Spring brings warm weather throughout the country, including South Florida. It also brings strong winds out of the North and South. Strong side-shore winds create great conditions for doing a "Downwinder" type paddle with your stand up paddleboard.
What is a downwinder you might ask? Just like it sounds...you paddle with the wind! Often times you're able to catch surf as you go if there is any swell in the water, and there is a good chance there will be due to the strong winds. A good way to enjoy this type of paddle is to use multiple board transportation vehicles involved in the days paddle. For beach downwind runs, we park one truck miles down the coast, and the other vehicle stays at the starting point. When you're done with the paddle you use that "drop" vehicle to transport yourselves and gear back to the start point.
Please remember, **ALWAYS USE A LEASH FOR SAFETY** This is especially true when enjoying a downwind paddle. Also it can't hurt to leave a "float plan" with someone close to you and your group.
This past Sunday a few "Team North 2" avid paddlers got a chance to get a downwind run in. We started at the Boynton Beach, FL inlet. We paddled with the wind south to the North 2 tower of Delray Beach. This was approximately 7miles in total distance. What a great day! The wind was strong, and a small 2' swell had developed and we were able to catch some fun little waves along the way. The water was crystal clear and we also were able to see some small Spinner and Black-tip sharks along the way.
Next time the wind is blowing hard straight down the beach grab some friends and go have a downwinder!