What you wear SUPing depends heavily on where you are in the world and what temperatures you get, therefore we will be basing the below on UK Averages, so please make sure you plan for the different water temperature and air temperatures where you are and check the forecast for the changing weather conditions!
Being prepared with more than you need is better than being caught out in conditions you aren’t ready for! Remember, layers can be removed!
“When I go paddling, whatever the weather, I always take extra layers and gear with me. 99% of the time I won’t need it, but if by chance that 1 time out of 100 I don’t have it and need it, I could put myself in danger. Being prepared is better than getting hurt” - Will Marsh - Founder, Sea Lion
RLNI advise on Cold Water
Cold water shock is triggered in water temperatures lower than 15⁰C. The average temperature of UK and Irish waters is 12⁰C. So even in the summer, the water temperature is cold enough to cause cold water shock, which can steal the air from your lungs and leave you helpless in seconds
SummerAverage air temperature: 20°c - average sea temperature: June-July 12-14°c, August-September 14-15°c
3-2mm Full length wetsuit, or in the warmer months a shorty wetsuit or 2mm neoprene top and board shorts. You can get away with bear feet also! Straight surf leash. SUP leash guidance
Recreational / Touring
Base layer such as a rash vest or T-shirt and an extra layer just in case you get cold or wet! Shorts or thin leggings and extra layers depending on the weather and forecast. Light weight waterproof for the rain. Think neoprene boots or bare feet, whatever your preference. Waist leash or Coiled leash depending where you are paddling (read more on leash types here). A Personal Flotation Device!
Quick dry shorts and t-shirt so you don’t get cold! You’ll be warm enough for bare feet! Coiled ankle leash and race PFD. Check out our PFD guidance!
Tips for Summer paddling:
It may be hotter out of the water, but the water can still be cold, so clothing that keeps you cool in the heat, but also dry's quickly if you fall in is key! Also don’t forget sun cream and hat/sunglasses to protect you from the heat and UV rays! A towel changing robe may also be a nice quick way to dry off in the sun!
Spring / Autumn
Average air temperature: Spring 12°c, Autumn 13°c | average sea temperature: Spring 10°c, Autumn 16°c
4-2mm Full length wetsuit and 3-6mm neoprene boots and gloves depending on your preference! Straight surf leash
Recreational / Touring
Quick dry shorts and base layer t-shirt/top and a lightweight waterproof just in case it rains! Thermal top and bottom layers just in case for those cooler temperatures! 3-6mm neoprene boots depending on your preference and if you get cold hands, bring along some neoprene gloves! Waist leash or Coiled leash depending where you are paddling. A Personal Flotation Device!
Thermal or Quick dry shorts and a thermal base layer top or quick dry top depending on the temperature! bring along a lightweight waterproof just in case it rains!
6-3mm neoprene boots to keep your feet warm and if surf is bigger or temperature is a little cooler then neoprene leggings and neoprene top may be wanted! Coiled ankle leash and race PFD.
Tips for Spring & Autumn paddling:
Spring and Autumn are normally windier than summer months so keeping warm in those colder winds is important! It is better to have extra layers and a lightweight windproof jacket with you in your dry bag then not! A towel changing robe may also be a nice quick way to dry off and if the temperature is colder, a winter robe may be wanted!
Average air temperature: 4-6°c | average sea temperature: 8°c
6-4mm Full length or hooded wetsuit. 6-3mm boots and gloves/mitts. Straight surf leash.
Recreational / Touring
Thermal base layers, waterproof top, and dry trousers such as a dry suit and cag top. Thermal/neoprene leggings if you are feeling brave without a dry suit, but be warned, the water is cold! 6-3mm boots and gloves/mitts. Waist leash or Coiled leash depending where you are paddling. A Personal Flotation Device!
Thermal shorts, short or long-sleeved neoprene top and long john leggings. 6-3mm boots and gloves/mitts depending on how hot/cold you get! Coiled ankle leash and race PFD.
Tips for Winter paddling:
You can take layers off in the summer if you get too hot, but if you don’t have enough layers in the winter, you are going to struggle to get warm, so layers, layers, layers! A winter robe may be wanted to keep you warm!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, then you can check out more of our safety advice here and don’t forget you can also follow us across our social media channels where you’ll find lots more information and advice on our products and all things paddleboarding!