What Do You Wear for Paddle Boarding in the Winter? Winter Wetsuits

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:

  • Wetsuit
  • Drysuit
  • Rashguard
  • 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.

How Do Wetsuits Help Keep You Dry?

Believe it or not, the main duty of a wetsuit actually 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 warm. 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. This is why 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. 

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Winter Wetsuits

To help maintain warmth throughout winter paddling, we’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.

Cressi Pentagon 5mm Women’s Jumpsuit

5mm is the minimum thickness you would want to wear in very cold weather. Many would jump straight to 7mm thickness for near freezing temperatures or scuba. For those who are active and staying above the depths, this Cressi 5mm women’s suit is stylish and relatively inexpensive. Cressi makes well-reguarded scuba products. This suit is available from Leisure Pro at the above link or by clicking on the image.

Henderson Women’s Aqualock Quick Dry

Henderson is known as one of the premium wetsuit brands amongst paddle boarders. It’s available in several different sizes for all paddlers. Aqua Lock is Henderson’s premium top of the line wetsuits.

These wetsuits are designed with comfort and movement in mind. It’s made of 100% superstretch 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 flexible as well. This makes it easier for you to reposition 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.

Hevto Guardian Amazon

This suit is available for both men and women in black, blue, red and gray. A vast array of sizes means that getting the correct fit should be easy. Made from a weave of neoprene and nylon, it will be flexible enough for paddle boarders and yet durable enough to last through several seasons.

3mm thickness is perfect for off-season paddle boarding, but the deepest cold of winter would not be comfortable at this thickness. Cloudy and windy days late in the fall may end up be outside your comfort zone as well. If so, consider one of the premium 5 mm options above.

Hevto Wetsuits X 3mm Amazon

If 5mm is too thick, or you want to paddle board during the spring and fall, it may be easier to do this wearing this inexpensive Hevto X wetsuit. These are designed to handle any type of tricky waves that are thrown at them.

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.

Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit Amazon

When you’re spending a long time paddling in the water, you won’t want a wetsuit that keeps you feeling too warm. Even when the temperature is 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 keeps you warm but doesn’t insulate too much.

This is why you should check out a Synergy wetsuit for men or use this link for their suits for women. It’s designed to allow for any type of movement or energy level you’ll be engaged in 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 less 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.


This wetsuit is perfect for those who are paddleboarding on calmer waters or travelling longer distances. As you stand on your board in the water for longer periods 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 fairly large blocks of smooth skin that prepare you with a thickness in the overall wetsuit design. This makes it harder for the wind to phase you while you spend your day relaxing and paddle boarding all over the water.

This wetsuit isn’t for everyone, though. If you aren’t able to 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.  

Men’s Wetsuit Catalog House of Scuba

You can browse wetsuits available from the House of Scuba below. Click on a single image to see details about that suit, or hit Shop to visit their wetsuit shop.

Women’s Wetsuit Catalog House of Scuba

What Else Should I Wear? Wetsuit of Drysuit?

Wetsuits Vs Drysuits – Which do you choose?

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:

  • 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 paddle board, 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, and 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.

AquaSportsPlanet is an Amazon Associate. As an Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We also maintain many other affiliate relationships including ShareASale, FlexOffers, AvantLink, iRocker, and more. Full legal statement here.

Carlo Raffa

Carlo Raffa is a blogger, stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, water lover and local to Brighton city in the South of England. Paddle boarding is my escape and this is only the starting point. Being a larger guy at 260lbs I am finding it very good exercise as well, especially for building core muscles. This is something that believe it or not cycling 16 miles a day at 6 miles per hour doesn't seem to be doing. Paddle Boarding allows me to just grab my board and walk right through the busy bar filled beachfront between the two piers in Brighton and head straight out of shore. It's not long before the shouting and cheering of our buzzing beach fade into just the lapping waves and the people to just small dots of the Brighton shoreline.

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