What to Wear Stand Up Paddleboarding

What to Wear Stand Up Paddleboarding

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There are many options for what to wear stand up paddleboarding

One of the questions I hear a lot is ‘What do I wear when I am Stand Up Paddleboarding?’ while there are many answers to this question you first want to ask yourself ‘What conditions will I be paddling in?’

What you would wear will be quite different depending on where in the world you are paddling and what time of year it is. There are also different recommendations depending on what sort of paddleboarding you are doing. For example if you are just going for a fun paddle at the beach you are probably more likely to wear your bathers/swimsuit, compared to if you are going for an all day adventure paddle.

Here we explore some of the most popular options and the pros and cons of each.

Bathers or Swimsuit

Great for a quick paddle at the beach. Best for if you won’t be out in the sun all day in hotter climates. Wear when conditions are right for swimming ie water temperature is about 22c or warmer

Great when it’s warm and you want to go for a swim or fall in when you paddle
Dries off quickly
Can be a bit cold when the wind springs up
Need to ensure you use sunscreen correctly as it offers little sun protection
Swimwear is popular for wearing while stand up paddleboarding in the hot summer months

T-shirt and Shorts/Boardshorts

Gives you a bit of extra cover when paddling but shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for sunscreen
gives you a little extra warmth if it’s not quite swimming weather

ComfortableTakes longer to dry if you fall in
Boardies and a long sleeved t-shirt are a popular combination for paddling in slightly cooler conditions

Rashi or Yoga Wear

This is great for when the ambient temperature is a little cooler or if you just want to keep the sun off. Most rashes will come with a UV rating to reduce overexposure to the sun. Depending on the weather conditions you can also add a light weight fleecy top or light weight raincoat

Less restrictive/cumbersome than T-shirt and Shorts
Easy to swim in
Dries off quickly (depending on fabric)
Can get a little warm if the sun suddenly comes out unexpectedly
Add a hoodie for an extra layer of warmth when stand up paddleboarding


Wetsuits come in a variety of configurations such as

  • Shortie – short sleeves and short legs
  • Long sleeves and no legs (a women’s style)
  • No sleeves and long legs
  • Long sleeves and long legs

Wetsuits can be worn with a variety of optional extras such as

  • Booties
  • Gloves
  • Hoods (used more when surfing)

They range in thicknesses all the way from 2mm thick to 6mm is the most common. Specialist wetsuits for really cold water can go above this.

Wetsuits are really great for keeping warm if you are in the water. Many paddlers disagree as to whether a wetsuit is a good idea and here’s why;

Keeps you warm in the water
Good for water below 21c
You don’t spend a lot of time in the water when Stand Up Paddleboarding
Difficult to paddle in
Can overheat if you are not in the water

Dry Suit

Personally I have never tried a drysuit for Stand Up Paddleboarding but many paddlers who like to go out all year in the colder climates swear by them. Check out our FAQ for further information on wetsuits, booties and waterproof socks.   

Want to know the current price for the Roxy Womens Wetsuit pictured above? Click on the image above or here.


Read our article on How to Avoid Cold Feet Stand Up Paddleboarding

SUP Chick
Keeps you dry in extreme cold conditionsCan be very restrictive

There are many variations on these groups which allow for greater adaptability such as adding or subtracting layers for temperature or booties, hats and gloves for extreme cold. With the right clothing Stand Up Paddleboarding can be a year round sport in most climates.

What do you wear when you go Stand Up Paddleboarding? Leave your answer in the comments below.

What you wear stand up paddleboarding can vary depending on conditions

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