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Spring into Action: The Perfect Paddle Boarding Attire for Warmer Waters

Spring into Action: The Perfect Paddle Boarding Attire for Warmer Waters

As the ice thaws and the sun begins to smile a bit warmer each day, it’s clear that spring is on the horizon, beckoning outdoor enthusiasts to once again embrace the water. For paddle boarding aficionados, this means one thing: it’s time to prep for the season. But what does one wear when the water invites you with its slightly chilly yet welcoming embrace? Let’s dive into the world of paddle boarding attire for those warmer waters, ensuring your time on the board is nothing short of spectacular.

Understanding Paddle Boarding Attire Basics

Before jumping into the specifics, it’s crucial to grasp the core principles of paddle boarding attire. Think of it as dressing for a first date with the ocean. You want to impress, but comfort and practicality can’t take a back seat. Your attire should be a harmonious blend of functionality and style, able to withstand the unique demands of water sports while ensuring you look good riding the waves.

The Ideal Paddle Boarding Outfit

Imagine dressing like a superhero whose power is mastering the seas – or in this case, lakes and rivers. Your costume? A snug-fitting rash guard paired with flexible board shorts or a breathable wetsuit for those slightly cooler days. This is the foundation of paddle boarding excellence, ensuring you stay comfortable, move freely, and protect your skin from the sun’s relentless gaze.

Must-Have Accessories

Accessories are not just fashion statements; they are essentials on the water. A waterproof hat, sunglasses with a strap, and a secure life vest not only add layers of safety but also ensure you can focus on the horizon without squinting or worrying about taking an unexpected dip.

Material Matters: Choosing the Right Fabric

When it comes to fabrics, think quick-drying, lightweight, and UV protective. Materials like polyester and spandex blend offer the elasticity needed to move with the waves, while also keeping you dry and comfortable as you transition from water to land.

Sun Protection: A Non-Negotiable

The sun’s rays can be particularly harsh on water, making sun protection crucial. A high SPF sunscreen, long-sleeved rash guards, and hats are your best allies in the fight against UV rays. Think of sun protection as your armor against the sun’s siege.

Footwear: Balancing Comfort and Grip

While it might seem tempting to go barefoot, proper footwear can provide the grip needed on wet surfaces, protecting your feet from sharp rocks and hot sands. Water shoes or specific paddle boarding shoes offer the perfect balance, ensuring safety with every step.

Dressing for Success: Layering Tips

The key to comfort is in the layering. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a thermal layer if necessary, and top it off with a wind-resistant jacket for those breezy days. This approach allows you to adapt to changing conditions, ensuring your focus remains on the paddle and not the weather.

Water and Weather: Preparing for Changes

The weather can be as unpredictable as the sea. A lightweight, waterproof jacket and dry bags for your belongings can be lifesavers when the clouds decide to join your paddle boarding adventure.

Safety First: Gear Beyond Clothing

While attire is important, safety gear like life jackets, whistles, and even a waterproof phone case for emergencies are paramount. These items ensure that your adventure stays memorable for all the right reasons.

Keeping Your Gear Fresh: Maintenance Tips

After each outing, rinse your gear with fresh water, dry it out of direct sunlight, and store it in a cool, dry place. This not only prolongs the life of your attire but also ensures that it’s ready for your next adventure. Saltwater and sun can be harsh on materials, so giving them a little TLC goes a long way.

Where to Shop for Paddle Boarding Attire

Finding the right gear doesn’t have to be a quest of epic proportions. Start with specialized water sports stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, where you can find quality brands dedicated to paddle boarding and surfing attire. Don’t shy away from asking for recommendations or reading reviews to ensure you’re getting gear that meets your needs.


Paddle boarding in warmer waters is an exhilarating way to welcome spring, but the right attire makes all the difference. By choosing clothing and accessories that offer protection, comfort, and flexibility, you ensure a seamless transition from land to water. Remember, the best outfit is one that lets you focus on the joy of paddle boarding, surrounded by nature’s beauty, without compromising on safety or comfort. So, gear up, step on that board, and let the adventure begin!

Paddle boarding in winter, read our paddleboarding in winter guide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What should I wear paddle boarding if I don’t own a wetsuit?

If you don’t have a wetsuit, opt for a combination of a rash guard and board shorts or a quick-dry sports outfit. Look for materials that offer UV protection and are quick-drying.

2. Can I just wear a swimsuit for paddle boarding?

Yes, you can wear a swimsuit, especially in warmer conditions. However, consider layering with a rash guard to protect your skin from the sun and potential irritations from the board.

3. How important is sun protection while paddle boarding?

Extremely important. The reflective surface of the water can increase UV exposure, making sunscreen, UV-protective clothing, and accessories like sunglasses and hats non-negotiable.

4. Are there specific shoes for paddle boarding?

While not mandatory, water shoes or specific paddle boarding footwear can offer extra grip on the board and protect your feet from underwater hazards.

5. How do I choose the right paddle boarding attire for changing weather conditions?

Layering is key. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add insulation if necessary, and always have a windproof or waterproof outer layer. This allows you to adapt to changing weather, ensuring comfort and protection.



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