Paddle Boarding In Winter

While most think of paddle boarding being just a summer sport, you will find paddle boarding is just as beautiful and enjoyable in the winter. The weather is often colder and wetter, but it can lead to quieter waters and stunning backdrops, such as misty fields and snowy hilltops. All you need to remember is to wear the correct clothing.

So if you’re interested in paddle boarding in winter, here we run down what you need to wear and everything you need to consider to do so.

What To Wear When Paddle Boarding In Winter

Paddle boarding isn’t all that varied in winter, except what you need to wear. Here are our winter wearable essentials to keep in mind.


Winter wetsuits are made usually from neoprene and are designed to keep you insulated in colder temperatures. We recommend the Zone3 Agile Wetsuit, which is designed to keep you warm and allows a full range of motion. However, because these are made for water, you may also find it more comfortable to wear some under layers underneath.


Under Layers

Because of the colder temperatures and you’re often dry, it’s essential to wear under layers. Odlo has a great range of base layer clothes, ranging from t-shirts to long sleeve tops and from shorts to leggings to help fend off the colder temperatures. These can be specially designed ones like Zone3’s neoprene base layers, or you could consider a thermal underlayer also. Underlayers come in a range of designs, usually offering the mix and match option so you can pair a long-sleeve top with shorts or a vest with leggings.


Drysuits are very different from wetsuits and designed to keep water out entirely, but they are bulkier than your average wetsuit. However, they do keep paddlers much warmer because of this. When choosing what to wear underneath, most come with padding or fleece, but if you’re still cold, look at investing in some of the base layers we’ve discussed above.

Gilet or Body Warmer

For those chillier days, double up your protection with a body warmer or a gilet. While it keeps your chest warm, it still allows a full range of movement when paddle boarding, making it the perfect outerwear for the sport. On occasion, some gilets or body warmers double up as a flotation device which allows you to feel less bulky when on the board. Rab do a great range of Gilet’s for men and women. Rab Gilet

Neoprene Gloves and Boots

Not just helpful in increasing grip but will also help keep your hands and feet warmer in colder winds. If you opt for gloves and boots made of neoprene, it’ll keep the water out if you happen to fall in as well as keep you far warmer. A good choice for boots is Zone3’s Neoprene Swim Socks.


While a woolly hat will keep you warm, it won’t provide many benefits if you fall into the water. However, a hat made of neoprene is designed to keep you warm even when wet. They often come as caps to help keep the water out, with high-vis options usually available.

Change Of Clothes

Finally, it is essential to pack a set of warmer clothes to change into post-paddle boarding. If you can, keep them stored away from the water, such as in the car, which will help keep them warmer and less likely to get wet.

Things To Consider When Paddle Boarding In Winter

Now we’ve covered what to wear, we wanted to cover some of the essential things to consider when paddle boarding in winter.

While checking your equipment is essential no matter what time of year, winter does bring with it more things to consider before getting in your car and heading to the waterfront.

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The Light

Just the same as when you’re planning your trip in the summer, it’s all about timing and the weather. More importantly, it’s checking when the sun is setting in winter, as paddle boarding in the dark is a big no. It can be so easy to get lost, and without the sun warming you, it can get very cold and dangerous quickly.

Check Weather and Wind

When it’s warmer, a cool wind can be quite refreshing. However, in the winter months, it can be pretty biting and uncomfortable. Before setting off, don’t just check the land temperature but also the water temperature. It is also worth checking out what the wind and currents are doing if you have that accessible to you. Being prepared can help guide you to what layers, and how many, you’ll take with you.


Similar to the summer, safety is critical when paddle boarding. It goes without saying, wearing a floatation device is vital in any water sport, but it is also essential to make sure your paddle board leash is on. Some don’t always wear their leash in the summer, but in the winter, with the colder water, if you were to fall in, it can be quite a shock. Knowing exactly where your board is can buy you time to catch your breath and rest before boarding once again.

Plan For All Eventualities

Because it isn’t the usual time of year to paddle board, access to lifeguards won’t be available. Research where you’re going to paddle board if it’s unfamiliar and be sure to pack a first aid kit in your car. It is better to over-prepare than under-prepared, especially in a new location—no matter how experienced you are.

Pack A Lunch and Drink

While exercising takes a lot out of you anyway, you have to work harder to warm your muscles and pump blood around the body in colder temperatures. Because of this, pack a drink—either hot or cold—and a snack, like a protein bar, back at the car. You’ll thank us for this one later.

With any water sport: sense is key. If you’re nervous or suspicious that the weather will change, it’s worth avoiding, especially in winter. As you can see, there’s not much difference in paddle boarding in warmer weather than colder weather. Just be sure to wear plenty of neoprene and layer up, as well as taking a warm drink if you have that available to you. Other than that, paddle boarding in the winter offers the same beauty, same escapism and enjoyment as it does with the warmer weather surrounding you.

Do you think we’ve missed anything off? Let us know in the comments.


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