You CAN Paddleboard in Winter

Some sports are typically suited for the summer season, especially the water sports. It is highly justified as cold water can freeze you in seconds if there is any mishap or incident. However, if you take a moment to realize how beautiful still lakes and roaring seashores look in the wee hours of the morning during winters, you are surely going to give in.

Yes, You CAN!

Paddleboarding is one of the water sports that was once confined to summers only. However, as more people realized how winters make look water more attractive, the enthusiasts of this sport could not resist. The serene scenario of paddleboarding in the calm, cold waters might attract many, but it is not for the faint-hearted.

Just imagine the number of layers needed to protect the body from hypothermia. Also, winters take a toll on our bodies, and a lot of physical as well as mental strength is required to do some paddleboarding in winters. Nevertheless, for the die-hard fans and lovers of paddleboarding, the season is just a term to describe weather changes.

Why Should You Go Paddleboarding in winters?

Besides your interest and enthusiasm, paddleboarding in winters is so rewarding for people who love natural beauty. The whole atmosphere is very calm in the early hours of the morning – with no sun in sight, the clouds might hover a bit longer and lower, and the mist casts a longing effect near the shore.

Additionally, as most people still wholeheartedly consider paddleboarding as a sport for summer, you are unlikely to find a hoard of people with you on the water. The shore is also calm without the extra noise. All in all, it is calming and soothing for the soul.

Tips and Tricks to Paddleboard in winters

So, if you have your heart set at leaving the warmth of your house in the icy cold weather outside, then get ready! We have got your back. Following are some of the important tips and tricks that will help you out with your paddleboard experience.

1. Outerwear Should Be Proper

Wearing proper outwear is essential when you think or plan about paddleboarding in winter. The layers you wear when heading out for a quick store trip on a cold day is nothing compared to what you need to have when going paddle boarding in winter. No matter how classy or expensive gear you own – including the board, leash, or paddle – the most important thing is what you wear to protect yourself from the cold.

Keeping yourself warm is crucial. What you need to have is:

  • Coldwater wetsuit
  • Woolen sweaters for wearing inside the wetsuit
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Ski mask
  • Beanie
  • Waterproof boots

It is advised that you do thorough research about the weather conditions before planning your trip. Check the weather and then arrange the sweaters and wetsuit accordingly.

2. Do Not Endanger Yourself

If the temperature outside is freezing, do not endanger your life. Accidents might happen even with the best of the gear and outerwear. It is better to avoid paddleboarding in freezing temperatures and on extremely windy days. Also, always have someone accompany you. Never go paddleboarding alone!

3. Close to the Shore

No matter how exhilarating it sounds, paddleboarding close to the shore when the water is icy cold is the best option. Hypothermia is anything but a joke. Swimming in cold water – in case of an accident or emergency, is near to impossible. Plan your route in a way that you get to be closer to the shore all the time.

4. Use a Leash

No, it does not make you look bad if you are using a leash in flat water. Paddleboarding in winter is for the sake of fun and enjoyment. It should not be made an adrenaline-rushed sport risking your life. Use a leash when paddleboarding in winter. This will keep you safely attached to your paddleboard, which is technically the only floatation device you have in case of any emergency.

5. Avoid the Ice

The winters are so harsh in some regions that the water often freezes and turns into icy chunks. When paddleboarding in winters, avoid stepping on ice chunks. These chunks are highly unpredictable. Some might look sturdier than others but are mostly lightweight and will throw you off the hook.

6. Let the Natural Light Be Your Guide

In the cold season, let the sunlight guide you to when it is time to stop paddleboarding. Also, always check the weather forecast for any rain or windy episodes that might endanger your life. Bright natural light is the best for paddleboarding in winters.

7. A Warmup Kit

After you are done with paddleboarding, you must change into dry and warm clothes instantly. Therefore, never forget packing a warm-up kit. This kit should include:

  • A thermos of a warm beverage you like
  • Extra sweaters and suits
  • Warm water
  • Towels
  • Warm Blankets

Best Places to Go Paddle Boarding in winters

1. San Diego, California

Surfers at Pacific Beach

If you are looking for a warm climate to welcome you for your paddleboarding experience, then look no further than San Diego. It is fairly justified to call San Diego a mecca for paddleboarding all year round since the sun is always out and shining in this city. You would not require a lot of winter outerwear for paddleboarding here in San Diego, except surely a wetsuit. Some of the notable spots for winter paddleboarding in this city are:

  • Mission Bay
  • Coronado Island
  • La Jolla Shores
  • La Jolla Caves

2. Monterey, California

Carmel Bay on a foggy afternoon

A little Northwest on the Central Coast, Monterey, is a beautiful area that is a hub of tourists from all over the country and outside. The top places for paddleboarding here are:

  • Carmel Bay
  • Big Sur Coast
  • Monterey Wharf

3. Lake Havasu, Arizona

Lake Havasu, Arizona

Popular for its warm weather, Arizona is the best escape from an extremely cold region. Here you will find amazing warm weather in winter and natural lakes that give stunning views. The following are the best places for paddleboarding in Arizona:

  • Lake Havasu
  • Canyon Lake
  • Lake Saguaro

4. Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

Popular for being the warmest state in the United States during winter, Key West has a laid-back attitude that is well-suited for explorers. The mangrove forest is one of the popular most spots for paddleboarding, along with witnessing stingrays flying high across the sand.

5. Salmon Bay, Seattle

Though this state does get its share of the cold weather, the Salmon Bay Paddle attracts a lot of tourists. It has amazing serene views to offer over the resting lakes and thriving rivers. There are fewer people around the water during winter – which is great if you are looking for some solitude hours at the bay. The following are the best paddle boarding spots in this state:

  • Ballard Elks Club beach
  • West Point Lighthouse
  • Discovery Park

6. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii


If this is not considered a paradise for paddlers, then nothing should be. Hawaiian Islands are the best SUP destination ever. The weather there is ideal, with breathtaking scenery all around. If you have not visited the following paddleboard destinations in Hawaii, then now is the time:

  • Kona
  • Hanalei Bay
  • Waikiki
  • Kihei

Best Paddle Boarding Destinations in Winter Outside the United States

  1. Bengali Cave, Portugal
  2. Morocco
  3. Canary, Lanzarote
  4. Maui
  5. Barbados

Paddleboarding in Winters is Fun

At first, paddleboarding in winters might make people frustrated at the thought of leaving the warmth of the homes to step into icy cold water. However, for people who love to paddleboard without the weather restrictions, the experience is worth the adventure. In addition to that, ensuring proper gear and arrangement is crucial for enjoying to the maximum.