More fun than you would think
You can paddle year round on southern Vancouver Island. Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula have some of the mildest winters in Canada. Every month of the year sees good days for kayaking.
The changing seasons will provide new awareness of the beauty of nature as we move from fall to winter to spring and back to summer. Experience the fall colours of Tod Inlet or paddling in a gentle snow fall to Senanus island. Even paddling in a March rain can be satisfying knowing that it is bringing back the flowers of April and May
We have prepared this guide with some tips and tricks about winter paddling. And talk to our friendly staff when you make your booking. Every one of us has been paddling year round and we love to help people experience the unique enjoyment of off-season paddling. With this guide to staying warm and preparing, you should be confident and ready to get on the water!
Set Yourself Up For Success
Think warm thoughts!
From fall to spring, weather is a little more important to follow than in the summer months. Wind speeds and precipitation pick up in these months.
Start by looking at the wind; check out Windy.com on desktop or the app. Here at Pacifica Paddle Sports, we recommend paddling in 11 knots (20.37km) of wind or less ( a Paddle Canada standard for level 1). Knowing the wind direction will help you when route planning for a trip and timing it correctly.
Choose a sheltered route, and know your comfort level. Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet are some of the safest areas to paddle year round.
Layer up to stay warm!
The best thing to wear for paddling seasonally is to invest in a dry suit if you can. That way, if you were to capsize, you will stay dry.
If you are confident in your paddling abilities you want outer layers of Gore Tex or some other breathable, waterproof material.
Good things to wear under a Gore Tex shell layer would be anything polypro and\or merino wool!
As much as possible stay away from cotton and non-breathable layers. These hold your sweat and actually cool you down.
Hats or toques to keep your head warm are a must!! You lose 40 to 50% of your body heat through your head
Wear gloves or paddle with pogies to keep your hands warm and waterproof footwear where possible