The impact of the wind on a SUP session should not be underestimated. It can have a huge impact upon a paddleboarding session and can even leave unprepared paddlers in dire situations.
But what can we do to prepare ourselves besides checking the old weather forecast? Well, as it’s 2022, we can now also utilise the power of modern technology and the new weapon in the armoury – Wind Apps.
A decent wind app installed on the mobile phone means the paddler now has instant access to detailed information on what’s blowing in which direction, how strong it is and how long until it subsides. Meaning critical safety decisions can be made with confidence.
As is commonplace with apps, there are myriad choices, but we asked a few of our ASI instructors for their own personal preference when it comes to checking the wind at a paddle location.
Here is what they told me…
Paul Byrne of IrishSUP said, ‘I personally am a big fan of WindFinder PRO, the paid version. I think to get bang up to date info without that 3hr gap in data, you gotta go pro. It's not expensive. I find this app great and easy to read.
‘When it comes to weather apps it’s got to be designed in a format you like to read. Some love lots of numbers, some colour maps and so on. Some apps work better for some locations too. Whilst some apps focus on different information as being important to them. Whether its surf, or wind, or sunshine. For me its wind!
‘Bottom line is that you have to create a positive relationship with your app. Trust its information and be comfortable and confident making calls based on the information it gives you.’
Solid information from Paul. Meanwhile, favouring a different app and a little old school information gathering is Chris Kenyon of Central SUP.
Chris told me, ‘We always use the MET office as a general guide to weather conditions, then I use Wind Guru, as you can see the location on a map and the wind direction which is very useful.’
Chris highlighting what Paul said in that everyone finds the app and system that works for them. Cameron Douglas of Derwent Valley SUP – who you may have seen in our ‘Paddling with Cameron’ videos – is a big fan of the Windy app and uses it as his go to tool for checking the wind conditions prior to paddling.
How about yourself, do you have a preference and a favourite wind app you check before every paddle?