Paddleboarding – What To Wear (A Definitive Guide)

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When it comes to paddleboarding what to wear is everything! Choosing the appropriate attire can significantly enhance your paddleboarding experience and make you fall in love with the health benefits that you can get from this amazing sport. In this article, I will guide you through the essential clothing and gear you should consider when preparing for a paddleboarding adventure.

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Paddleboarding has gained immense popularity in recent years, attracting water sports enthusiasts from all walks of life. While it offers a fun and exciting way to explore the water, it’s crucial to dress appropriately to ensure comfort, protection, and safety. Let’s dive into the world of paddleboarding attire and explore what you should wear for a fantastic experience.

The Importance Of Your Clothing:

Before we delve into the specific clothing options, let’s understand why proper attire is essential. With paddleboarding, what to wear is so important. Firstly, the right gear will keep you comfortable throughout your adventure, allowing you to focus on your paddle strokes and balance. Secondly, it provides protection against the elements, such as harmful UV rays and abrasions. Lastly, wearing appropriate attire enhances your safety on the water, especially in case of unexpected falls or accidents.

Paddleboarding – What To Wear:

When it comes to paddleboarding attire, simplicity and functionality are key. Let’s explore the essential clothing items to consider:

If you prefer to learn through video, then you can use this for a quick summary:

1. Swimwear or Board Shorts

For warm and sunny days, wearing swimwear or board shorts is a practical choice. Opt for quick-drying and moisture-wicking fabrics that won’t weigh you down when wet. Ladies may prefer one-piece swimsuits or comfortable bikini sets that allow freedom of movement.

paddleboarding what to wear

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– I love the tropical design (They have over 21 designs)

– Quick dry and fit really nicely with the elastic waistband

– Doesn’t chafe and you won’t lose your shorts if you fall in the water (happened to me before)

– Shorts cover the knee for more flexibility when paddling.

2. Rash Guard or Sun Shirt

To protect your skin from harmful UV rays and avoid chafing, consider wearing a rash guard or sun shirt. These lightweight, long-sleeved tops provide excellent sun protection and can be worn alone or layered over swimwear. Look for UPF-rated garments for added sun defense.

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Baleaf Sun Protection Shirts

Where To Buy:

Why I Love It:
– Quick dry polyster material

– Reasonably priced

– Fits great on your body and doesn’t chafe at all

– Have SPF50 fabric that stops you from burning if you’re sensitive to the sun (like me).

paddleboarding what to wear

3. Wetsuit or Drysuit (optional)

In colder climates or during chilly seasons, wearing a great wetsuit can keep you warm and extend your paddleboarding season. These garments provide insulation and protect against the cold water. Choose a thickness suitable for the water temperature you’ll be paddling in.

I have even heard of people paddleboarding under the northern lights in Canada so the different things that you can do are limitless if you have bought yourself a good wetsuit and drysuit. They give you a lot of versatility and that’s why it’s definitely worth considering if you want one.

Seaskin Men & Womens Shorty Wetsuit

paddleboarding what to wear

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– I have this wetsuit and it has served me extremely well in cold conditions

– Also have a range for women

– Reasonably priced for the heavy duty wetsuit youu get

– Keeps you super toasty in the water (and gives you sun protection)

4. Choosing the Right Footwear

While paddleboarding, your choice of footwear should prioritize comfort, grip, and protection. Consider the following options:

Barefoot: In warm weather and calm waters, going barefoot can provide an enhanced sensory experience and a direct connection to the board.

Water Shoes: When navigating rocky or uneven terrains, water shoes with non-slip soles offer protection and grip.

My favorite water shoe is the Vifuur Water Sports Barefoot Shoe.

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– They are really grippy and fit nicely so you won’t get a chafe.

– Most water shoes are really hard to take off – these aren’t (I’m not sure why but it’s REALLY convenient)

– You can use these water shoes at the beach, swimming pool or anywhere else where there’s water so it will never be a waste of money.

– The sizing is perfect (you can rely on getting the right size if you match your shoe size).

Sandals or Flip-Flops: Suitable for leisurely paddleboarding sessions, these provide convenience and ease of wear.

When it comes to flip-flops, nothing beats a pair of Havaianas for me. I’ve always used them and always will.

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– There are so many different designs and styles.

– They are cheap and easy to replace.

– The last so much longer than any flip-flop that i’ve ever found.

