Can You Use an Inflatable Paddleboard in Winter?
An inflatable paddleboard in winter, during sunset.

There’s a good chance that most of our readers associate the phenomenal activity known as paddleboarding with the summer. However, there are probably some of you that wonder: are you able to paddle board during the coldest season of the year? In other words: can a person stand up on an inflatable paddleboard in winter? That’s what you’re about to find out!

It’s a shame that weather often plays such an important role when it comes to water sports. Especially those that we can’t easily simulate indoors. So, what’s the deal with paddleboarding? In the text that you’ll find below, we’ll discuss the matter and cover other, basic paddleboarding-related info. Stay tuned!

Yes, it’s completely fine to use your inflatable paddleboard in winter. However, keep in mind that you should take all the safety precautions you’d take if you were paddleboarding during summer, plus some measures that are winter-exclusive. For instance, you’ll want to stay really close to the shore and wear layered clothing, with a moisture-wicking base underneath. 

If you’re wondering if an individual is able to use an inflatable paddleboard in winter, reading only the preview won’t do you much good. As always, here at Go Extreme Sports, we suggest you read the whole thing!

Table of Contents

Before we tell you whether it’s alright to use an inflatable paddleboard in the winter, let’s see if it’s even possible to enjoy this activity during the year’s coldest months. So, can you paddleboard in the winter?

You’ll be quite happy to hear that you’re able to paddleboard during winter. Just because temperatures are a bit messy during this time of the year shouldn’t automatically mean that you’re somehow prohibited from enjoying some good ol’ paddleboarding. However, there’s some stuff you’ll need to take into consideration. Even when you’re paddleboarding in the summer season, ignoring the safety precautions won’t get you anywhere.

Oh, and if you’re curious about what the best age to begin paddleboarding is, follow that link.

How to stay safe paddleboarding in the winter?

Here we’ll show you some tips that’ll help you stay safe while paddleboarding in the winter. Needless to say, winter can be just as harsh (and even harsher) than summer. So, yeah, as they say: you’re better off safe than sorry. 

#1 Stay close to the shore

When paddleboarding during winter, try not to paddle your way far from the shore. You’ll want to stay really close to it. Here’s why:

  • There’s no need to emphasize the fact that cooler air equals cooler water. In case you fall and, for some reason, can’t get up, you’ll have to swim your way back to the shore. Now, that’s not a pleasant experience. Not to mention you’re somewhat risking hypothermia. Lastly, even if you manage to get back on your board, you’ll want to be on the shore as soon as possible to obtain some warm and dry clothes. 

Here’s a quick tip: click right here to learn if you’re able to paddleboard in waves.

#2 Wear proper clothes

This one might sound way too obvious, but you’ll absolutely have to wear proper clothing in order to paddleboard in the winter. You’ll want to dress in layers, by sporting a moisture-wicking base layer underneath everything. Some say that you’ll want to dress as if you were going out jogging during the coldest period of the year. Running tights are an ideal pick for winter paddleboarding.

Also, don’t forget to wear a thin pair of gloves, that possess that grippy part at the palm. Lastly, try to avoid materials or clothing made from cotton or, well, just about any piece of clothing that can’t be layered with ease.

#3 Don’t ignore the weather forecast

Before heading off to your winter paddleboarding, you’ll always want to check the weather forecast for the area you’ve chosen as the backdrop of your session. You’ll want to look for something you’d call perfect weather conditions for winter paddleboarding: calm winds and precipitation-free skies. Also, try to stick to the good old motto that goes: when in doubt, don’t go out! 

#4 Don’t go alone

While folks tend to ignore this rule in the summer (even though that’s not recommended), they shouldn’t go solo paddleboarding in the winter. During the coldest months of the year, the importance of having someone by your side is even more noticeable. However, if you freely choose to ignore this warning, make sure that you’ve alerted someone about where you’re going and when are you planning to return (and don’t forget to give them a call once you’re back).

