What To Wear When Paddle Boarding

With a recent increase in popularity, paddleboarding is a complete body workout that allows you to explore open waters and connect with nature.

Although often performed in the sea, this isn’t exclusive, with paddleboarders hurrying to rivers, lakes and even canals.

If you’re planning on taking up this sport, here is our complete guide on what to wear when paddleboarding.

What Is Paddle Boarding?

Paddleboarding is a popular watersport best performed in calm, open waters. Some paddleboarders use their arms, others lie down, and some even kneel or stand.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding is a newer variation of paddleboarding and can be practised in rivers, canals and the ocean.

The water sport accommodates all ages and all levels of fitness, with boards these days not even restricting to just one person per board anymore.

Making it the perfect solo sport for relaxation or a fun day out with friends or family.

What To Wear When Paddle Boarding?

Whether you’re after a workout or just want to navigate the waters, knowing what to wear is essential to ensure maximum enjoyment and safety.

Here are our top items to wear or take with you when paddleboarding.


Clothing To Wear Depending On Weather

For Warmer Weather

Rash Guard T-Shirt

Designed to stop the skin from getting rashes, chafing or scrapes, a rash guard t-shirt is perfect for the warmer weather for all genders.

Swim Shorts or Bathing Suit

If you’re heading out into the sunshine, you may be able to get away with wearing a swimsuit or swimming shorts for men. Be cautious, though, if you’ll be spending a lot of time in the

Neoprene Leggings

For a bit more cover but lightweight, another good option to consider are neoprene leggings which can be teamed with a rash guard t-shirt for comfort on the water.

Musto Leggings


For Colder Weather

Choosing a suit for winter is down to personal preference and at what stage you’re in your paddle board journey, as the difference between the two is important and what protection they provide.


Wetsuits are made of rubber neoprene and designed to keep you warm when wet but aren’t waterproof.


Drysuits, however, are waterproof but aren’t designed to keep you warm on their own, allowing you to wear other layers underneath.

Either is a good option for the colder months, and you’ll have to weigh up which one works better with how you’ll paddle.

Windproof Clothing

Investing in some windproof clothing for when you paddleboard will be a perfect addition for those windy but sunny days.

Usually, these fabrics are tightly woven together to make them breathable but stop any air from passing through them at speed, keeping you warm.

Water Gloves

Whether you’re an experienced paddleboarder or just getting started, anyone can get blisters on their hands or cracked skin from windchill.

Investing in some water gloves not only helps keep them warm in the colder months but will provide more grip on your paddle without losing feeling in your fingers.

Life Vest

A must when on the water is the life vest, life jacket or buoyancy aid. It mustn’t restrict movement, but it needs to keep you afloat when you fall in. Wearing one will allow you to recover if fallen in and keep your head clear above the water level.

If you choose to paddleboard outside of the U.K., be aware in the USA that a life jacket is mandatory for paddleboarders over 12 years of age.

Water Boots or Shoes

Although many paddle boarders prefer to be barefoot, it may be worth investing in a pair of water boots or shoes for beginners.

Many boards do come with a section gripped for your feet, but if you like to paddleboard in rivers, canals or low tides, it may be worth considering a pair of water shoes or boots to protect your feet if you fall in or for warmth in colder months.

Paddle Board Leash

Less something you physically wear, but something you need if you are participating in standing up paddleboarding. There are three options for you to choose from:

Ankle Leash

Perfect for lakes, canals and the sea, and often come with the board.

They’re easy to use and fit, but keep in mind to use them on the same leg, so you know which leg to reach for to release if necessary.

Calf Leash

Like the ankle leash, the calf leash is perfect for lakes, canals, and the sea but comes slightly larger to be worn just below the knee.

Waist Belt Leash

Usually, a quick release, the waist belt leash is suitable for flowing water, including tidal rivers, faster-moving water, and white water rivers.

The reason for the waist belt is usually for a quick release if you were to come off your board, letting you escape from any dangerous entanglement.

You wear this leash under the life jacket or buoyancy aid.


With paddleboarding being a fun and relaxing exercise, as long as you dress for comfort, safety and allow for a full range of movement, you can maximise enjoyment on the water.

Be sure to check the weather, and pack alternatives in case of any change.

After reading our list, when are you heading to the waters to paddleboard? Let us know below.