Beaufort Scale Windspeed Knots Windspeed MPH Description Sea State

Disclaimer — this is for information only — you must make your own informed decision as to whether it's safe to paddle or not.
Description in forecasts State of sea
0 0 0 Calm Sea like a mirror — nice paddling. Calm Calm
1 1-3 1-3 Light Air Ripples but without foam crests. Light Calm
2 4-6 4-7 Light Breeze Small wavelets. Crests do not break. Light Smooth
3 7-10 8-12 Gentle Breeze Large wavelets. Perhaps scattered white horses. Light Smooth
4 11-16 13-18 Moderate Breeze Small waves. Fairly frequent white horses. Getting bouncy and the inexperienced should start to think about heading to shore unless it's an onshore breeze. Moderate Slight
5 17-21 19-24 Fresh Breeze Moderate waves, many white horses. The inexperienced will find it hard work paddling into this. Fresh Moderate
6 22-27 25-31 Strong Breeze Large waves begin to form; white foam crests, probably spray. Seas getting big, rescues will be difficult. Warnings issued to small craft. Strong Rough
7 28-33 32-38 Near Gale Sea heaps up and white foam blown in streaks along the direction of the wind. Big seas, kayaks are difficult to turn and it will be hard to make headway. Communication very difficult. Strong Very Rough
8 34-40 39-46 Gale Moderately high waves, crests begin to break into spindrift. Dangerous conditions — communication almost impossible. Each paddler must look out for himself and rescues impractical. Gale High
9 41-47 47-54 Strong Gale High waves. Dense foam along the direction of the wind. Crests of waves begin to roll over. Spray may affect visibility. Try praying. You'll need it. Severe Gale Very High
10 48-55 55-63 Storm Very high waves with long overhanging crests. The surface of the sea takes a white appearance. Visibility affected. Which means the lifeboat will have little chance of actually seeing you. Storm Very High
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