By learning to use the weather forecast, you’ll be able to pick the times to go paddling when the conditions are so good that if you were to take a snapshot of yourself, you’d think,
“YES, I’m in paradise 🦄”.
On the flip-side, ignoring the weather can make you feel like the world is against you… Leaving you feeling like you don’t have what it takes for this lifestyle 😤.
Galvo, Nicki and Marcus (our star SUSS team) have worked with the weather forecasts for decades, which helps them find the opportunities that keep their passion burning. In Perth, more than anything else, they use the popular website Seabreeze (founded by a SUP enthusiast, Laurie) to help them get on the water more.
NOTE: This is a BIG topic – this article is for those new to Seabreeze – pro tips coming soon…
The Best Time To Go Paddling
SUPing is best when the wind is very light and/or “blowing offshore” (which means the wind is blowing away from the land and heading out over the water). That’s because when the wind is light, the surface of the water is calm. Sometimes an offshore wind helps to create those beautiful glassy conditions. How can you tell when this is going to be the case? Well…
Here’s a Beginners Guide to Picking Perfect Conditions for a Flat Water Paddle in Perth
Step 2: Glance at the temperature and rain forecast symbol – choose what attire you’re going to need to wear; hat/rashie/wetty/strap-on sunglasses
Step 3: Glance at the arrows and observe the pattern. The highest arrows are green (meaning really windy). The lowest arrows are red (meaning the wind is really light). How windy exactly? Hover your cursor over the graph and get the wind-speed in knots or glance over to the scale on the right hand side.
TIP – Don’t feel too stressed about what ‘knots’ means and trust the color of the arrows. A knot is about 1.85km/h. Anything under 10 knots is ‘red’ – or light wind. Anything 18 knots and over is ‘green’ – or strong winds.
Step 4: Look for red arrows or ‘offshore’ arrows (more on ‘offshore and locations’ coming soon).
Step 5: Plan to go paddling when the arrows are red and/or ‘offshore’. Open up your phone calendar and schedule in your paddle. Send the following message to a friend…
“Hey friend, the forecast looks perfect for some time on the water with the SUP on xxx.
Let’s go play, I’ll bring some snacks and maybe we can head to xxx after. Invite anyone.”
Example – For the above forecast, Nicki would go paddling on flat water, anywhere, anytime on Tuesday & Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Marcus would plan a downwind foil session on Sunday (and coincidentally would break a world record for distance, foiling 101km on Sunday the 9th of February 2020). Galvo would go surfing on Monday or Tuesday morning as the wind is in the right direction… but he might like a little more swell. Nicki would also be able to paddle and run classes at Freshwater bay pretty much anytime, including Sunday when it’s really windy, because the wind blows off the river’s shoreline there on a Southerly.
Did you know that the wind is always named by the direction from which it comes? For example, if the wind is blowing from the East and out to the West, it’s called an “Easterly”. For the Perth coastline, an offshore wind over the ocean is an Easterly.
If you are in Perth, check out our rule of thumb below too.
Go With The Flow
The SUSS Team
The Summer Time Rule of Thumb
From the months of November through till the end of March, Perth gets a strong seabreeze (aka the Fremantle Doctor) almost every afternoon. There’s a good chance that from 2pm till sunset, conditions will be less than ideal but there’s an equally good chance that from sunrise till about 2pm, conditions will be excellent. So over the summer, desire to be flexible in the mornings so you can have the most time on water.
The Winter Time Rule of Thumb
From April till October, Perth is blessed with many picture perfect, blue skied, still days that are incredible for paddling (just a bit colder in and out of the water). These days are very frequent and in winter the wind only comes with big storms.