Whether you are a beginner or an expert, it is vey important to know that are the best conditions for paddle boarding. But problem with this question is that there is not specifically one set of conditions that is best for all paddle boarders. This is because there are a variety paddle boarding activities including: surfing, fishing, touring, racing, and doing yoga, to name just a few. Because of this, we will discuss the different conditions and how they will impact your paddle boarding.

The Different Types Of Conditions For Paddle Boarding

A SUP can be used for many activities and for each of these activities you may need some variations in what you may call the best conditions for paddle boarding. In the next section of this post, we are going to discuss different paddle boarding conditions and how they influence your time on the water.

Waves and Fast-Moving Waters

For paddle board surfing, you will appreciate a nice swell and some waves. If you are already an experienced surfer or SUP Surfer, then you can choose to surf on large waves but if you are beginning, you should play safe and ride on small waves of low tides.

Calm Waters

Calm waters are overall the best conditions for most paddle boarding activities.

This is because it will be a lot easier for paddle boarders of all skill levels to balance on their boards with out the fear of falling into the water from a wave or wake hitting their board.

Also, stand up paddle board yoga is another very popular activity that is possible only on calm waters.

If you are more advanced, you can also use calm waters for touring. However, for these activities, you will need a paddle board that is slightly larger and wider for greater stability on the water.

Lastly, calm waters are great for paddle board racing. This is because it will make it significantly easier for racers to paddle and produce great times.

Water Temperature

The water temperature that may be the most suitable for you depends on your preferences on a particular day. However, the fact that the water is warmer on a sunny day and cooler when it is windy should give you enough hints of what to expect on a particular day.

With regards to water temperature, there are some suggestions:

85 F or More

Water at this kind of temperature is warmer and you feel nice inland in the water. When you have just started with a SUP as a beginner, you fall a lot. So this kind of temperature is particularly good if you are new to paddle boarding and still learning how to balance and keep you steady.

80 F

This kind of temperature is good for paddlers whose skills lie between advanced and beginner levels. These peddlers with an intermediate range of skills don’t fall off so often. Also, when the days are sunny and temperatures are high, you would feel uncomfortable peddling if you don’t fall off into the water often. 

70 to 80 F

This range of temperature is neither too cold nor too hot and paddlers with advanced skills will like this kind of water. They are unlikely to fall too often so even if the water is a bit cold, it may not.

60 to 70 F

This range of water temperature can be cooler than you might appreciate falling in. But expert-level paddlers would find this a little cooler water a perfect match to their high-intensity paddling that would generate considerable amounts of body heat. Warmer water may not feel pleasant when your body temperature is already high due to intensive peddling.

Strong Winds

If you are new to paddle boarding then you should choose to paddle board on days when the winds are mild to none. This is due to wind making paddling very difficult and tiring. 

Although, Paddlers with advanced skills and those interested in racing may enjoy paddle boarding in strong winds because it will help increase their strength and endurance.

Currents and Tides

The surface of the water may not give you an exact idea of what kind of current is there in the water, particularly in the rivers. In the sea, the movement of tides makes the water shallow and deep in quick succession. These factors may influence your experience of paddle boarding. So, do your research about the current and other features of water before you get on with paddle boarding.

Fog and Darkness

Even though this is a rarer case, some touring paddle boarders enjoy paddle boarding at night or in the fog. Naturally, you will not be able to see far and clearly if it is foggy or night. If you chose to paddle in these conditions it’s a good idea that you carry light and use it when you need it.

Storms and Lightning

Rains, storms, and lightning can be a tough situation to deal with and are not ideal for any type of paddle boarding activity.

With that being said, if you choose to do so, be safe and bring a life vest and any other emergency gear you might need.

Final Thoughts

Paddle boarding has a variety of different activities that you can enjoy and with each of these comes different idea conditions. So if you want to find out what are the best conditions for paddle boarding, you need to consider your skill level and the specific activity. But, if you are looking for an overall verdict on what the best condition for paddle boarding is, it have to be a nice sunny day, warm weather, warm water, and little to no wind.