Dress for Success: What to Wear When Paddleboarding


SUP newbie? No problem, we’ve got you covered. No matter the season, paddleboarding is the ideal activity. You can turn your SUP into a rigorous workout or a calm yoga session, that’s the beauty of the board. As long as you have the right outfit on, you can iSUP in any climate. Your clothing and gear will vary depending on the weather and activity of choice, but we have a few ideas that’ll make your day on the water enjoyable.

Swim Suit or Swim Trunks

The ocean is calling and you must go! Put on that SPF and take advantage of the hot weather and cool water. When it’s around 90 degrees out, you’ll want to take a dip, so there’s no need for extra layers.

Eye Protection

Protect your eyes! A pair of shades is a must, but attaching a sunglass strap is just as important. There’s nothing worse than being out on a beautiful, sunny day and losing your sunglasses. The extra precaution is worth it so you’re day doesn’t go down hill quickly.

Rash Guard

Saving your skin? We like that. Rash guards dry quickly, don’t irritate your skin and protect it from the harmful rays. Winning all around. They come in different styles and thicknesses and high-end options offer SPF up to 150. Also, rash guards keep you warm in cold water and dry off quickly.


If the air’s cold, the water’s colder! A 6mm cold water suit will keep you warm but limit your mobility. If you’d prefer something more agile, a dry suit might be your answer. Dry suits can get pretty expensive but they’ll keep you warm and dry, even if you fall in.

Thermal Clothing

If you plan on getting a good workout, you’ll be exerting lots of body heat. If this is the case, opt for a thermal top and bottom. You’ll be able to move while maintaining a comfortable body temperature.


Booties are sort of like water shoes, but made of neoprene to keep your toes warm in the cold water. Heat your booties up in warm water prior to your SUP sesh, this’ll keep your feet warm much longer.


This is a time when a dry suit will be your best friend. The suit is loose and allows for plenty of layering, but be careful not to over-heat. It’s best to opt for lots of layers when the temperature is 45 degrees or lower. Layers can include a ski cap, henley, tight sweater/jacket, socks, and gloves.


The United States Coast Guard classifies stand-up paddleboards as vessels. This means you’re required to carry a lifejacket or PFD and whistle when you’re outside of swim and surf zones.


Besides the obvious attire, there are a few non-essentials that might spark your interest.

  • SUP leash- You guessed it, a leash will keep your board from floating away if you fall off. Useful in rough waters.
  • Safety gear- Reflective tape, lights, mirrors. These are great ideas in busy waterways or during times of the day with little sunlight. Safety first!
  • Water Shoes- Not to get confused with the “booties” used in cold weather. These shoes can serve as extra traction to help stay on your feet. Also, they’ll keep your delicate feet protected from rocks, shells and little critters.

What NOT to Wear

  • Shoes- If you’d wear them to the gym or at the mall, leave them on the sand. Paddleboarding involves your feet muscles, so making adjustments and movements on the board in clunky shoes isn’t ideal. Besides, you’re too cool to wear tennis shoes in the water.
  • Anything cotton- You know what happens when you fall in the water wearing cotton sweatpants? You’re a bulky, cold, uncomfortable mess for the rest of the day. When I think about my worst nightmare, it involves me wearing a soaking wet sweatshirt while trying to be athletic. No thanks.
  • Heavy shorts- Talk about uncomfortable. If heavy board shorts or regular shorts get wet, you’re guaranteed to get a nasty rash. Also, your pants could slide right off if you fall in. No bueno.

Check the forecast, plan your day and hit the water! The hot weather’s officially here and your iSUP is begging to take a dip.


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