There’s absolutely no excuse for not knowing the weather/water condition before you go paddleboarding – it’s all right there on your phone.
KNOW what strength and direction the wind is going to be. If it’s blowing offshore and strengthening, maybe consider paddling somewhere else (or not at all!).
KNOW if there’s any significant change in the weather coming, ie rain, temperature changes etc, that may determine what you should be wearing. Remember always that – particularly at this time of year – showery rain may mean wind squalls, thundercloud, possibly even tornados.
KNOW what the tide is doing, if you’re going out on the coast. Is it coming in or out, how long till high tide/low tide, so that you know how strong the currents will be, and the state of the coastline, in terms of exposed rocks, beaches etc.
KNOW the conditions expected for the rest of the day, as they might just arrive early!
Why do we keep saying KNOW? Because it’s not enough just to check them, just to look at the numbers. Take that extra minute to think about them, absorb them, consider them, what do they really mean, what will be happening at your venue over the period of time you’re out there. Visualise what it’s going to be like. It’s a subtle yet significant difference.
Is there going to be a swell, shorebreak or surf at your chosen venue?
If you’re on a river, what is the flow?
Are you dressed appropriately for the water temperature? Remember at this time of year, the sun can be hot but the water is not. If you got separated from your board, you could be in big trouble…
It takes literally minutes to get this information from forecast apps, and it could save you a whole lot of problems, stress, may even save your life. Always err on the side of caution; if you’re not sure, head for a spot that’s more sheltered.
There’s good real time (now casting) info online too, which is really useful to see what is actually happening, rather than forecasted.
Don’t become a statistic – paddle safe!