Everyone asks me what to wear paddleboarding. I think it depends on a few things. Weather, location, and when you will be going make all the difference.
Are you looking to paddle year-round or just mainly in the summertime?
Are you wanting to go out for half an hour or hours at a time?
Do you have a lot of outdoor/ cold water experience or are you new to the sound/ saltwater and or even water sports?
These are just some things to keep in mind and can impact how to figure out what to wear to be safe and comfortable out there!
For coastal, Puget Sound paddling I was trained to dress according to the temperature of the water instead of the air outside. Since the water temperature in the sound hovers around mid 40’s to 50’s most of the time, it is very cold to be in for very long and it’s a good idea to wear good layers of protection so that your body retains warmth when and or if you go in the water and so that you can continue paddling after that and remain comfortable.
For beginners and any season other than high summer here, I usually recommend starting by wearing a 2-3mm or thicker wetsuit or separate neoprene pieces and as it warms up and or you get to know the surroundings and increase your paddling skills, you can adjust as needed or desired. This also depends on your own body and what you will feel most confident in while paddling. Some people run cold, some don’t like the feel of thicker wetsuits, and so on.
If you’re interested in renting a wetsuit for our class together, I offer a deal on rentals from a local shop (with a little notice when you are signing up.)
Side note: beginners fall in, and often. And that’s normal and totally ok! It is good to learn how to fall and how to get back on your board as well. I will walk you through it and even demonstrate it! Sometimes being extra prepared helps ease that worry. I recommend bringing extra dry clothes to change into after.