Paddle boarders in wetsuits paddle boarding in the Lake District

Which wetsuit is best for stand up paddle boarding?

By Kenny Stocker

Enhance your paddleboarding with a wetsuit. It keeps you warm and comfortable on the water, making your experience better, regardless of temperature.

Investing in a wetsuit for stand up paddle boarding gives you comfort and protection that enhances your experience. The key reason to consider a wetsuit is the warmth it provides, allowing you to enjoy the water for more extended periods, regardless of the temperature.

Do you need a wetsuit for stand-up paddleboarding?

This warmth isn't just about comfort; it's also about safety, reducing the risk of cold water shock and hypothermia. Moreover, a wetsuit explicitly designed for paddle boarding, like our Element wetsuit system, ensures you have the freedom of movement to paddle effectively and enjoyably. The flexibility of these wetsuits means your paddling won't be restricted, making your time on the water both more efficient and more pleasurable.

Beyond the practical benefits of warmth and mobility, a paddle boarding wetsuit also offers protection against the sun, wind, and potential abrasions from falls or contact with the board.

So, by choosing the right wetsuit, you're not just preparing for a more comfortable SUP experience but investing in your safety, performance, and enjoyment.

Two paddle boarders dressed in paddle boarding wetsuits

How is a stand up paddle boarding wetsuit different to a swimming or surfing wetsuit?

  1. SUP Wetsuits: These wetsuits are designed for a balance between warmth and flexibility. They often feature a more relaxed fit than swimming wetsuits to allow for a wide range of motion, especially around the shoulders and arms, to accommodate paddling. The thickness can vary based on water temperature but typically offers moderate protection without sacrificing too much flexibility.

  2. Swimming Wetsuits: Swimming wetsuits are specifically designed for high efficiency in water. They are made from smoother, more buoyant neoprene to reduce drag and improve swim speed. These wetsuits are tighter to ensure a streamlined silhouette and often have varying thicknesses across the suit to enhance buoyancy and rotation in the water. The flexibility is primarily focused around the shoulders and arms, allowing unrestricted swimming strokes.

  3. Surfing Wetsuits: Surfing wetsuits are built to withstand the physical demands of surfing, including lying on the board and rapid movements. They are durable, with reinforced knees and sometimes additional padding on the chest to provide comfort while paddling on a surfboard. Surfing wetsuits offer a balance between warmth and flexibility but focus on durability to resist wear from the surfboard and the sea environment.

Choosing the right wetsuit for paddle boarding

Element is our four-piece wetsuit that's super versatile for stand-up paddle boarding. It comes in four parts so you can get a jacket, a vest, pants and shorts. Having two different options for tops and bottoms means you can choose which ones you want to give you the freedom of movement and insulation that you need in the water.

The four pieces are sold separately which is great because it means you can buy different sizes to fit your body. That can sometimes be a struggle when you're purchasing a one-piece wetsuit. You can also trim the arms and legs to get the perfect length for you. Element is also available in Mens wetsuits and Womens westuit sizing.

We've added a grippy texture inside the waistband and the bottom hem of the Element. This is to keep it in place whether you're in or on the water. The Element uses glide skin and nylon face neoprene. The glide skin neoprene is wind resistant when you're out of the water, and it helps you glide through the water when you're swimming for that more natural feel.

The nylon face neoprene is in those higher abrasion areas as it will withstand more wear and tear. The front zip on the jacket and the vest make it easy to get in and out of, mainly when your hands are cold, and you're trying to change after a swim. We've also added mesh pockets on the back of the Element which makes it super handy for stashing whatever you want.

The fundamental principle behind the Element system is to provide warmth where it's needed while ensuring maximum freedom of movement in or on the water.

Element Wetsuit System is recyclable at the end of its life through our partnership with Circular Flow.

So there you have it, the Element wetsuit. Our multi-activity wetsuit is a super versatile option for paddle boarding.

Paddle boarder dressed in a short sleeved wetsuit

In summer a short sleeved wetsuit provides extra flexibility

How warm is a paddle boarding wetsuit

For paddle boarding, choosing the right wetsuit depends on the water temperature and your activity level. Here's a simple guide:

  1. Warm Conditions (Above 18°C): A shorty wetsuit or even a UV-protective rash vest and board shorts could be enough. These provide protection from the sun and a bit of warmth without overheating.

  2. Mild Conditions (15°C - 18°C): A full-length wetsuit with a thickness of 2mm to 3mm is ideal. It offers more warmth while still allowing flexibility for movement.

  3. Cooler Conditions (10°C - 15°C): Opt for a thicker full-length wetsuit, around 4mm to 5mm. This thickness will keep you warm in cooler waters without restricting movement too much.

  4. Cold Conditions (Below 10°C): A full-length wetsuit with a thickness of 5mm to 6mm, possibly with thermal lining, is necessary. You might also consider wearing neoprene gloves and boots for extra warmth.

Remember, comfort and mobility are key in paddle boarding. Choose a wetsuit that fits snugly without restricting your movement. Happy paddle boarding!

Men's Wetsuits & Swimwear

Our best all-round wetsuit for outdoor swimming in open water
£159.99 £199.99
Natural swimming position with thinner more flexible neoprene
£119.99 £139.99
Fleece-lined wetsuit for long swims and braving icy waters
£179.99 £224.99
Front zip wetsuit jacket. Keep warm your way and easy to put on.
£79.99 £99.99
Front zip wetsuit vest. Keep warm your way and easy to put on.
£69.99 £86.99
Wetsuit pants. Keep warm your way and easy to put on.
£79.99 £99.99
Wetsuit shorts. Keep warm your way and easy to put on.
£59.99 £74.99
Jammer swim shorts for warm weather swimming and icy dips
£19.99 £24.99
Mens swim shorts for warmer waters and the bravest of plunges
£15.99 £19.99
Long sleeved top for outdoor swimming without a wetsuit
£31.99 £39.99
Warm and weatherproof changing robe for before and after swimming and activity
£99.99 £129.99
Silicone swimming cap for hydrodynamic outdoor swimming
£3.99 £4.99

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