If you’re getting ready to spend the day riding your SUP around on the water, you need to go prepared.
While, more than likely, you’re going to just go out there and have a blast. You need to take preemptive measures against the dangers of both nature and biology.
Paddle Boarding: What to Wear
1. Personal Flotation Device
In some places, PFDs are required to be used, but I recommend you always wear one. You can get ones that are small—think the size of a fanny pack. This style stays out of the way, and after a short while, you’ll forget it’s even there. You never know when you could lose your board, so don’t ever gamble with your life by not wearing a PFD.
Camelbaks are a paddleboarders best friend. Not only do they supply you with a decent amount of water, but you can also store small gear like your keys and your cell phone in them. Plus, it makes your water readily available while you’re paddling.
An often overlooked piece of gear, but you need one every time you ride. In fact, in a lot of places, It’s required by the coast guard for you to have one on you. If you ever get stranded, a whistle can save your life.
4. Sun Block
You need sunblock if you’re going to be in the sun for any time at all. Your skin isn’t made to withstand the beating it takes from UV rays. So, keep it cool with some high-powered SPF.
5. Board Shorts and a Rash Guard
You want to wear clothes that will dry quickly. It can be swim trunks, bikini, or board shorts. Rash guards will protect you from the sun along with your sunblock. Also, they will help to keep you cool.
6. Hat and Sunglasses
Believe it or not, your head is very vulnerable to sun damage. And since we can’t exactly rub in some sunscreen, we need to protect it with a hat. Hats also work to keep the sun out of our eyes. Sunglasses are necessary not only to protect your corneas from UV damage but also to reduce the glare caused by the sunlight bouncing off the water.
7. SUP Leash
A SUP leash is another safety device that you can’t go without. A SUP leash attaches you to your board. This is important because if you get caught in a windy situation and fall off your SUP, you can become separated with it VERY fast. Trying to swim to catch back up with your SUP is not a situation you ever want to find yourself in. The only situation you shouldn’t wear one is when you’re boarding rapids.
What to Wear in the Winter
If you’re SUPing in colder climates than you need to pick up a full body wetsuit, a pair of booties, and some neoprene gloves. This gear works to protect you from the wind and cold water.
One Quick Note About Wetsuits
A lot of people think you only need them for cold weather, but that’s not true. Hypothermia and cold shock can hit at any moment. If you get cold easily, a wetsuit might be a good idea. And remember, you can always just in the water to cool down, but it’s not going to be possible to warm up quickly.
Get Out There and Paddle!
Obviously, you can take more stuff with you paddle boarding. What to wear, though, isn’t really up for discussion. In short: protect yourself from the sun, dehydrations, and from drowning. You can’t argue against any of those, right?
What do you wear when you’re paddleboarding? Let us know in the comments section below!