Many experienced paddle boarders find themselves very dedicated to this craft. Some are so dedicated that they will head out to the ocean in the middle of winter to explore the water and waves from the top of their paddle board.
What do you wear for paddle boarding in the winter? Here are the main items you need to keep yourself warm and comfortable while paddle boarding in the winter:
- Warm headgear
- Booties or watersport shoes
A wetsuit is one of the most important items you’ll need while paddle boarding in the winter. This keeps you feeling warm while allowing plenty of movement during your time on the water.
If you’re preparing for the cold season of paddle boarding, but aren’t sure what wetsuit to buy, your search stops here. I’ve picked 5 winter wetsuits that are perfect for paddle boarders to brace the cold in.
By checking out the below winter wetsuits, you’ll find yourself just as comfortable and warm paddleboarding in the winter as you were in the summer.
Read Also: Is Wakeboarding Dangerous?
How Do Wetsuits Help Keep You Dry?
Believe it or not, the main duty of a wetsuit isn’t to keep you dry. Instead, they work to keep you wet inside of the suit. They will let water flow inside of your suit, then the tightness of the suit keeps the water inside. The fibers won’t let any outside water enter and will keep the current water sitting inside the suit trapped for a long period of time.
This trapped water then becomes warm due to the insulation you have inside of your wetsuit. It will start to heat up the water sitting between the suit and your skin.
In the end, this will keep the wetsuit and your body feeling more insulated and warmer because your body heat will have a difficult time escaping outside of your wetsuit.
Sometimes the standing air and the cold water isn’t the main cause of the problem. The wind blowing through the air can be quite chilly and very difficult for many paddle boarders to handle for long periods of time.
Therefore, a lot of wetsuits also include something called “smoothskin neoprene” that works to block any wind coming your way. These wetsuits are thicker than most.
5 Winter Wetsuits
To help maintain warmth throughout winter paddling, I’ve supplied you with some of the top-rated wetsuits ready to tackle any cold weather that comes their way.
Once you’ve checked out these various wetsuits, you’ll know a little more about what you’ll be looking for to help keep you warm on those cool, ocean waters.
#1 Best in Comfort
This wetsuit delivers great mobility & optimal insulation.
- Zipper closure
- Soft premium material
- Great mobility
- Optimal insulation
O’Neill is known as one of the more popular wetsuit brands among paddle boarders. It’s available in several different sizes for all paddlers.
These wetsuits are designed with comfort and movement in mind. It’s made of 100% super stretch neoprene product. This will make different activities and moving around easier for the average paddle boarder to accomplish.
Moving along with your paddle board will be incredibly comfortable and not a problem to maneuver when wearing this wetsuit.
A large portion of this wetsuit is incredibly adjustable as well. This makes it easier for you to re-position yourself while paddling, making it very difficult to chafe while wearing it.
You’ll also find convenient pockets located on the sides of these suits to hold any type of items that need quick storage.
#2 Rough Conditions’ Pick
This wetsuit is warmer than average, which makes it ideal for rougher conditions.
- Flat-lock stitching to avoid itchiness
- Sharkskin chest
- Tighter fit
These are designed to handle any type of tricky waves that are thrown at them. This frees you up to move around as much as needed without ripping or tearing the wetsuit.
When purchasing this specific wetsuit available for both men and women, you’ll want to try it on carefully in the store.
Some sizes of these Seavenger Odyssey suits will run a little smaller and tighter than most, so it’s recommended that you make sure they aren’t too tight of a fit.
Once you find a suit that fits you perfectly, you’ll feel nothing but comfort, stability and warmth as you head out on the waves ready to tackle any cold temperatures that may strike.
#3 Best for Warm Winters
Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit
Great wetsuit for warmer conditions. Ideal if you live in areas where winters are more forgiving.
- Exceptional functionality
- High buoyancy
- Lighter insulation
Sometimes, when you’re spending a long period of time paddling in the water, you don’t want a wetsuit that keeps you feeling too warm. Even when the temperature is fairly cool, you can still work up a sweat if you’re increasingly active out on the water.
