Like every other spring, you're always wondering how to properly dress for your paddleboard dessions. The forecast announces cold rain in the morning, and a bright sunny 20 degrees in the afternoon. A real clothing puzzle. Well, know that we have answers to your questions!
Water versus air temperature
In spring, it’s important to keep in mind that even when the outside temperature is warm, the water temperature is colder. Imagine falling in the water when it's 7 degrees Celsius. We can guarantee that that big bright sun will not be sufficient to keep you warm. To avoid a thermal shock if/when falling, an isothermal combination is a must. In other words, a wetsuit.
Okay, but what thickness?
Good question! It depends on both the air and the water temperature. If you're not sure and it's time for you to buy your first wetsuit, your go-to is a 4/3 (4mm thick on the front and rear, 3mm on the sides). It's also important to choose the right size. If too large, air pockets will create in your wetsuit making it way less efficient. How to know what you need? Try it. Be aware that the first time you put on a wetsuit, you may be very hot and find it uncomfortable and tight. It's normal! Don't give up. You'll get used to it!
Here is a suggested wetsuit temperature chart:
Wetsuit isn't everything
Because you're not spending your entire time in the water when paddleboarding, accessories are just as important. Let's start with those isothermal boots. As your feet are likely to be in the water most of the time, it's so important to keep them warm. If you don’t have thermal boots, your pretty floral rain boots will do the job.
Let's not forget your fingers as they're pretty handy for paddling. That said, bring isothermal gloves or mittens. Again, if you don't have any, opt for quick-drying synthetic fabrics or wool. Bingo!
What about accessories?
To enjoy the most your SUP session, you might also need to take with you a few accessories. Good news: we just released some pretty neat 20L Drybags to carry your things around without getting them wet.
Here is a list of must havges :
- Your lifejacket (will also keep you warm)
- You leash coil
- Your favorite Taiga tuque, cap or hat
- A second pair of gloves
- Snacks in your new Drybag
- Water (plenty)
Tips & tricks : layering
Let's agree, a wetsuit can feel bulky and uncomfortable when it's time to paddleboard. It creates resistance on the shoulders and you get tired more quickly. Our solution? Put only the bottom of your wetsuit and bring it up to your hips. Don't wear the top. Instead, wear a thin base layer of merino wool or a synthetic fabric. Merino wool will keep you warm even when wet and synthetic fabrics will dry faster.
If it's really cold outside, you can also add a 2nd layer of clothing. We'll then finish it off with a windbreaker. Therefore, you fall in the water, you'll want to quickly put the top of your wetsuit to warm up, and then put your windbreaker over it. Keep your epic Wetsuit Season crewneck for after your session.
Keep in mind that cotton is to be avoided. Cotton retains humidity and will keep you cold. No thanks!
Things to rememeber:
- Wear a wetsuit that fits you and that is adequate for the temperature
- Your hands and feet may freeze first, protect them!
- Bring extra clothes in your 20L Drybag.
- Save the cotton for after your SUP session
- Water and food? Always important!
If you have any questions, we're here!
See you on the water!