How to stay safe on your stand up paddleboard

Here are the answers to the knowledge test at the end of the weather chapter in book two. 

  1. Name three things that the wind strength will affect:
    • Your speed
    • How much work you have to do
    • What the water conditions will be
    • How long it takes to get somewhere
    • Whether you even want to be going paddleboarding at all
    • Which way you’ll be wanting to paddle.

  1. Arrange these in order of strength, from lightest to strongest: 10 knots • 10m/s • 10km/h • Force 10
    • 10 Kilometres per hour (km/hr)
    • 10 Knots (approx. 20km/hr)
    • 10 Metres per second (m/s) (approx. 40km/hr)
    • Force 10 (typically 88-102 km/hr)

  1. If you’re seeing white-caps, what does it tell you about the paddleboarding conditions?
    • It may well be too strong, unless you’re really wanting a big work out and your technique is up for it, or you’re going downwinding.

  1. What is the wind strength at which we are likely to see white-caps starting to appear on the water surface?
    • 20km/hr / 10-11 knots / 5 m/s

  1. If the forecast says northerly winds, in which direction should you be facing to feel the wind on your face?
    • the north

  1. If you find yourself being blown out to sea by an offshore wind, what should be your immediate course of action?
    • If it feels like you’re not making any headway then get down to your knees instantly, to reduce your windage, and just paddle HARD until you’re back close to shore. If necessary, lie down and paddle the board like a surfer if being on your knees is still creating too much windage.

  1. Name at least three of the hazards that an active cumulonimbus cloud can create:
    • Wind squalls (really strong winds for a few minutes)
    • Temperature changes
    • Hail
    • Thunder and lightning
    • tornados

  1. How often do GFS-generated weather forecasts generally get updated? Constantly • Every 6 hours • Every 12 hours • Every 24 hours
    • GFS-based forecasts update 4 times a day.

True or false:

  1. Onshore winds blow from the land to the sea.
    False! Onshore winds are blowing from the sea to the land

  1. In offshore wind conditions, the water close inshore can look deceptively calm and inviting.
    True! This is why these conditions can be so dangerous.

  1. In offshore winds, the wind will get lighter the further out you go.
    False! Offshore winds increase in strength the further out you go, really doubling down on how dangerous they are.

  1. The best advice in cross-shore winds is always to start out paddling into the wind.
    Sort of true – if current isn’t an issue then for sure, start out paddling into the wind so that when you’ve had enough paddling you get an easy (or free) ride home. However, if there are significant currents to contend with then in many situations it’s wiser to make your decisions according to these, as discussed in the next chapter of the book.

  1. Nightfall takes a long time to arrive in tropical latitudes, so going for a sunset paddle is always a great idea.
    False – it gets dark very quickly in the tropics. (And if you’re in an area where sharks are an issue, this is definitely not the best time to be on the water!)

  1. A sea breeze is a weather phenomenon that tends to occur at coastal locations when the sun heats the water up.
    False. A sea breeze is created by the sun heating up the land, causing the air to rise and the colder air over the sea to rush in to fill the void.

  1. A sea breeze only occurs on coastal beaches, you will never encounter it on landlocked waters.
    False. Sea breezes can often extend several miles inland, so if you’re paddling on an estuary or lake near the coast you can still get hit by a sea breeze

  1. In a wind-against-tide scenario, the sea will look and feel rougher than normal.
    True: if the wind is blowing in the opposite direction to the way the tide is running (“wind against tide”), it will always look (and feel!) much rougher than when the wind and tide are running in the same direction.