Doing an out and back? Paddle into the wind first! This is a simple thing, that most people don't think about. Paddle into the wind first, then when you are paddling back to your put-in you have the wind pushing you. Also, if you are in a channel the wind - and current - will be going faster in the middle of the channel. If you are going that direction go with it. Need to go the other direction, hug the land, it will slow the wind and current, and you will have to do a little less work. Paddle smart, save energy for when you have to paddle hard.