You can surf, race, fish, cross train and do yoga on a SUP but you can also downwind!
‘down winders’ meaning you paddle with the wind blowing in your back taking you downwind of your starting point. This is usually done on longer boards of 12’6 ,14 foot plus and longer, these boards are longer and faster, and gain enough speed to catch the swell with the wind behind you, and ‘glides’ can be linked one after another.
Paddling downwind in an outrigger canoes is very common in places like Hawaii, Tahiti and Fiji, but since the start of paddle boarding, downwinding has become even more popular. Oceans, rivers, lakes with enough wind can create an amazing downwind adventure.
Downwindingmakes you feel like a kid; you will hoot and holler every time you catch a glide and you will have a smile on your face at all times. Being an avid skier it reminds me of those amazing powder days with 20 plus centimeters of fresh snow, I get the same feeling downwinding as I do on powder days.
This type of paddling will improve your paddle fitness and help your understanding of surfing.
The longer the better when it comes to downwind boards, race boards work very well, but anything longer than 10’6 will get you down winding and surfing the lake, river or ocean swells. Length will help your board catch the waves, thicker rails and as much volume in the tail also helps. Also having similar length to the friends you are riding with will keep you all in together in the pack.
A few friends is better for safety and for shuttling, transporting people and boards at pick up point, carry a radio or cellphone in case of emergencies. Take or wearing a hydration system of sorts is good as you get pretty thirsty. Wait for those behind you have a little rest in the middle to connect everyone. Also make sure you tell someone where you are planning on paddling and approximately how long you might be.
If this is something you think you are interested in, we usually head out on downwind runs at least once or twice a week from May through October.
We have downwind paddleboards available for rent and for sale. If you are a gear junkie you will probably want a board specifically for downwinding, just like you needed that new pair of powder skis this winter or a new enduro mountain bike!