As summer is rolling and warming up we all look for ways to cool down and fun things to do in the sun. When the sun is out it is the perfect time to get on the water on your paddleboard or in your kayak and cool down. But it is really important to remember that when the sun is out and the temperature is up to keep yourself safe. So here are just a few ways to help protect yourself from the sun, ideas of things to wear, the best ways to stay cool, our top tips for paddling safely in the summer.
One of the most important things to remember in the heat is that even when it isn’t sunny…… it’s hot. As with any other form of activity in a heat wave, it is vital to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, you cannot absorb water through your skin, so make sure you have plenty of fresh drinking water with you. Drinking regularly will help prevent dehydration.
The sun. Being on the water can only intensify the effects of it as it reflects off the water. Therefore you need to be protected against the UV rays. The first defence is an obvious one, sun cream. Ensuring you have a good covering of waterproof sun cream is key. It is also worth remembering that it often takes around 30 minutes for the cream to take effect. Make sure you regularly reapply while you are out on the water to stay safe. Then once you are home and out of the sun ensure you give your skin back any moisture it may have lost in the sun. Taking good care of your skin is crucial for showing off your paddling tan.
You can also use clothing to protect yourself from the sun. There are lightweight tops that offer UV resistance, for example, Gill’s range of Eco rash vest tops. These are worth checking out as they can keep you cool while protecting you from the sun.
A hat is also key in the sun. As the sun beats down from directly above a hat will give the top of your head. Hats with a peak or brim will protect your face, ears and neck from the sun. This will not only help protect you from potential sunburn, but also help to keep you cooler in the heat.
Your eyes are very sensitive to the sunlight and the UV rays that come with it. Therefore, on the water we would highly recommend a good set of polarised sunglasses that help protect your eyes from the glare off the water. The coastal sunglasses from Gill have been made specifically with watersports in mind, so are an ideal set to take with you.
Make sure you take your water, sun cream, hat, and protective clothing on the water with you. The best way to do this is in an adequate sized dry bag that will keep all your protective kit safe and dry.
While on the water do your best to use your common sense. The waterways will be busier in the sun, so keep an eye out for other paddlers, swimmers, and anglers. Be sure not to get in the way of others. Also, make sure the water you are on is safe, and you have the correct permissions or licence to be there. Thousands of miles of waterways are available to British Canoeing members. Take the time to have a rest and cool down in the shade or in the water too. You are there to have fun, not sweat half your weight away.
Finally, even though the weather is hot, make sure you know what you are doing and stay within your ability. If in doubt make use of one of the many delivery partners British Canoeing have, and go out on a guided paddle. Just because the weather is good doesn’t mean any dangers go away.
Enjoy the sun and the heat, but do it responsibly and safely. Keep hydrated and keep protected from the sun.