Struggling to paddle into the wind?
Paddling into the wind is never much fun, and something most paddlers try their best to avoid! But chances are you’ll be doing a bit of upwind paddling at some point during your session, so it’s worth perfecting your upwind paddling technique. To make your paddling into the wind easier, faster and even enjoyable, there are a few things you can do…
Get low. Your body can act like a big sail when it’s windy, so to reduce the wind resistance against your body, bend at your hips, and drop your shoulders.
Move your hands down the paddle. This allows you to not only get your body position lower, but also to put more power into your stroke.
Move your body weight forward. This will help keep the nose of the board down and stop wind getting underneath it.
Change your paddle stroke. Paddling using a shorter, faster paddle stroke will feel much more effective and less effort than a longer, slower stroke, when paddling into wind. And keeping your stroke infront of your ankles will help keep your board straight.
Don’t stop paddling! If you don’t want to be blown backwards it’s important you keep paddling!
Get on your knees. If you’re struggling to paddle against the wind standing up then drop to your knees to paddle. You’ll find you can make progress in any strength wind this way. And if all else fails… lie down and paddle!
Check out your surrounding. It’s worth looking around you to see if you can find a bit of shelter from the wind when paddling e.g alongside a steep river bank, behind trees etc….
Even if you’re not planning to paddle against a strong head wind it’s always nice to know you can just incase you need to. Remember the wind doesn’t always do what it’s forecast to do, so be prepared!