Many people seem to think that the paddleboarding season in RI ends with Labor Day. It doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) be that way. Fall paddleboarding is some of the best paddling of the year. You just might need to be a little more creative to get in on it.
What’s great about fall paddling you ask? Lots!
- Free parking! Many beaches in RI charge (sometimes astronomical fees) to park during the summer. That pretty much ends with Labor Day. And you don’t have to fight to find parking.
- No crowds…the crowds are gone so you have your run of the place
- No beach traffic…you won’t have to fight your way to the beach with the masses. Smooth sailing to get to your free parking and no crowds.
- It is much more peaceful. Do you detect a theme here? Less crowds, fewer boats, less traffic, less hassle all add up to more peaceful.
- The water is still relatively warm. The ocean is warmer in September than it is in June.
- The air temps are usually comfortable. Lower humidity makes for some very pleasant weather for paddling.
- Everything looks new again. With the changing trees and migrating birds things look fresh and new. A change of scenery is always nice.
- It’s the perfect chance to slow down! Things are hectic with back to school, after school activities, and Halloween and Christmas stuff everywhere you turn in the stores. Paddleboarding is not only a great workout, but it is relaxing and the water is calming and meditative. Even on a choppy day, getting in rhythm with the water can help you connect with yourself and the world around you.
Some things to keep in mind…
- Even though the temps are still nice and the water is still warm, be mindful of how you dress. Dress to fall in. There are some great, lightweight neoprene pieces available, like those from Supreme paddleboarding, that will provide protection from chilly air and water while still being very comfortable and not stifiling.
- There is not as much daylight, so plan accordingly. If you venture out into Coast Guard waters in the dark, be sure you have a light on board in addition to your PFD and whistle.
Some things to always keep in mind
- Safety first…wearing a leash is always a good idea (except in whitewater conditions for which there are special types of leashes to consider). Your board is a flotation device, but it can get away from you pretty quickly if you are not attached to it. Swimming long distances to get to your board can be very exhausting, very quickly, so eliminate that worry and attach a leash.
- If you are headed out for any length of time, bring water, and possibly a snack. You never know what can happen…you can get caught up or things can take longer than you anticipate due to weather, so it is always a good idea to bring water with you. And in the event that you are out longer than you expect, it is not a bad idea to have a snack with you to keep your energy level up.
- File a float plan. Let someone know where you are putting in, your intended route and how long you anticipate being out. Check in with them when you get back to land. In case something unexpected does happen and you are unable to return when you are supposed to, the person with your plan will be better able to direct help to you.
- It’s always safest to go with someone else. So convince your friends that this is the time to enjoy it.
- HAVE FUN!!! It’s exciting going on new adventures. Whether you are paddling the same pond you paddle every day or you are venturing out to some new harbor, route, river, island, etc. nothing is ever the same two days in a row. Take it all in. Take in your surroundings, appreciate the beauty of nature and the opportunity to be part of it. It’s an amazing view we have out there. Take advantage of every bit of it!
Tags: cold weather paddleboarding, paddleboard safety, paddleboard weather, paddle boarding in the fall, fall paddleboarding, paddleboarding season, supreme paddle boarding, standup paddleboard safety