Additionally, if you’re wondering whether your strength plays an important role in paddleboarding, we’ve published an article about the subject recently.

#5 Make sure you’re on the shore before dark

Needless to mention, during winter – the temperature knows to seriously drop once the sun sets. By checking your local weather forecast, you’ll also find out the time of the sunset. With that info in mind, make sure that you end your paddleboarding session half an hour before that time.

Now that we’ve explained some of the safety measures involved with paddleboarding in the cold, let’s see if it’s possible to use an inflatable paddleboard during the winter months?

A person getting ready to paddleboard in winter, standing on the shore of the lake.

Can you use an inflatable paddleboard in winter?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s quite possible to paddleboard during the coldest period of the year. However, one might ask: alright, but what if I have an inflatable paddleboard instead of a non-inflatable one, will that make any difference? Let’s take a closer look at the main issue this article’s dealing with!

Here’s our answer: yes, it’s completely fine to use your inflatable paddleboard in winter. Of course, you’ll want to do this by following the safety tips we’ve mentioned above (besides following the regular safety measures associated with the sport: wearing a leash, etc.). However, if you were to type the title of this article into your Google search bar, you’d find out that folks mostly wonder: how can I store my paddleboard during winter? 

Since our answer here’s pretty straightforward and non-ambiguous (both words kinda have the same meaning, though…), let’s see if we can provide you with some tips on off-season paddleboard storage.

How to store a paddleboard during winter?

Luckily, we won’t start this one with the famous “since winter’s around the corner…” opening and all that jazz. Anyway, if you’re not so interested in paddleboarding during wintertime, you’ll need to store your inflatable paddleboard someplace until better conditions appear. You’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to bug your brain much about how should this be done since the process is pretty straightforward and easy,

So, shall we begin? Here’s a step-by-step guide on winter paddleboard (both inflatable and non-inflatable) storage!

Storing an inflatable paddleboard

You’re able to store these both inflated and deflated. If you’re going to store your paddleboard in the deflated mode and if you’re planning to store the item inside a cold storage room (an unheated garage or shed, for instance), we don’t suggest you roll it up tightly in the bag. That’s because you want to avoid the appearance of fold marks on your trusty board. However, if you’re storing it at temperatures that are above freezing, it’s completely fine to store it deflated, rolled up inside a bag. Still, the best practice for both inflated and deflated boards is simply to store them unrolled.

Storing a non-inflatable (rigid) paddleboard

Now let’s consider the way you’ll want to store your non-inflatable paddleboard! Storing your paddleboard outside is out of the question, you’ll need to store it someplace where there’s no risk of it getting trapped, buried under the snow. Even the abovementioned unheated garages and shes will work just fine.

You might also consider installing a racking system (you’ll find a very fine offer right here) inside your storage room. It’ll make the whole off-season storage process much easier. You’ll have a lot of options to choose from when picking out the right mounting rack for your board. You can mount the board on its side, prop it vertically against a wall, or even suspend it from your storage room ceiling. Here’s a friendly suggestion: a U-mount will greatly reduce the probability of your paddleboard ending up damaged or something during the storage period in case an unfortunate event of falling or getting hit by a hard object was to take place.

Lastly, you’ll need to see whether you’ll store your paddleboard with or without fins. Anyway, you’ll want to know that leaving the fins in won’t hurt your board or something. However, the main reason why many folks tend to take them out is that they’ve got a narrower profile once stored against a wall, thus making more free space for other items.

Speaking of fins, here’s a piece about how to store freediving fins.

Final thoughts on the subject

Alright, folks. That’s about all we’ve prepared today in this text about whether a person is able to use an inflatable paddleboard in winter. Now you’re well aware that there’s simply nothing stopping you from enjoying your favorite sport even during the coldest months of the year. Just make sure that you’ve prepared yourself for all the issues that might come up. Paddleboarding in winter’s not something you’d mess around with.

If you’re on the lookout for more surfing-related articles, pay a visit to this page on our blog.

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