This article was originally published on Hornetwatersports.com.
One of the best parts about being on the water is the freedom. The freedom to relax while you push yourself to new depths. The freedom to work your muscles without having to work your mouth (unless, of course, you want to chat with a friend). The freedom to be unapologetically you.
To embrace the freedoms that go along with being on the water, there are a few things you can do to make your experience as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. One of those things is to dress the part.
Wardrobe plays a major role in your overall happiness when it comes to paddleboarding. Without the right gear, your journey could become more stressful and sunburnt than necessary.
Here are a few rules about what to wear when paddleboarding to give you a more enjoyable experience as you explore.
A Personal Flotation Device
When you push away from the dock or the coastline, you don’t think about what could go wrong. You’re consumed with everything that’s going right. And that’s a good thing! But if something does go wrong, such as suddenly hitting a large stump underwater or getting knocked by a large wave, you want to get right back to your board and back to enjoying your experience. That’s where having a personal floatation device becomes mandatory.
A personal floatation device, such as a life jacket, is there for you in those unexpected circumstances. They ensure that your trip on the water isn’t cut short by an accident.
No matter what season it is, if the sun is out, your skin is feeling the reflection of the water along with the power of the UV rays coming down from above. Even though you apply sunscreen religiously throughout your time on the water, having a little extra protection for the sensitive skin on your face is a necessity. Wear a hat with a large brim to protect your eyes, nose, and cheeks from getting too red throughout the day.
A rashguard is a must on the water. It dries quickly if it gets wet, and is designed to keep your body comfortable and protected while on the water.
Again, a rashguard is important to wear regardless of the season – summer, winter, spring, or fall. If you get knocked off your board, it’s good to have an extra layer of protection against any debris lingering in the water below. In the summer, wear a short sleeve rashguard to avoid overheating. In the spring or fall, a long sleeve rashguard is a wise investment. In the winter, wear your rashguard underneath any extra layer to keep your upper body warm.
What to wear when paddling in summer?
A standard pair of shorts won’t cut it if you get off your board either intentionally or unintentionally. They’ll weigh you down and take forever to dry. Board shorts for both men and women are a must in the warm temperatures because they can keep you protected without feeling heavy or soaked.
What to wear when paddling in winter?
Yes, you can still paddleboard in the winter! You’ll just have to do some bundling up for the cooler temperatures in and out of the water.
Choosing the right wetsuit is the trick. If you choose one that is too thick, your movement will be restricted and you might get too hot while paddleboarding. If you choose one that’s too thin, you’ll freeze, which won’t make for an enjoyable ride. As a rule, choose between a 3 and 5 mm wetsuit for the moderate cold temperatures, and a 5-6 mm for the colder temperatures. 7mm tends to be too thick and bulky for paddleboarding. You might also want to consider a dry suit, which lets you move a little easier.
Gloves and Booties
If you’re paddleboarding in the winter, you’ll want to be sure to cover up your feet and hands. If the water is under 50 degrees, wearing gloves and booties is a wise idea.
The Gist: Dress for the Weather
Paddleboarding is a fun sport in any season, but to make sure you have the best trip on the water possible, you must take into consideration both the air and the water temperature.
When in doubt, layer up. It’s better to shed layers as you warm up while paddling than be cold on the water. What are some of your favorite clothes to wear for SUP?