We are having the hottest summer on record in the northeast. Even though it looks like the worst of the heat wave has passed and we are back to normal summer temps, there are definitely some precautions we need to take during those super sultry summer days to stay safe and healthy.
We have written about safe cold weather paddleboarding but we haven’t given much attention to paddleboarding in heat,
Being near the water is typically the best place to be in the extreme heat. It’s usually cooler, and there’s often a breeze near the water that you might not find strolling around town. It can be difficult to find shade at the beach, but some lakes and coastal areas have tree lines that provided shade during certain parts of the day. Take advantage of those areas when possible.
The following tips can keep you safe so you can have lots of fun.
1…be prepared. Don’t shy away from paddleboarding in the heat, just make sure you are prepared. Know the forecast and plan ahead.
2… if you can get out early or late in the day it should be cooler and the sun and wind are not typically as strong.
3…get wet. One of the reasons you are better off being near the water when it’s super hot, is that you can go IN the water to cool down. And you should, as often as necessary. When you are wet you lose heat faster. Not only should the water be cooler than the air, but when you are wet, as the water evaporates it will take a little bit of heat with you and help to cool you down (just like when you sweat).
4…hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. During a heat wave, hydration should constantly be on your radar. Hydrate before you go out, while you are out, and when you are done. It is much easier to stay hydrated than it is to re-hydrate. Dehydration causes lots of unpleasant symptoms…headaches, upset stomach, extreme fatigue, cramping, etc. No one needs that. You might consider adding electrolytes to your water. A mix like Skratch Labs will replenish salt and electrolytes as you drink. Their flavors are mild, not too sweet, and they are a lot easier on your stomach than many commercial sports drinks.
5…learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke…dehydration symptoms are early warning signs. Be vigilant, and keep an eye on anyone with you who might not realize how much they are overheating.
6…rest, often. It’s best to avoid super hard training on these oppressive days. If you cannot avoid going all out, make sure you give yourself time to recover between sessions. Take frequent breaks if you are able, and don’t push too hard. You will fatigue much more quickly in intense heat. It’s a great opportunity to work on technique by slowing things WAAAYYYY down. This should keep you safer/cooler than overexerting yourself. Keep your route shorter and close to shore if possible.
8…keep up your energy. Bring easy to digest snacks with you. For some people Gu or Gels work well. I like a Larabar on the go. Whatever works for you without upsetting your stomach is good. Sometimes it’s not appealing to eat when it’s really hot (loss of appetite can be a sign of dehydration or heat exhaustion), so small snacks should help you keep your energy level up without being to heavy in your stomach or causing digestive upset.
9…don’t forget sunscreen and a hat. And don’t forget to reapply sunscreen regularly. Some type of sweatband can also be useful. No one likes sweat and sunscreen in their eyes. I love Sweaty Bands for keeping stuff out of my eyes, and hair out of my face
10…don’t forget your safety gear. It’s tempting not to want to wear anything extra when it’s really hot out, but don’t forget or forego your leash and PFD.
11…know when to say when. Don’t over do it.
Following these tips should keep you having fun even on the hottest days. Summer isn’t that long, we hate to waste any potential days on the water.
Tags: paddleboard safely, paddle boarding and the weather, safety tips sup, over heating paddle board, cold weather paddleboarding, paddleboard weather, safety tips paddleboarding, standup paddleboard safety, paddleboardin in hot weather, paddleboarding in heat