boarding?
Do Not Wear Cotton – when paddling in the rain, the cotton will hold the water and does not dry off easily. You will get colder, especially under the rain. Not only that, your garment gets heavier, giving you extra resistance to paddle. Try to look out for quick-drying fabrics or a wetsuit.
Dress in Layers – when you bring an extra layer to go paddleboarding, you can opt to take it off when the weather is getting hot and vice versa. Some extra layers are swimsuits, board shorts and rashguards.
Cover Your Hands and Feet – You should get some neoprene socks while paddling. For your hands, there are paddling gloves that offer good grips and will also keep you warm.
To find out more about some of the best paddle boarding shoes, check out here.
Paddle Boarding Do’s And Don’ts
Let’s begin with some basics to remember before you go paddleboarding.
1.Check The Tides
A very simple step is to take note of everything before you go paddleboarding.
If you are paddleboarding in the ocean, visit sites like Magicseaweed or Yahoo to check on the tide times and the currents of the location that you choose to paddle at.
2. Use A Waterproof Bag
Most inflatable paddle boards will have elastic straps for you to attach your belongings to. Use a waterproof bag to store your water, sunblock cream or even clothes.
3. Take Note Of The Wind Conditions
Do not underestimate the wind condition!
The wind will have a massive impact on the direction of your paddleboarding. Imagine standing on a board and the headwind is strong, you basically will lose control. You’ll likely get far more tired eventually.
What Shouldn’t You Do While Paddle Boarding In Rain?
1. Don’t Paddle In Shallow Water
A bag will protect your board from potential damages such as accidental scratches and bumps that occur when moving around.
2. Don’t Drag Your Board
Be mindful of where you are paddleboarding. Paddling in shallow water can cause
damages to the bottom of the paddleboard by scraping against what lies in the water.
If you notice that you are approaching the shallow water, hop-off from the board.
3. Don’t Forget The Fins
As mentioned above, the fins are important. It might take extra minutes to remove the fins, it is worth it to unlock them when transporting and storing.
Another thing to take note of is to practice a good habit to make sure the water you are going to paddleboard in is deep enough for the fins to clear the bottom.
4. Don’t Stand Too Far On The Paddle Board
There are fins at the tail of the board to act as a rudder, thus you can manoeuvre the board easily. If you stand too far from the fins, it will be harder to control the board since the fins are out of the water now.
To check on your position, you can check the carry handle in the middle. If you can’t see the handle when standing on the board, it means you are too far forward. Then you can adjust your position accordingly.
5. Don’t Look Down At Your Feet
It is almost like a natural instinct to look at your feet when you are trying to maintain balance on the paddleboard. However, if you do that, you are more likely to fall off the board!
Instead, look at your surroundings – boats, your friends, even look in the water. Focus on them and start paddling towards them.
Best Wetsuits For Paddle Boarding In Rain
I would encourage you to get a wetsuit that you find comfortable and keep you warm.
One characteristic to look out for in a wetsuit is a 3/2mm neoprene wetsuit. This is suitable for hotter and rainy seasons. If you are visiting a colder country, get the 4/3mm thickness wetsuit.
This 4/3mm thickness wetsuit is made up of 100% stretch Nanoprene Lite Japanese and Channel Flex neoprene.
Not only is it lightweight, but it also has heat-retaining materials in the chest lining and repels water.
2. NRS Radiant
If you are looking for a cheaper option, the NRS Radiant 4/3mm wetsuit is suitable for all levels of paddleboarders.
The thickness of this wetsuit provides warmth and does not restrict your mobility. Thus, allowing you to have an enjoyable time paddle boarding in the rain.
Not a fan of both of these brands? Then find out more details about other brands of wetsuits here.
Dangers Of Paddle Boarding In The Rain
1. Not wearing board leash and slipping
2. Sun Exposure as no sunblock
3. Not Knowing How to Get Back on Your Board after Falling
5. Strainers,Submerged Logs & Rocks.
6. Paddling Solo and Not Telling Anyone.
So, is paddleboarding in the rain dangerous? In reality, all kinds of water sports carry a certain amount of risk, even paddleboarding. The best way to avoid all these risks is to acknowledge them and use common senses.
Is It Safe To Paddle Board In A Thunderstorm?
I would say avoid paddle boarding in a thunderstorm. If the weather looks gloomy and is going to be stormy, it is better to just cancel your plan. In everything that you love doing, you should put your health and safety first. Even if it’s paddleboarding.
However, I understand that most of the time the weather is unpredictable. One moment it is shiny sunshine, the next it is pouring like cats and dogs.
If you found yourself trapped in a thunderstorm while paddleboarding, these are some steps to stay safe:
1. Look for a shelter in a vehicle or a building. This should be your first instinct.
2. Do not shelter under isolated trees. There has been an estimation that 1 out of 4 people is likely to get struck by lightning by standing under isolated trees. Instead, look for a dense group of trees.
3. If you are in the waters, get away from the water as quickly as possible and look for the shore.
4. When you have reached the shore, leave the paddle and boat by the water edge and run towards a shelter.
5. If you are unable to find a shelter, minimize the surface area of your body by crouching down, place both feet close together with heads down and hands over ears.
What To Bring When paddle boarding in the rain?
This is an essential accessory that you have to carry along. A dry bag allows you to store your additional layers of outerwear and smartphone.
2. Water Safety Whistle
In the event of emergencies, you can signal others for help by blowing into the whistle.
3. Sunblock cream
Even when it is raining, there is still UV rays that could penetrate through your skin.
4. Bow Safety Light
To allow you to have better visibility, a bow safety light will come in handy especially during dark and rainy days.
Well, there you have it, everything you should know about paddleboarding in the rain.
Paddleboarding or also known as stand up paddleboard has been around for ages. You will realize how this watersport has been gaining attention across all walks of life. In fact, paddleboarding is one of the most popular water sport activities.
However, you should always keep in mind the dangers of paddleboarding in the rain during your planning.
If you do not own a paddleboard, you can even reserve a paddleboard rental in some areas in America such as in the Fort Lauderdale area. This allows you to enjoy getting out for an adventure on the water without any worries.
Although paddleboarding is an easy sport, it still requires stamina. Thus, please ensure you are in good health before doing any water activities
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