Outdoor Federation

Do You Need a Wetsuit for Paddleboarding?

If you’re new to paddleboarding, you may be wondering if you need a wetsuit. The answer is: it depends. In general, the water temperature should be above 60 degrees Fahrenheit for a short swim in a bathing suit to be comfortable. If you’ll be out on the water for an extended period of time or if the water is colder than 60 degrees, you’ll want to wear a wetsuit to stay warm.

do you need a wetsuit for paddleboarding

Check The Weather First

Paddleboarding is a great summer activity, but it can be dangerous if you’re not prepared for the weather. A wetsuit will keep you warm in cold water and protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Even on a hot day, the water can be surprisingly cold, so it’s important to dress appropriately. Make sure to check the weather forecast before you head out on your paddleboard. If there’s a chance of thunderstorms or high winds, stay home and wait for another day.

Water Temperature

When deciding whether or not to wear a wetsuit while paddleboarding, many factors come into play. One important factor is water temperature. If the water is too cold, a wetsuit can help keep you warm. However, if the water is too hot, wearing a wetsuit can actually make you more uncomfortable by trapping body heat and making you sweat more.

In general, the optimal water temperature range for paddleboarding is 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water temperature falls outside of this range, it’s important to consider how comfortable you will be in a wetsuit at that temperature. For example, if the water temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll likely need a thicker wetsuit with more insulation to stay warm. Conversely, if the water temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, a thinner wetsuit may be more comfortable.

Types of Wetsuits For Paddleboarding

When paddleboarding, you need to be wearing a wetsuit. This is to protect you from the cold water and keep you warm. There are different types of wetsuits that you can wear when paddleboarding, and each type has its own benefits and drawbacks.

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The first type of wetsuit is a full suit. A full suit goes all the way down your body and covers your arms and legs. This is the warmest option, but it can be restrictive and can make it difficult to move around.

The second type of wetsuit is a farmer john suit. A farmer john suit is a top and bottom combo, with the top going over your head and the bottom going over your legs. This option is less restrictive than a full suit, but it may not be as warm.

How to Choose the Right Wetsuit for Paddleboarding

When paddleboarding, you will want to wear a wet suit to protect yourself from the cold water. Wet suits come in a variety of thicknesses, so you will need to choose the right one for the conditions in which you will be paddleboarding. In general, a wet suit that is 3-5 mm thick should be adequate for most conditions. If you will be paddleboarding in colder water, you may want to wear a wet suit that is 5-7 mm thick or even thicker.

Another thing to consider when choosing a wet suit is its fit. You want a wet suit that fits snugly so that it keeps the cold water out. Make sure to try on different sizes and styles of wet suits until you find one that fits well and keeps you warm.

Finally, consider the type of paddleboarding you will be doing. Will you be doing long distance paddleboarding or will you be a more casual paddler? If it’s the latter, you may want to opt for a wet suit with less material in the legs and arms.

What to Wear Under Your Wetsuit

When paddleboarding, you need to dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Most paddleboarders wear a wetsuit to help them stay warm in the cool water. However, what you wear under your wetsuit is also important. You want to wear something that will help keep you warm and dry.

Some people choose to wear a swimsuit or bikini under their wetsuit. This can work well if the water is warm and you don’t mind getting wet. However, if the water is cold, you may want to consider wearing some type of thermal underwear instead. This can help keep you warm and will prevent your skin from getting too cold.

Another option is to wear a pair of long underwear under your wetsuit. This will help keep you warm and will also protect you from the wind. Make sure you wear something that will keep you dry as well. It is very easy to get wet if you are swimming in the ocean and a wetsuit is not enough to do that. However, it can be very cold in the water even when it isn’t really cold outside.

Tips for Staying Warm While Paddleboarding

When paddleboarding in cold weather, there are a few key things to keep in mind in order to stay warm. First, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Wear synthetic materials rather than cotton, as they will wick moisture away from your skin and keep you warmer. Layers are also key, so you can add or remove them as needed. It’s a good idea to have a hat, gloves, and a coat that can keep you warm even if they get wet.

In addition to dressing properly, it’s important to stay active while paddleboarding in the cold. Move around on the board and do some stretches to generate heat. If possible, try to paddle with someone else so you can generate more body heat. And finally, make sure to take regular breaks to warm up by drinking hot drinks or taking a break inside an enclosed area.


In conclusion, water temperature is a major factor in whether you need a wetsuit for paddleboarding. If the water is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you will likely need a wetsuit to stay warm. However, if the water is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you may not need a wetsuit at all. Always be sure to check the water temperature before heading out on your paddleboard to make sure you are prepared.

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