If you’re like most SUP enthusiasts, then you know that the day or week just didn’t seem the same without gliding on crystalline waters. This is true regardless of the time of the year (so long as the weather is clement enough, of course). A recent study published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that the weather does have an impact on winter exercise behavior but it’s actually less than you might think, with less than half of those surveyed avoiding exercise in colder months. If nothing can get in the way of you and your board, make sure you are ready for winter by keeping the following considerations in mind!
Know When It's Realistic to Stay In
If visibility is poor out on the water or the forecast predicts rain, finding a way to exercise indoors may be just what the doctor ordered. While protecting clothing can help keep you dry, it can be very dangerous to be out in a large body of water when you can only see a few feet ahead of you. Rain, thunderstorms, and wind can also make the water choppier and often, the severity of these conditions are not accurately predicted. New machines such as the Vasa SUP Ergometer allow you to train at home. If you have an indoor pool, there are a plethora of exercises you can carry out on your paddle as well - including crunches and push-ups!
Get Your Gear Ready
Oregon, Canada, and Alaska are just a few places where people enjoy incredible winter SUP adventures surrounded by glaciers, majestic mountains, and lush forests. In warmer parts of the U.S., SUP athletes can get away with simple sports gear such as running pants, a jacket, and waterproof shoes. However, if the weather is anywhere from 50 to 78 degrees, a wetsuit is probably indicated. Even if you aren’t swimming, the humidity can make a day out unpleasant so going out with a little extra warmth can help you enjoy your winter adventure for a little longer.
How to Layer
If you are layering your clothing, make sure the first layer comprises a thermal shirt and pant or jumpsuit. If you are wearing jackets and track bottoms, opt for materials that warm you without weighing you down. Ensure items have inner and outer pockets for storage of items like keys and money, and opt for windproof and waterproof materials. Optimal insulation is another feature to go for. For shoes, choose light trainers or neoprene boots. Avoid footwear with grips, since material that gets in between them can damage your board.
Protecting Your Skin
Even if the sun is hiding behind clouds, you will need to protect your skin against its harmful UV rays. Your skin can take a real beating on humid, windy, days, so keep it protected against the elements. Start out by cleansing your skin and applying a moisturising toner or essence. Follow this with a moisturising serum, moisturizer, and lastly, a long-lasting physical sunscreen which will reflect light rays away instead of absorbing them.
To enjoy a day out on your board in the winter time, wearing clothing with good insulation and warmth is important. Invest in good thermal underwear, since this item is light but will give you much-needed warmth. Invest in a good jacket you can store crucial items in and if the weather isn't conducive to a day out, try to find options indoors that exercise the same muscles you need to excel at SUP!