For an exciting paddleboarding experience, the choice of suitable clothing will complement quality equipment. There is no point in having the best board and the best paddle if you are shivering in the water or if you are in danger of sunstroke. Poorly chosen clothes become a source of discomfort and annoyance and can even be dangerous. Before committing to a ride on the water, first consider the water temperature, general climate, winds, sunshine, and even rain (although we do not recommend going out in rainy weather).
If you are lucky enough to sail the temperate Mediterranean waters in the summer or take the wave off the Atlantic coast in the spring, your clothing needs will be very different. You should feel comfortable in your clothes, and they shouldn't interfere with your movement, protect you, or irritate you. The temperature felt takes on great importance. If you are cold, you will burn out quickly. On the other hand, if your clothes are too warm, the discomfort will quickly be felt.
What to Wear Paddle Boarding in Summer
A t-shirt and sports shorts can work well for starting a short paddleboarding trip in warm summer waters, for example, on the Mediterranean coast. This outfit offers the advantage of combining comfort during a trip at sea, near the coast. Keeping the same clothes as those used for the sport thus allows you to save some money and to discover the discipline without spending a fortune in purchasing specialized clothing that is not necessarily adapted. This is perfect if you are a beginner and indulge in the spontaneous practice of your sport.
On the other hand, sportswear usually dries quite slowly and is not very comfortable to wear when wet. They damage more quickly on contact with salt water unless you rinse them off quickly. You will quickly see the limit of this outfit to enjoy paddle regularly and frequently.
The specialized clothing for paddleboarding
You will discover with pleasure the comfort provided by clothing that exactly meets the requirements of paddleboarding. Technical materials, which resist saltwater, dry quickly, and keep the body at a pleasant temperature, are some of their functions. The first quality of a garment when playing sports is the freedom of movement that it can offer you. In any case, mobility should not be hindered if you want to progress in your sport and feel all the benefits. Thus, tank tops and swimsuits made of so-called technical materials meet this criterion. These clothes also protect the body from UV rays, help maintain a healthy body temperature and dry quickly after the activity is finished. They also limit friction which can become very painful by the repetition of a movement.
When choosing an item of clothing, always keep in mind that from time to time you will fall off your paddle and get wet. In hot water, this does not cause difficulties, which is why tank tops and shorts are often preferred. Also plan a hat or a cap to protect your head and especially, the sunglasses that you will attach with a cord so as not to lose them. Remember to choose a conspicuous color that does not exist at sea for your clothes, it is an important safety asset to be seen!
What to Wear Paddle Boarding in Winter
When the temperature drops, the body notices it, and not only in the wind chill but also physically. Muscles are stiffer and tense, and this can lead to injury. To avoid this, we must warm up well before practicing Paddle Surf. In winter it is more difficult to fully warm up, and therefore it is necessary to place more emphasis on preparing muscles, tendons, and joints for exercise on the table.
Riding the wave in the fall or winter requires gear to protect you. If you go for a ride when the water is cold, you can put on a wetsuit that will keep you warm. There are many models on the market and all have different qualities. Your choice will be based on the water temperature. You can adopt a full suit, with legs and long sleeves, or the shorty, with legs and short sleeves.
A very interesting alternative is the long johns, the long jumpsuit but with a top that keeps the shoulders clear, very popular with rowers who limit irritation under the armpits. With a t-shirt or a small windbreaker over it, it's a very nice outfit for paddling. It is also possible to roll up the top of the long john at the waist if it gets hot. For all models, the flexibility and stretch of the fabric are of prime importance as well as the thickness of the suit which will protect you more or less if you fall in the water. Quick-drying after use also counts. Choose according to your sports habits and the seasons.
Guarding against the cold is always prudent especially if you stray a lot from the shore. The neoprene shoes complete the set and will keep your feet warm while facilitating grip on the board. Choose them thin enough so as not to lose the contact of the board with the feet. A beanie or balaclava can help retain body heat. Do not hesitate to cover yourself properly for long outings while allowing for the possibility of uncovering yourself during exertion. We have written an article to help you choose the combination for paddleboarding here.
Complementary accessories for paddleboarding
An almost essential accessory when you go for a ride on the water is the buoyancy vest. This one can save your life. No one is immune to discomfort, cramps, loss of a board, or mishap while hiking. All the more reason to protect yourself if you go solo. This equipment is also compulsory as soon as you leave the 300-meter zone (see here the conditions to exceed this limit). You can also provide a small waterproof bag for the phone. In an emergency, this is essential. Finally, you can consider a bottle belt to carry your water bottle or even a hydration vest.
In hot weather and hot water:
- go out lightly dressed, opting for anti-UV clothing
- put on sunscreen
- shorts and a t-shirt may suffice
- a cap and a hat are very useful
As soon as the temperature is cooler or the water cooler, a variety of specialized clothing for paddleboarding is available:
- full shorty jumpsuit through the long john
- neoprene slippers
- a beanie
- a small windbreaker jacket
In all cases, adopt the model adapted to the place of practice and the season. Ask the experts for advice and don’t hesitate to try out different outfits. Enjoy skiing in any season.