When most of us think of SUP paddling we think of a beautiful beach, river, or lake. Also, it's nice and hot - which usually means summer! But here at Red River Paddle we think the best time of year to paddle might actually be the fall - so here's 10 Reasons Fall Paddling is Amazing:
1. Less people! Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest recreational aquatic sport in the world and so there are a lot of people doing it... and that can make it crowded out there. But in fall as the weather cools you can have the water almost to yourself. Introverts rejoice!
2. Fall Colors are amazing. Depending where you live, fall is an excellent time to experience the red, orange, and yellow tones that are only around for awhile. Going for a hike in the woods this time of year is satisfying but paddling a shoreline or river gives you a different vantage point that is a feast for the eyes and senses.
3. Dressing for the weather is easy - you can be just as comfortable on the water (maybe even more so) in the fall. Simply adding a layer or two (and maybe a rainshell or windbreaker) can make you feel just as great out there as in summer. Worry about a colder dunk in the water? Do what the experts at Red River Paddle do - just keep a nice warm fleece hoodie and/or towel in your dry bag so you can dry off and warm up quickly. Just remember to choose quick drying materials for your base layer.
4. You will amaze your friends. When your friends asked what you did this weekend you can arouse their wonder and envy at your adventurousness! It can give you Instant credibility as a real athlete and outdoor explorer. Bask in their admiration.
5. Your body and mind will thank you. Studies show that being outdoors is good for the mind and body. Being on and seeing/smelling water has been shown to improve memory, cognitive functioning, focus, and improve mood. Gazing at fall foliage has the same affect - lowering cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and even increasing the body's rate of healing. The longer you are out there, the longer you get these benefits!
6. Two words: SUP Camping! Like regular camping, SUP camping can actually be superior in the fall. The lack of bugs and the reduction in crowds makes those really cool places to visit, explore, and camp out that much easier to access.
7. Less sweating, less chance of heat & sunstroke. Many people find they actually paddle longer and further during the fall paddling season because the heat doesn't drain them so quickly. For those in training - cooler weather often puts less stress on the system allowing many to achieve some of their best numbers of the season!
8. Birds and wildlife. Migrating birds begin their long journeys in the fall which means you could be accompanied overhead by some impressive flocks of geese, ducks, etc. Also, as the leaves shed their leaves they expose more and more of the topography - making it easier to spot some of the more elusive woodland creatures.
9. Great fishing! Sup Fishing is getting more and more popular and as many fishermen know, fall offers ample opportunities to catch a variety of fish. Cooling water temperatures can spark bites for everything from catfish and crappies to bass, sunfish and walleyes. Big fish like bass react to cooling water temperature and then actively taking advantage of seasonal concentrations of baitfish. More fish for you! So get your rod (and maybe a rod holder) and head out to your best secret fishing spot.
10. Your friends and family might actually be available to paddle with you! Many of us have so much activity crammed into the summer (family vacations, adventures, etc) that it can be stressful - and even difficult to connect with friends. Fall gives us a little breathing room and a great extra opportunity to connect with friends and do some unexpected and spontaneous adventures.
So there you go - 10 reasons why we think Fall Paddling is Amazing! If you can think of others feel free to leave them in the comments. So what are you waiting for? Happy fall paddling from all of us at Red River Paddle!