Follow the Fall Colours by SUP

by Sophie Corriveau

The beauty of our province is without a doubt its four seasons! Each one has its own charm and allows us to take embrace the diversity of our beautiful province. If you want to enjoy fall to the fullest, keep reading! Our ambassador Sophie Corriveau explains how to follow the colours on a paddle board.

Paddleboarding in Autumn

Fall, with its changing colours, even the water that I paddle on in the summer looks quite different. The orange, red and yellow colours of the trees and the morning mist compliment each other to form an enchanting setting. The majority of boats and docks are stored, the waterwars become quiet, and more peaceful. 

It doesn't take much to convince me to go paddling during this season. You only need to dress accordingly. My favorite time of day to paddle? Early in the morning or at sunset to enjoy the calm and mystical mist. These are by far the best times of the day to admire the effects of the sun on the fall colours. This is also the time the winds are at its calmest and the water becomes a mirror. It’s a great way to ground yourself in present moment.

Each paddle stroke reminds me of why I love this sport. The tranquility and the feeling of sliding on the water has a therapeutic effect. I take this moment for myself, to connect with what is happening around me. Contemplation is done with the eyes, certainly, but with all the other senses too. The smell of the leaves and the song of migratory birds reminds me that winter is not too far away.

Where to SUP in the Fall?

In summer or fall, I have many favorite places to go SUP. Îles-de-Boucherville National park and Milles Iles river park are in my top 5 SUP spots less than an hour from Montreal.

I have no specific places to SUP during the fall, because my goal is to follow the color change throughout the season. In some areas, fall arrives earlier than elsewhere.

To follow the evolution of fall in Quebec, I consult the interactive Fall Foliage Map from Bonjour Québec. It often guides my destination for a trip to the water in harmony with the pigmentation of the forests.

What to wear for paddleboarding in the fall?

The essential equipment to extend the SUP season includes good booties to keep your feet warm, I recommend 5 or 7mm because I prefer to have warmer feet than to be cold. Then, dress according to the temperature as if you were going for a walk in the forest (coat, hat, gloves, etc.) Is a wetsuit necessary? Yes, especially for safety reasons. What thickness to choose? It all depends on the water temperature, the current, your skills on the water and the distance from the point of return. A wetsuit is still hot if you are not in the water, but when you fall, you’ll be glad you wore one!

Photos: Geneviève Diotte

To find out which wetsuit to choose or how to dress to extend your season, read this article!