Someone far wiser than me once said: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

That’s not strictly true when it comes to paddleboarding, of course, yet those of you who put your paddleboards away for winter are missing out on some of the most rewarding paddles of the year.

Quiet – and boat-free – waterways, stunning colours… winter paddling can be an amazing experience. It can also be the perfect way to stay fit through the colder months, and a cracking antidote to the short days and dark nights.

So, if you love paddleboarding but your board usually gets put away for hibernation, or you’re simply looking for some new layer inspiration, then read on.

Below, you’ll find a selection of our tips, plus suggestions from those who work/play within the SUP industry.

Many people are quick to turn to the trusty wetsuit, but that’s not always your best option. They work by trapping air between the material and the skin to keep you warm when wet, which means you can overheat if you stay dry. They can restrict your movement too. A drysuit offers ultimate protection if you want to to paddle when it’s freezing, while we tend to use a long John, and work up with base layers depending on the conditions.

Also, a buoyancy aid gives you another free later of warmth. So, if you usually use a Spinlock PFD or similar, consider a buoyancy aid for an extra hug of warmth!

 

The essentials: boots/socks

Boots are essential, and there are three things you need to know:

1. Thickness is key. A 3mm boot won’t cut it when the temperature really drops, so opt for 5mm-7mm boots in winter, and go for a high-cut for greater protection.
2. Ease of use. Some boots are hard to get on/off. I find those with a zip up the side are much easier.
3. It’s worth checking the fit. If you size up, you can wear some socks (neoprene or merino wool) for double the protection.

GWTF boot recommendations
– Speed Grip High-Cut Boot
https://www.vaikobi.com/collections/neoprene-boots-reef-boots-footwear/products/vaikobi-high-cut-boot

– Rooster All-Purpose boot
https://www.roostersailing.com/collections/men-accessories-and-equipment-boots-and-socks/products/106529

Other boot recommendations
– Rip Curl 5mm Flashbomb
https://www.ripcurl.eu/en/mens/wetsuits/accessories/flashbomb-5mm-round-toe-boots.html

– ION Plasma 6/5 boots
https://www.thesupco.com/wetsuits-c6/neoprene-footwear-c170/ion-plasma-boots-6-5-rt-2021-p1346

GWTF sock recommendations

– Palm Kick 3mm socks
https://palmequipmenteurope.com/gb/socks/123-kick-socks

– Vaikobi VCold neoprene socks
https://www.vaikobi.com/collections/neoprene-boots-reef-boots-footwear/products/vcold-2mm-neoprene-socks

– Sealskinz angle sock
https://www.sealskinz.com/products/waterproof-warm-weather-ankle-length-sock-with-hydrostop

Essentials: SUP long johns/bottoms

Sup bottoms come in varying thicknesses. 1.5mm leggings are fine through the transitional months, but you’ll likely need thicker neoprene when winter hits.

GWTF recommendations

WINTER Vaikobi Flex Force 3.00mm Long John
https://gowith-theflo.co.uk/product/flexforce-3-0mm-longjohn/

WINTER Palm Neoflex leggings
https://palmequipmenteurope.com/gb/neoflex/98-564-neoflex-leggings#/21-colour-jet_grey/34-size-s

TRANSITIONAL Vaikobi Flex Pant
https://gowith-theflo.co.uk/product/vaikobi-v-cold-flex-pant-unisex/

Other SUP bottom recommendations

TRANSITIONAL ProLimit SUP Neo Pants
https://www.wetsuitoutlet.co.uk/prolimit-womens-1mm-airmax-neoprene-sup-trousers-black-pink-84740-p-23793.html

TRANSITIONAL Vaikobi Activ HydroFleece leggings
https://www.vaikobi.com/collections/women-uv-pants/products/vaikobi-performance-fleece-leggings-black

Drysuit

A drysuit is a full proof way to extend the season, but they’re expensive. You’ll see many instructors turn to these in winter, but personally I feel these are more suited to kayaking and kitesurfing, or gnarlier conditions. However, if you want complete protection, you’ll have one of these for life. Make sure you get a snug fit… a loose-fitting drysuit can be a hindrance if it fills with water.

Supskin Winter Touring Paddle Suit
https://www.supskin.com/collections/womens-paddle-suits/products/ultimate-womens-winter-touring-paddle-suit

ProLimit Nordic SUP Drysuit
https://www.prolimit.com/product/nordic-sup-drysuit-pure-girl/

Base layers

With a long John or neoprene bottoms, you’ll need multiple layers for your upper body, and build up according to the conditions. You’re after water-repellent properties with the ability to wick sweat, and for us there’s a clear winner here, Vaikobi’s HydroFlex is the king of under layers.

GWTF recommendations

Vaikobi HydroFlex top
https://gowith-theflo.co.uk/product/vcold-hydroflex-top/

 

Top Layers


North Coast’s wetsuit top can complete your neoprene cover, while Rooster’s fleeced cag is perfect for when it’s really cold. From there, the other layers are useful for the transitional months.

GWTF recommendations

WINTER Rooster Unisex Fleeced cag
https://www.roostersailing.com/collections/men-waterwear-tech-tops/products/105303

WINTER North Coast Wetsuit 3mm jacket
https://www.northcoastwetsuits.co.uk/category/sup-stand-up-paddle-boards/

TRANSITIONAL ProLimit SUP Top Loosefit Splash
https://sup.co.uk/prolimit-sup-top-loosefit-splash

Other top layer recommendations

WINTER Crewsaver Spray Cag
https://crewsaver.com/uk/yak/9230/yak-products/clothing-wetsuits/16667/SprayCag

TRANSITIONAL Palm Tsangpo Longsleeve
https://palmequipmenteurope.com/gb/thermal-insulation/81-487-tsangpo-longsleeve#/21-colour-jet_grey/34-size-s

TRANSITIONAL Rooster Soft Shell Gilet
https://www.roostersailing.com/collections/men-technical/products/106685

WINTER Palm Terek Jacket
https://palmequipmenteurope.com/gb/touring-jackets/45-247-terek-jacket#/34-size-s/52-colour-citrus

 

 

Afters

A changing robe is one of the best things you can buy. I wear my DryRobe walking the dog, the school run… I’d move into it if I could!

https://dryrobe.com

Sandbanks
https://www.sandbanksstyle.com/collections/accessories/products/sandbanks-style-changing-robe

Gorilla Robes (recycled)
https://gorillarobes.com/collections/all-collection/products/blue-waterproof-dry-changing-robe-long-sleeve

Moonwrap
https://frostfire.co.uk/moonwrap/long-sleeve/

Passanger Sherpa Linded Robe
https://www.passenger-clothing.com/collections/mens-changing-robes-ponchos/products/waves-recycled-sherpa-lined-changing-robe-khaki

While it looks as though Red Paddle have just released a gamechanger…

Red Paddle 3-in-one jacket

https://red-equipment.co.uk/products/mens-revolution-3-in-1-change-parka-nixie-blue