We’ve all been there: seen an epic forecast, perfect for kayaking, turned up at the beach and it’s…blowin’ dogs off chains. Hardly ideal paddling weather. Yet with windows of opportunity small for many the question is to paddle or not? Our answer: PADDLE! Obviously. There are ways to make kayaking in the wind less painful though.
Hug the shoreline
Depending on the direction of breeze there may be more shelter closer of the shore. If the wind is puffing parallel to the coast then maybe not as it could accelerate. In 75% of cases, however, you should get an easier ride (into the wind) by keeping next to land.
Do a downwinder
What’s a downwinder we hear you ask? Downwind paddling can be super fun. Putting in and pointing your kayak in the direction the breeze is blowing and using it to propel you forwards. In many cases a paddle isn’t needed, simply sit back and let the conveyor belt take you.
You’ll need to get your logistics sorted though as it’s all very well going downwind. You’ve then got to get back! A vehicle at the get out is preferred. Also make sure the breeze blows you back to land – know the forecast!
Pick a sheltered spot
As with the last point above you should be armed with suitable weather forecast info. With this in mind a decision of where to put in can be made more easily. If you know it’s going to be howling from a certain direction then choosing a sheltered kayaking location is best. Check maps and search online for options as there are plenty of launch spots that’ll be protected.
Grit your teeth
If you’re determined to go regardless then paddling into wind can be a serious workout> in some cases this may be what you want. There’s nothing like battling Mother Nature, even if the actual act is hard going. Completing your feat will feel all the more fulfilling at the end of your run. Maybe even treat yourself – after all, you’ll have earned it!
Put a sail up
Kayak sailing has been a thing for years. If you’ve got the means and know how then sticking a sail up and harnessing the power of the wind can be fun. There are even makeshift ways of making a sail – attachment material to your paddle for instance. Google the subject and you’ll find loads of info.
Don’t fancy kayaking in the wind? – can it until next time
If you’re in a position of re-arranging your kayak session then consider binning the windy one and returning on a calmer day. We appreciate not everyone can do this, however, so it might not be feasible. In which case refer to the above…
Surf some windy waves
At some put ins waves can form in a blow. Foamie, frothy types for sure but with a sit on kayak you’re primed and ready to have some fun. Even inland waters (if they’re big enough) can chuck up some wind swell. Head out and enjoy the glide…