What To Wear When Going Paddle Boarding In Summer

The coming of summer signals the onset of water sports and adventures. This is especially the perfect time to learn paddle boarding. But do you know what to wear when paddle boarding in summer?

In summary, your SUP clothing for summer should consist of the following:

  • Personal flotation device
  • Rash guard or vest
  • Sun hat or cap, or bandanna
  • Trunk shorts for men
  • Bikini (for women)
  • A wetsuit (optional)
  • A fitness watch from Garmin
  • Others

Of course, just because you have seen pictures on image sharing sites of ladies paddle boarding with beachwear, it does not mean it is right for you.

To select what to wear paddle boarding, you can use the information below.

The best clothing for summer SUP paddling

What To Wear When Paddle Boarding In Summer

Summer is a good time for you to go for SUP paddle boarding. The sun is out, the temperatures are good and you won’t feel too cold if you fall from your board.

Of course, if the sun blazes hot in your SUP boarding destination, you want to be protected from the heat. In addition, since the water does not have a chill, you will not need too heavy clothing.

SUP shorts

This is recommended for men and women alike. Since the weather is hot and pleasant, you want to expose as much skin as you can so that you get a good tan.

Also Read: How to make SUP paddle float

Trunk or SUP shorts are really good, light in weight and even if you fall into the water, they will dry quickly.

Image of wear a paddle board jacket

If you would rather forego the shorts and get a swimsuit, go for it. In fact, it will enable you to move swiftly in the water when you drop off the stand up paddle board.

Breathable Top

A light t-shirt is recommended for both men and women. The reason for recommending light material t-shirts and tops is to allow the sun to get in. It is summer; paddle-boarding clothes should be light in weight.

In some instances, you can even forego the t-shirt and just go without it. However, before you do that, you need to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the UV rays.

Therefore, make sure that you include sunscreen in the list of your gear as you go to the beach.

Can you wear a wetsuit paddle boarding in summer?

Can you wear a wetsuit as part of your summer SUP clothing? Here, I think the answer is no.

When enjoying SUP in summer, the sun will be out most of the time. Therefore, a wetsuit can feel too hot on your back.

However, you can wear a lightweight wetsuit but have a bikini underneath. When the sun comes out, you will just unzip and peel off the top of the wetsuit and tie the sleeves at your waist.

That way, you do not feel too hot.

Can you wear shoes when paddle boarding in summer?

This is another popular question. In fact, some people ask whether shoes are part of what to wear when paddle boarding.

The answer is… it depends on where you are doing your summer SUP. For instance, if you’re paddle boarding in a place with rocks and floating debris, you need a pair of paddle boarding shoes.

However, if you paddle boarding in a lake, or in the ocean straight from the jetty, you do not need shoes. However, even when you are in safe waters, you can wear shoes.

SUP clothing must have a headgear

You should wear a hat for some shade out there in the sun when paddle boarding in San Diego. A baseball hat gives you good visibility all round, which is something that you need when paddling.

However, you need to ensure that the hat is made of polyester or nylon fibers because such dry faster. They do not retain salt stains, which might come from the salty ocean water.

If you feel that a baseball hat is bulky, include a bandanna in your SUP clothing. For men, a black or red bandanna wrapped around the head makes you look ruggedly handsome, like a pirate.

For women, the bandanna will help you manage your hair. It will keep your hair out of your eyes.

Can you wear a paddle board jacket in summer?

Well, there is no need since it is already too warm. However, if you want to protect your arms and upper body for any reason, you can try a lightweight and waterproof jacket.

Mostly, the only “jacket” that you might need to wear is a life jacket for paddle boarding. In fact, each paddler is supposed to wear a Type I, II, III or V life jacket.

On the same note, riders under the age of 12 are required to wear a life jacket all the time. But riders that are above the age of 12 do not need to wear a life jacket but they should have it on the paddle board.

Once again, you have probably seen too many people not including a life jacket as part of their SUP clothing. However, it is better to be safer than sorry, especially when you are paddle boarding in the ocean.

A personal flotation device might appear bulky. However, it will boost your confidence on your board since you know you are safe.

For a heavier down jacket, you can wear it as part of cold weather sup clothing, that is, if you love paddle boarding in winter or fall.

Wear sunglasses when paddle boarding

Wear sunglasses when paddle boarding

As part of women’s paddle board clothing, you must include a pair of sunglasses.

Apart from making you look really cool on the board, you are also going to protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun. You will also protect them from the sun’s reflection in the water.

If you are protecting your hair with a baseball hat for paddle boarding, and you have applied sunscreen on your skin, you need to protect your eyes too.

Watch for paddle boarding

You might want to wear a watch for paddle boarding, to make your SUP fashion complete. However, as it turns out, stand up paddle boarding gives you a good cardio workout.

Therefore, if you would like to be just a little bit competitive and track your heart rate, calories, speed, time and distance, you need a fully-fledged workout watch.

There are so many of these in the market. However, brands such as Garmin make the best work out watches.

But you can also order the L Lavaredo Waterproof Sport Watch from Amazon.com. It is affordable and it does stay dry all the time.

Why you must wear rash guard SUP clothing

As the name suggests, rash guard clothing protects your skin against developing rashes. When the ocean water gets into contact with your skin, it can cause chaffing, itching and other kinds of irritation.

Therefore, a rash guard should be worn directly on the skin. In summer, you can wear a short sleeve one. In winter, you can wear a long sleeve one for protection against the cold.

Today, rash guards come in neoprene, spandex, nylon, polyester and even Lycra. These materials have their unique qualities, but the underlying thing they have in common is that they keep your skin protected from developing rashes.

How well should your SUP clothing fit?

Knowing what to wear when paddle boarding in summer is very important. However, so is knowing how fitting SUP clothing should be.

Image of summer SUP clothing

SUP boarding is a very active sport. Therefore, you need nicely fitting stand up paddle board clothing so that you are both flexible and able to move fast.

In addition, you need faster-drying SUP clothing because you will fall into the water a couple of times. In addition, fitting and flexible clothing will also come in handily when you are trying to get back on the paddle board.

If you are wondering what to wear for paddle board yoga, it needs to be flexible, protective and quick-drying.


That is it for what to wear when paddle boarding in summer. However, to conclude this short article, here are the characteristics of the best SUP clothing:

  • It should be fast drying
  • SUP fashion items should protect you against UV rays
  • The fiber should wick moisture away from your skin
  • Protect your from the wind
  • Keep water from your skin if possible

However, hands down, the most important item of what to wear paddle boarding is a personal flotation device.

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