Paddleboarding can prove to be an extremely enjoyable activity, particularly for individuals who like to indulge in water activities at regular intervals. However, it might not be possible for you to comprehend the water conditions at all times. One must bear in mind the tides along with other aspects while paddleboarding.

In case you are thinking regarding what is the best tide for paddleboarding, then this article is for you. Go through the post from beginning to end for finding a proper answer to your question.

It is a fact that slack tides ate usually the best tides for paddleboarding, particularly for the newbies. These tides are present in a couple of hours prior to and following the highest and lowest tides. The movement of the water is minimal at the time of slack tides which enable the paddler to paddle easily and safely. 

Below, we have mentioned the different types of tides that you ought to know as a paddle boarder.

Types of tides

When you want to decide which particular tide is the most suitable for paddleboarding, it is imperative for you to know whether you should do paddling on a low tide, a high tide, or maybe somewhere in between. 

It is the gravitational pull of the moon which determines whether a tide will be low or high. The tidal force generated by this causes the water on our planet to peak on the side nearest to the moon plus the side farthest from it. These bulges or peaks of water are referred to as high tides. A low tide is formed when this peak is absent.

There will usually be a couple of high tides and a couple of low tides each day since any particular location on the Earth will be 2 times farthest or closest to the moon. Nevertheless, this does not happen predictably at all times since there are other factors which come into play as well. Below, we have mentioned those factors.

· Tidal patterns can be affected by location with respect to land. Our planet is not covered by water only. It is also covered with land and therefore, the water does not follow the moon’s pull in a perfectly predictable manner. 

· Tidal forces are also influenced by the sun. Nevertheless, the contributions of the sun are lesser than that of the moon.

· When solar tides and lunar tides work in combination, they give rise to spring tides. In this case, the high tides become larger. This happens once our planet comes in the same line with the sun and the moon, which takes place when there is a new moon or a full moon. 

· Neap tides are going to happen when the solar and lunar tides counteract each other. The resultant effect cancels out one another which results in smaller high tides. 

· The level of the water is also influenced by the wind as well as weather patterns. While lower tides can be generated by high-pressure weather conditions, very high tides can be formed by low-pressure conditions.

What tide is the best for paddle boarding?

The best tide for paddleboarding is going to depend on the intention of your outing. In general, it will be a good idea to perform paddleboarding at the time of slack tides when the movement of the water is minimal. This is applicable particularly in the case of newbies.

In general, slack tides are going to happen in a couple of hours prior to and following high and low tides. At this time, the movement of the water is quite slow and the current is also the weakest during slack tides.

Despite the fact that slack tides are usually considered to be the best tides by most individuals, paddlers who are more experienced enjoy low tides in general. Low tides can result in the formation of extremely large waves and this can provide a remarkable experience to the paddler so long as he or she is taking the required safety measures. 

Larger tides are formed during low tides due to the fact that the tides are changing constantly, and they will be changing to high from low at that point. In case the tide becomes high when you are returning, it might carry you further right up to the beach as compared to a low tide. 

Locations and times to stay away from the water

On most occasions, the tides are going to change approximately every 6 hours or so. A couple of hours in the middle of every tidal cycle, when the volume of water changes most in that location, will be the time when the movement of the water is most powerful. The majority of the paddleboarders prefer avoiding these periods of 2 hours since they enjoy paddling on comparatively still waters.

An exception to this will happen when the change in tides will aid you in getting back to the shore. Although it might be that you would not like a lot of movement in the water for maintaining the control of the board as well as the paddle, it will be quite helpful in case the waves gently assist you to get back to the shore while paddling.

In case you’re paddling via a channel leading to the ocean, it is usual for the water to move faster in areas which are deeper. On most occasions, it is going to be closer to the center of that channel. It will be moving slower in the ends which are shallower. While you move through faster water, it will be a sensible idea to be cautious, particularly in case you are not that experienced. Having said that, it is imperative to comprehend the local waters and you should explore the waters at the point of low tide to observe the different depths and sand bars.

When is the tidal current going to be fastest?

The movement of the current will be the fastest approximately a couple of hours prior to the peak tide. The tidal flow is going to be the slowest once the peaks are going to “switch”. This is known as the slack tide, and your choice of path ought to be focused on the course which is the most direct or the best surf or wind conditions because the tide will not matter much.

How to figure out whether the tide is low or high

There are several things that can be done by you for telling whether the tide is low or high at any given time:

· Reading a tide chart and understanding it is extremely important. This will help you to comprehend the water conditions in your area at any particular time during the day. It is likewise possible to download apps for getting the job done.

· Take into consideration the rocks, sand, as well as other structures bordering the water. The water is going to drift ashore in case you find that they are excessively wet. This implies that the tide is going to low from high which is likewise referred to as an ebbing tide. In case nothing is wet, then probably it is going to be high from low which is also referred to as a flood tide.

· Look at any floating anchored buoy in the water. On most occasions, they will be catching dead plants including seaweed and kelp. It will be flowing in the current’s direction which will allow you to see which particular side they are present on the buoys. 

· Take into consideration any stationary object or anything put on the ground by you. You will be able to see its location relating to the water, and also the distance it has gone into the water in the course of time. It is essential to bear in mind that this is considered to be the weakest process of observation given that there are also other factors influencing the drift apart from the tide and the wind. Here, we like to mention that it is possible for water to move in all directions in harbors and bays while creating odd whirlpool currents as well. 

Taking the wind into consideration

While going for a paddleboarding trip, you need to consider other factors apart from the tides too. The water’s movement can also be affected by the wind significantly.

An onshore wind together with an incoming tide will lead to the formation of larger waves in the direction of the shore. On the other hand, offshore wind in combination with an outgoing tide is going to imply that you will probably be drifted away from land. Tide and wind will be going in the reverse direction which can make the water extremely choppy.

One ought to stay away from paddling during offshore winds since it might be quite dangerous. In case the wind becomes quite extreme, you might be drifted away from the beach at a faster speed which you might not be capable of controlling.

Your paddling experience will be affected by the strength of the tide and the wind. If possible, try to do paddling against the wind while venturing out to the sea and with the wind while returning. While coming back, you will be tired on most occasions, and therefore, you should exert less effort at that time.