What wind is best to go SUP in?
So you're super excited to go for a paddle on the weekend, logged in to check the weather and... you're not sure if the wind is going to be good or bad.
When starting out in standup paddle boarding, you usually want little to no wind so it's one less obstacle to deal with when trying to find your SUP balance. Luckily, the majority of rivers and lakes people start out on are generally protected from winds so that always a bonus.
When it comes to wind direction you'll hear the terms 'onshore' and 'offshore'. These describe the direction the wind in going in reference to where you are.
For example, if you are in Perth which is on the west coast of Australia and the wind is blowing in an easterly direction you would say it is blowing 'onshore' (from the water to the land). But if you were on the east coast of Australia with the same conditions, you would describe the wind as blowing 'offshore' (from the land to the water.
Offshore conditions are usually the best conditions to SUP and surf as the ocean/water is less choppy. Be careful though as the wind can blow you away from land very easily without you noticing so always be aware of your location in reference to land and be sure you don't drift further than you can paddle.
Saying that, as you start getting into SUPing more you'll come across downwing paddling or racing. This is when you want high winds so the wind pushes you along and you can ride the wind swells that are created. Find out more about SUP Downwinding here.
The main wind forecast website most SUPers use is seabreeze.com.au but other apps available are windy, magic seaweed, swellnet plus more. These will all give you wind predictions (direction and power) along with swell predictions (size, tides and direction).
The key is to stay safe and have fun so never go out in conditions you're not confident in.
SUP and enjoy