This means you’ll want a wetsuit that works to keep you feeling warm but doesn’t insulate too much.
This is why you should check out a Synergy wetsuit for men or women. It’s designed for a lot of activities in mind, so it’s prepared for any type of movement or energy levels you’ll be exhibiting while paddling.
The material, while it still traps heat inside to keep you from freezing, is lighter than most other winter wetsuits.
This makes it easier to move around in and can help your body feel a little breathable and not as suffocated by the insulation of most other wetsuits. This is a great one to look into if you get overheated easily on the water or will be floating on rougher waters and need more movement.
#4 Good Choice for Long Paddle Sessions
If you are planning for a long paddling day, this suit offers high wind protection.
- Great insulation
- High wind protection
- 2 and 3mm options available
This wetsuit is perfect for those experiencing a smoother and more long-distance paddle boarding ride.
As you stand on your board in the water for longer lengths of time, the wind can begin to pick up and start to hit your skin, making you feel colder.
If you’re expecting a windy day out on the water, grab a Realon wetsuit before you head out. It’s designed with large blocks of smoothskin that prepare you with a thickness in the overall wetsuit design.
This makes it harder for wind to phase you while you spend your day relaxing and paddle boarding all over the water.
This wetsuit is also easy to slip on and off once you’re finished with it. The material it’s made from is very flexible and makes it incredibly easy to move around with.
#5 Budget Choice
Great option if you are on a budget. It delivers good quality for the money.
- Lighter insulation
- Great mobility in arms and legs
- High breathability
Many paddle boarders like to wear longer wetsuits to insulate their bodies in the wintertime, but some still make them feel like their body isn’t able to breathe well.
This wetsuit amazingly works to keep your body feeling warm while also letting your legs and arms breathe. This way, you won’t feel too restricted from your entire body being covered by an average wetsuit.
If you’re looking for a wetsuit that keeps you both warm and unrestricting, try this one.
This wetsuit isn’t for everyone, though. If you can’t withstand the cold winters on the water, refrain from purchasing this wetsuit and look into some of the others up above. This one may be too breathable for you to handle.
What Else Should I Wear When I Paddle Board?
When you head out on the water to paddle board, there are some extra items you’ll want to bring along. Some of these are recommended to have on hand for pure safety reasons, others are strictly for comfort. Here are a few items you should wear while paddleboarding during the colder seasons (Amazon links):
- Rash Guard– Paddleboarding and forming a rash are not a comfortable combo. This is why a rash guard is highly recommended. They are available in both one and two pieces. Rash guards can help prevent you from developing any type of skin irritation while also keeping you dry and warm under your wetsuit.
- Drysuit– Similar to a wetsuit, these will help keep you dry. Rather than insulating your body, they consist of waterproof material. Much like how a wetsuit will trap water, a drysuit traps air and warms it up using your body heat. Though they keep you warm, many people don’t find them as comfortable as wetsuits.
- Headgear– As you paddleboard, you may feel a cool breeze flow through the air which can make your head and body feel a lot chillier. To help this, you can purchase a professional cap or hat designed to stay on your head no matter how fast or slow you decide to paddle.
- Watersport Shoes or Booties– These vary from paddleboarder to paddleboarder. Some will choose to wear thick booties with aqua socks, others will simply wear a layer of watersport shoes. Either way, they’re designed to keep your feet warm while staying steady on the board.
The Best Wetsuit to Wear in the Winter
With the right wetsuit, paddle boarding can become one of the best activities to participate in all season long. Make sure to keep in mind the type of paddle boarding you’re hoping to engage in as well as how long you’re spending on the water.
If your body can handle cold temperatures for a long time, look into a breathable wetsuit. If not, check out one of the more ventilating suits. Whichever one you choose should provide you with just the right amount of warmth and flexibility you need to crush the waves.