– I love them 🙂

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5. Sun Protection Gear

Protecting your skin and eyes from the sun’s harsh rays is crucial during extended paddleboarding sessions. Consider the following sun protection gear:

5.1. Sunscreen
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating to all exposed areas of your body. Choose a water-resistant formula to ensure it stays effective during your time on the water. Don’t forget to reapply as directed.

Sun Bum SPF50 Sunscreen

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Water resistant and high SPF so you can be in and out of the water without worrying about getting burnt.

– It mosturizes the skin and is also non-stick so sand won’t be stuck to you.

– Smells great

5.2. Sunglasses
Invest in a pair of polarized sunglasses with UV protection. These not only shield your eyes from the sun but also reduce glare, making it easier to see clearly on the water.

KUGUAOK Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– These are stylish, comfortable and have a polarized lens that eliminates all glare from the water.

– It comes with a rope to stop them falling off your face if you fall.

– They float for a while so if they fall off it’s not a disaster to find them again.

5.3. Hat or Visor
Wearing a hat or visor helps protect your face, scalp, and eyes from direct sunlight. Look for options with a wide brim or a visor that provides adequate shade.

Surf Bucket Hat

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– This is a hat that was designed for watersports

– It protects your face and neck from the sun and stays on your head during a wipeout (with the chin straps)

– It has a removable neck flap that you can use for extra protection.

paddleboarding what to wear

6. Considerations for Different Weather Conditions

The weather conditions can influence your clothing choices while paddleboarding. Let’s explore what to wear based on different scenarios:

6.1. Warm and Sunny Weather
In hot and sunny conditions, prioritize lightweight and breathable clothing. Opt for loose-fitting tops, shorts, or swimwear to stay cool. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and wear a hat to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

6.2. Cool or Cold Weather
If you’re paddleboarding in cooler or cold weather, layering is key to prevent hypothermia. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep you dry, add an insulating mid-layer for warmth, and top it off with a windproof and water-resistant outer layer. Don’t forget to wear appropriate headgear and gloves to stay warm. You might be better off just visiting Spain in winter to avoid the cold and soak in some sun 😉

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7. Safety Gear and Accessories

Ensuring your safety on the water should always be a priority. Here are some essential safety gear and accessories to consider:

7.1. Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Wearing a properly fitted personal flotation device is crucial for all paddleboarders, regardless of skill level. Choose a PFD designed specifically for paddleboarding or water sports, ensuring it provides adequate buoyancy and freedom of movement.

Onyx MoveVent Life Vest

paddleboarding what to wear

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Designed so that it doesn’t obstruct your paddling because it leaves the shoulders open

– Highly visible so that you can be seen by other watercraft even in low light conditions

– Heavy duty and will keep even the heaviest people afloat.

– Also includes a whistle for extra safety

7.2. Leash
Attaching a leash to your paddleboard and wearing it around your ankle or calf prevents you from becoming separated from your board in case of falls or strong currents. Choose a leash suitable for the type of paddling you’ll be doing.

Unigear Premium 10′ Coiled SUP Leash

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Made of ultra-strong urethane cord that can handle the heaviest and longest boards

– Got soft sponge that doesn’t hurt you when you paddle

– Includes a waterproof wallet for your phone and keys

– They have great support so that you can ask questions and get a return if something breaks

7.3. Whistle or Personal Locator Beacon
Carrying a whistle or personal locator beacon can be a lifesaver during emergencies. These devices help attract attention and assist in your rescue or retrieval.

LuxoGear Emergency Whistle With Lanyard

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– It is extremely loud.

– Visible and has a cord that you can attach to your paddleboard so that its there when you need it.

– Low cost but irreplaceable in value.

– It floats so you don’t need to worry about dropping it in the water.

8. Dressing Tips for Beginners

For beginners, it’s important to consider a few additional tips when dressing for paddleboarding:

Start with lighter clothing options until you gain confidence and familiarity with balancing on the board. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry or accessories that may get caught or tangled. Dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions and body temperature during your paddleboarding session. Finally – make sure that you consider getting a dry suit if you’re paddleboarding in the cold!

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Conclusion: Paddleboarding What To Wear

Choosing the right attire for paddleboarding can greatly enhance your experience on the water. Prioritize comfort, protection, and safety when selecting your clothing and gear. Remember to adapt your attire to suit your conditions, and most importantly… have fun!

paddleboarding what to wear
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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!

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