We never recommend paddling in a thunderstorm. If the weather doesn't look great, hang up your paddle and go for another day. However, weather forecasts are not always 100% accurate. So if you do find yourself on the paddle and you start to hear thunder rumbles, or weird lightning is getting closer, here are our top tips for staying safe.


  • Important tips for staying safe while paddling in a thunderstorm If possible, seek shelter in a building or vehicle. This should be your first port of call.
  • If you are on the water, get to the shore/shore as soon as possible and stay out of the water. Water will spread the blow from further away, so the sooner you get out of the water the better.
  • Leave the paddle and boat at the water's edge when disembarking, and prioritize protecting yourself.
  • If you find yourself in a situation where you're exposed to the elements with nowhere to hide, make yourself the smallest possible target. Squat down, feet together, hands on knees, head buried in. This technique allows you to get as much off the ground as possible and is the safest place if you can't find the shelter you need.
  • Finally, when we're talking about shelter, don't hide under tall or isolated trees, under which an estimated 1 in 4 lightning strikers are taking shelter. When we talk about shelter, the first thing to think about is a building or vehicle.