If you are a beginner and aren’t quite familiar with all the viable conditions of paddleboarding, then this article might prove helpful.
First things first, in order to answer your question in the most straightforward way, we would suggest you keep away from paddleboarding when the winds are harsh. However, not always can we predict the whims of nature and prepare to cope up with it accordingly.
Any wind, on the surface of the water, can open doors to innumerable dangers; but, it is crosswinds, in particular, that you should be most careful about. Crosswinds tend to push the paddleboard off its regular course because of which, the rider must compensate for the weakness by paddling hard on just one side.
Naturally, the winds will make the board unstable and put your balance and rigidity to test. Furthermore, the impacts of the crosswinds get worse when the paddleboards are longer in size (such as a fiberglass paddleboard) and have been fortified with lots of gears on the deck. Because the surface area of the longer SUPs is more, they are likely to catch the winds faster.
Also, if you have large dry bags lying around filled with gears, the risks will automatically increase. Although there’s no such tip that we can furnish you with to make your paddling easier during strong crosswinds, in the followi0ng section, we will be jotting down a few ways in which you can come safely out of it with your paddleboard.
- Step back while paddling
When you are paddling on one side, the best you can do to exert more power on the paddle is by putting your opposite hand on top of the paddle (if you are paddling on the right side, place the left hand on top) and move one of your feet back a little so that you can create a surfer’s stance. If possible, keep your body closer to the tail to ensure that you can lift the nose of the paddleboard from the waves effortlessly which, in turn, will then swing towards the direction you are paddling more easily.
- Paddle directly into the wind
Another thing that you can try is to paddle directly into the wind for some time before drifting away from it. Even though paddling into the wind will inevitably take more strength and effort, the reason why we are recommending this is that you will be able to paddle on both sides and enhance the stability of the paddleboard. For the uninitiated, downwind-crosswind makes paddling smoother; the wind that you leave behind will protect your arms and wrists from straining as much and keep you on the right track.
- Be mindful about your deck bags
Regardless of the weather, it is always a wise idea to review the items you have in your deck bags and remove the ones that aren’t useful. Your objective is to keep the deck bag as light as you can so that amid the mayhem, this extra piece of the carrier doesn’t add to your ordeals.
- Carry an extra fin
Always carry a deeper and larger fin that what the paddleboard is already using for safety reasons. This fin will aid you to garner the paddleboard with enough stability and improve tracking even through the strong crosswinds. A rule of thumb is to avoid all-around fins because they make surfing through crosswinds all the more difficult.