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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
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
|Comfortable||Takes longer to dry if you fall in|
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|
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
- 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
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 PaddleboardingSUP Chick
|Keeps you dry in extreme cold conditions||Can 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.