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Choosing Watersports Clothing

Find the right clothes for kayaking or paddling on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) to get the most fun out of your time on the water. Consider these questions when selecting the clothing and footwear you’ll need:

On the open ocean with heavy waves, or up inland streams with calm waters?

How long?
For an afternoon, a day or a week?

How far?
Across the bay or to the next city and back?

What are the conditions?
How warm is the air and how cold is the water?

Kayaking & Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP) Clothing

What clothing you need for watersports?

It depends on where, how far, how long and what the conditions are.

Pack wind-resistant clothing to protect yourself from the wind and colder temperatures if you’re heading onto large expanses of water for a longer trip that will take a few hours or more. You might also need waterproof clothing because water will inevitably make its way into your kayak and soak your clothes. Also consider that it’s best to have unrestricted range of motion while paddling.

You don’t want anything interfering with your ability to paddle. It’s best to use high-quality materials that hug your body closely and also wick sweat and moisture away. Bundling up with bulky layers under your waterproof shell will only create more material for water to soak through, making you colder.

On trips where you plan on getting into and out of the water often, it might not be necessary to pack completely waterproof clothing but it will still serve you well to pack a rain jacket to keep you dry in the event of precipitation.

If you’re planning a shorter kayaking trip that will keep you inland or close to the coast, it’s still a good idea to pack waterproof clothing but you should also consider layering your clothing. The ability to remove a waterproof shell or strip down to a base layer or t-shirt when the sun comes out will enhance your trip a great deal.

Kayaking and Stand-up Paddleboarding Footwear

For those paddlers out on longer trips, equipping yourself with waterproof shoes will help keep you warm and comfortable. You should expect to take at least some water on board while on your voyage, making it essential to keep at least your feet dry to prevent discomfort.

Sometimes it’s just easier to wear sandals, though. If you’ll be jumping in and out of your craft throughout the day and you don’t plan on being out on the water for an extended period of time, there are a number of different types of sandals that offer the comfort, support and grip you’ll need to be successful on your outing.

Kayaking & Stand-up Paddleboarding Gloves & Pogies

Your hands will be doing a serious amount of the work no matter what style of paddling you’re into. You can not only protect them from wear and tear and general muscle fatigue with the help of specially designed gloves, you can also enhance your performance on the water. Gloves designed for paddling activities feature waterproof material, easy and secure enclosures for getting them on and off quickly, and sometimes come pre-molded to aid your hand in getting a strong hold on the paddle.

Pogies are another option to keep your hands warm when paddling. They are a cover of lycra or neoprene that fits over the shaft of the paddle that you place your hands inside to grip the paddle directly. They also aid in protecting your hands from the wind and the sun.