What to Wear When Paddle Boarding

When you want to enjoy your paddle boarding, there are certain things you have to consider. One such thing is what to wear. Remember that when you're out there over the waters, you’ll face the scorching sun, rain, or gusty wind. The weather is unpredictable, and if you don’t wear the right attire, your expedition will be spoilt. This guide will help you understand what to wear when paddle boarding.

Before you leave for your paddle boarding expedition, make sure you pack the right clothing that will guarantee your comfort and safety. The right clothing will depend on the prevailing weather and where you are going. For example, the clothes you wear during winter can’t be the same as those you wear during summer. With the right attire, you can paddleboard whenever you feel like throughout the year.

Since you'll be paddle boarding on water, you can bet the most important attire you’ll need is a life jacket. But there’s more to it. The US Coast Guard (USCG) categorizes paddle boards as vessels, meaning the life jacket you put on while using the board must be USCG-approved.

It is highly recommended that you have a life jacket on whenever you are paddle boarding. If you feel like you want to paddleboard with your dog, he must also wear a life jacket.

There are a variety of life jackets on the market today. Many people prefer the compact design that buckles around the waist. They are easy to use and comfortable.

Which Attire to Wear While Paddle Boarding in Summer

In the US, the summer is hot or warm, depending on which state you are in. Because of such beautiful weather, many people prefer to paddleboard during summer. When paddleboarding or using fishing during summer, you can easily dip into the water to cool off when it becomes too hot. This means it’s necessary to carry your swimming suit, activewear (waterproof), or a rash guard (short-sleeved).

a)For Women

The attire preferred for women is a one-piece or bikini swimsuit. If you want more than one layer, you should wear the swimsuit first. If you wish, you can have a short, sunglasses, a hat, and an overshirt that can keep you warm when it becomes cold while you are on the water.

A rash guard should come over the swimwear to protect you against the sun and make you feel comfortable.

b)For Men

For men, swim trunks or board shorts will work just fine. The attire allows you to jump into the water in case you feel very hot. You can also bring along a t-shirt or a rash guard and a long-sleeved light shirt to keep you against cold. Sunglasses and a broad hat are also necessary to protect your face and your eyes against the sun.

Unfortunately, this attire lacks waterproof sunscreen. Knowing that summers can get hot, a perfect paddleboarding attire for summer should have waterproof Ultra Violet sunscreen protection to protect the wearer from getting old and developing wrinkles.

Why You Need Rash Guards

Paddle boarding will expose you to saltwater and wind, which can cause skin irritation and chafe. This is where the rash guards come in. They prevent these conditions and also offer the best SPF protection. Your rash guard should fit snag and should have a six-panel construction with flat-lock stitching for added comfort. When it’s hot, you’ll need a tank top or short-sleeved rash guard.

It is highly recommended that when paddle boarding during summer, you should be barefoot. If the weather is a little cold or you don’t want to go barefoot, you can choose one of the paddle boarding sports shoes available in the market.

Which Attire to Wear While Paddle Boarding in Winter and Fall

The winter and fall months are relatively cold all over the US, so if you’re planning to paddleboard during these seasons, warm attire will be your number one priority. If the temperature goes below 50 degrees, you’ll probably need a wetsuit. The colder the weather, the thicker the wetsuit should be.

Wetsuits trap a thin layer of water between the inner layer and your skin. Your body will warm this layer of water to help keep you warm even if it’s very cold. For better performance, choose a wetsuit made of neoprene. This material is good at retaining water. The wetsuit should fit you properly. If it’s too loose, it will allow too much water in, hence interfering with the thin water layer mentioned above.

When it comes to thickness, there are five options you can choose from. The thickness ranges from 4mm - 6mm. Below is a list that shows what wetsuit thickness suits which temperature.

Weather at -12°C /10°F

  • Neoprene gloves
  • 7mm neoprene booties
  • 5mm - 6mm thick hooded wetsuit

Weather at -1C° /30°F

  • Neoprene Gloves
  • 5mm neoprene booties
  • 4mm - 5mm thick hooded wetsuit

Weather at 10°C /50°F

  • Neoprene gloves
  • 3mm neoprene booties
  • 3mm - 4mm wetsuit

Wetsuit Alternatives

Wetsuits are a little expensive. So if their cost is a concern for you, or you don’t like them, you can choose other options. If you are paddling at a temperature above -1°C/30°F, you can make do with a long-sleeved thick shirt.

It would be better if the shirt is waterproof to keep you warm. You can wear a winter jacket over the shirt for added warmth and comfort. If it's too cold, wear long johns or leggings under your pants. Gloves and a hat will also be good for you.

Final Words

Paddle boarding should be an enjoyable and memorable adventure. But as you can see, you’ll need the right attire to enjoy it to the fullest. Remember that extreme weather conditions are not good for your health. That's why when paddle boarding in summer, try to keep your body cool. When paddle boarding in the fall or winter, keep your body warm. Above all, do not forget a life jacket.

Matt Bartlett

Outside is always better .I'm an avid Traveler, Cyclist, Paddler,Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Sports Lover & Wannabe Runner. I write about adventures and share them on my website and for other outdoor publications. . Wannabe Runner Love being outdoors.I enjoy sharing outdoor experiences with others.

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