Summer SUP Boarding Tips
SUP is one of the few sports that can be enjoyed by all at any time of the year, but there’s nothing quite like heading out for a paddle in warmer weather. Whether you’re a complete beginner looking to try something new and spend time outside this summer or you’re an experienced paddler looking forward to more favourable conditions, there’s no better time to head out for a paddle. There are various steps you can take to ensure that your summertime SUP sessions are as effective and enjoyable as possible, so here at F One, we thought we’d create the ultimate list of tips for those hoping to make the most of their hobby throughout the warmer months.
Pack a Bag of Essentials
The longer, lighter evenings mean that post-work paddles are now a feasible option for many. Although this may mean a quick turnaround depending on how far away your nearest SUP hotspot is. Keep a bag packed with essential items so that you can save time and be sure you have all that you need ahead of an evening paddle. This bag should include sun cream, as even the setting sun can be powerful, particularly when it is reflecting off the water. Insect repellent is also a must, given that midges, gnats and all kinds of flying bugs thrive in water-based environments are likely to make an appearance during a summer’s evening. First aid kits, a water bottle, a flashlight, a high-energy snack such as a protein bar and a spare change of clothes are also a good idea.
Invest in a Summer Wetsuit
Winters in the UK can be unforgiving, making a thick winter wetsuit an absolute must-have for much of the year. However, once the waters have warmed a little, you may find yourself frustrated by the restriction of these, and on hot summer evenings, you might even get a little hot and sweaty beneath it. Summer wetsuits tend to be less expensive and more flexible, so that you can paddle freely while remaining warm and protected by a suit. The hardier of paddlers might even opt to go wetsuit free, but we recommend this option only when you are confident, experienced and unlikely to bail or crash. Complete beginners can learn all about gear and technique with our recent blog post, Top Tips for New Paddleboarders.
Respect Other Water Users
As surprising as this may be, you are unlikely to be the only person who wants to make the most of the fine weather and get out on the water this summer. From wild swimmers to windsurfers, and everyone in between, it’s important to have an awareness of those around you and treat those using other watercraft with respect. Be vigilant when it comes to giving people space and remember that other water sports enthusiasts may have less control over their ‘vehicle’ than you do.
Try New Places
The sunnier weather is likely to cause more calm environments, particularly in the sea and on rivers that might usually be affected by rough and messy conditions. Make the most of this favourable setting by exploring all of the potential SUP hotspots near to you and further afield, trying somewhere new whenever possible. This adds to the overall adventurous nature of SUP and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is only going to further your level of experience. You may be surprised at how much different settings can test your capabilities, with various contributing factors such as wind, current and water depth requiring a slightly different approach.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Events
Whether you’re already a part of a current club but are looking for new opportunities or you’re relatively new to the wonderful world of SUP and are hoping to meet some like-minded individuals, summer is a great time to get a bit more involved with the community. From sponsored paddles to taster-days and many clubs offering field trips to different corners of the UK and beyond, SUP is more fun when the experience is shared with others. The slightly more advanced SUPper’s should look out for competitive events, taking your level of participation to the next level and trying your hand at all sorts of races until you find the event that’s right for you.
Check the Forecast
Although the weather tends to be more favourable during this time of year, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before you head out for a SUP session of any length. Thunderstorms are a lot more regular during the season and humid, muggy conditions can also bring sudden downpours, which is one sure way to ruin your paddle.
Opt for Coastal Staycations
Summer is a great time to get away and appreciate the great outdoors, but that doesn’t always mean paying shed loads of money to cart your SUP board and kit to every exotic corner of the world and beyond. Sure, a big summer holiday is nice, but save money and your carbon footprint along with the various stresses associated with foreign travel and choose a staycation in the UK. From the beautiful sandy beaches in Devon and Cornwall to the peaceful, tranquil, serene setting of the lakes of Snowdonia, there truly are some fantastic locations to explore here on our shores.
That concludes our guide to summer-based tips for enjoying SUP this season; we hope we have provided some useful information that will help you to make the most of the fine weather. Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with the wider community? Let us know via the comments on our social media channels! Here at F-One, we have an extensive range of inflatable stand up paddle boards in the UK, perfect for anyone looking for some new gear ahead of a SUP-filled summer!