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SUP Wind Matters: How to Paddle Board in Windy Conditions

The thrill of paddling on a stand-up paddle board (SUP) can be exhilarating. But when the wind picks up, it can seem like navigating a roller coaster of waves and gusts.

Winds above ten mph should affect beginner or seasoned paddle boarders, and additionally, it is advised to stay off the water if the wind is above 15 mph.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, knowing how windy is too windy for paddleboarding is essential.

Today we’ll cover the basics of paddling in windy conditions and offer some tips to help you stay safe while still enjoying the ride.

high winds out on the water

How Windy Is Too Windy To Paddle Board?

Windy conditions can make paddle boarding challenging and even dangerous.

To ensure your safety and maximize your paddleboarding experience, knowing when the wind is too strong for you to paddleboard is essential. 

Before heading out for a paddleboarding session, check the wind forecast for a few minutes. If the wind speed exceeds 15 mph, it’s likely too windy to paddle board. 

In addition to checking the wind speed, you should also consider the wind direction.

You want to paddle into the wind, so it doesn’t push you backward. If the wind direction is too unpredictable, it can be difficult to maintain control of your paddle board.

Finally, keep an eye out for white-capped waves. This indicates that the wind is strong enough to create unpredictable, choppy waters.

When the water is choppy, it can be difficult to maintain balance while paddle boarding.

How To Check The Wind Before Paddle Boarding?

Wind can make paddle boarding difficult, turning what could be a peaceful experience into a struggle.

If you’re not prepared for wind, it can make your paddle board harder to control and can make you more likely to fall off. So, checking the wind condition before heading out is crucial. 

First, check the weather forecast. There are many websites and apps for wind forecasts. You can see what kind of wind conditions you can expect in your area.

Pay attention to the wind speed and direction. Knowing both will help you a lot for safe paddle boarding.

You can also check the wind speed and direction at your local weather station or even from your backyard. If you have an anemometer, you can measure the wind speed yourself.

Once you know the wind conditions before you head out, you can plan your paddle boarding trip accordingly.

If the wind is strong, you may want to head to a protected body of water like a bay or lagoon, where the wind won’t be as strong.

You can also head to the opposite side of the lake or ocean to paddleboard in the opposite direction of the wind.

How To Paddle Board In Windy Conditions?

Paddleboarding in windy conditions can be both exciting and daunting. With the proper preparation, however, you can make the most of your paddling experience.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the waves and make the most of your paddleboarding experience:

Get On Your Knees

Getting on your knees is the first thing you should do if facing the wind during paddle boarding. This will help you stay balanced and reduce the risk of falling off.

Additionally, it will give you more control over the direction in which you’re going.

This can be especially helpful if you’re paddling upwind, as the wind may create a strong current that could otherwise push you off course.

Lay Down On Your Stomach

Getting on your knees may not always work if the wind is too strong. You might want to lay down on your board to fight a stronger wind.

Get on your stomach and paddle your board in a surfboard style. This will help you achieve balance and reduce the risk of capsizing.

Paddle Upwind 

If the wind is slow, you might try to paddle against the wind. When paddling upwind, try to paddle in short, quick strokes.

This will help you generate more power, while also allowing you to adjust your direction quickly when necessary.

You will gain more balance as you are already keeping your body low and centered on the board. It will be slow, but you will get to your destination in no time. 

Paddle Downwind

Paddling downwind is less arduous, and you get to your destination quickly. However, the wind has to be moderate. When paddling downwind, take long, powerful strokes.

The windy conditions are likely to create strong currents that could otherwise push you off course, so don’t put too much effort into paddling.

Use Obstacles To Block The Wind

Taking advantage of natural windbreaks can save you from trouble in windy conditions.

Look for nearby obstacles like sea stacks, cliffs, and other things that can provide a bit of protection from the wind.

If you know the water and the weather, always stay close to natural windbreaks if there are any.

Saving yourself from the wind is much better than fighting it.

Wear Your PFD

Your personal flotation device (PFD) is life-saving equipment. When paddling in windy conditions, always wear your PFD.

Even if you fall into the water, this will help keep you afloat, even in choppy waters. Not wearing a PFD can also get you in legal trouble.

Safety Tips For Paddle Boarding In Windy Weather

Paddle boarding is a great way to get outside and enjoy the water. It is an activity accessible to people of all ages and ability levels, making it a great way to connect with friends and family.

However, when the weather gets windy, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 

Always Bring a Friend

When paddle boarding in windy weather, it is crucial always to bring a friend along. This is for your safety and the safety of your friend.

You can help each other and use each other’s expertise and expertise in times of need. Also, paddle boarding with friends is super fun.

Wear A Leash

A leash is essential for paddle boarding in windy weather. A leash can be lifesaving in windy conditions, calm weather, and water.

A leash connects you with the board. So, you will always be harnessed to the paddle board. And that will keep you afloat even in the most turbulent waters preventing drowning.

No matter how good of a swimmer you are, it won’t matter if strong winds and currents carry the board far from you. 

Keep A Cellphone

Always bring a cell phone if you’re paddle boarding in the ocean or on a lake.

If you get lost or find yourself in an emergency, you can use the phone to call for help.

Additionally, it is always a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you will be back, just in case.


Paddleboarding in windy conditions can be a bit intimidating, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.

By knowing how windy is too windy for paddle boarding and following the tips outlined in this article, you can ensure a safe and successful paddle boarding experience even in windy conditions.

So, grab your board and get out on the water!