Winter can be some of the best paddling in MD, the water is crystal clear and you have the water pretty much to yourself. JUST BE CAREFUL!!
I know there are a lot of people who have the “I won’t fall” mind set and you are probably right. 99% of the time you won’t fall, BUT WHAT IF?? You never know what can happen out there, and the bay and Ocean temperatures have just crept into the mid 40’s and dropping fast. The air/water temps combined are less then 100 so you should wear a wetsuit or a drysuit.
I know it can get hot and it can be uncomfortable to paddle in them but is it really worth the risk?
List of things you should do when paddling in the winter:
- Wear a wetsuit. Thick boots are key as well since your feet will be touching the water the most
- Wear a LEASH. If you fall into the cold water you will want to get out as quick as possible, if your board kicks away from you and you have to swim after it that can be bad
- Wear a pfd. I know the inflatable ones are the most popular but in the winter (especially if you paddle solo) an actual life jacket you wear is best.
- DON’T paddle solo if you don’t have to (its always nice to have somebody with you in case something bad happens)
- Take a phone
- Tell people your paddling and your planned route
- Try to stay close to shore if possible. If you fall and you an touch, it makes it easier to get back on your board or get to land quicker
- If its really windy or rough just stay on land. Falling in on a rough day in the summer is nothing but falling in with freezing water temps is NO GOOD.
No go have fun and paddle all year round!!!