Paddleboarding is fast becoming one of the most popular sports around the world, with celebrity fans from Pierce Brosnan to Katy Perry and everyone in between enjoying the many benefits that come with the water sport.
Whether you’re new to paddleboarding or you’re a seasoned pro, there are a few items that are essential for the sport – aside from the paddleboards themselves!
The most important thing you should wear on a paddleboard when you’re on the water is a personal flotation device (PFD). If you’re paddleboarding with children, they should have a full well-fitted life jacket.
Alongside your PFD you should attach a leash to your ankle and your SUP. The tether not only ensures that if you fall into the water your board won’t float away from you, but it means that should you fall in, it limits the chance of the board knocking you on the head and potentially causing a concussion.
For men and women, swimwear is the most appropriate clothing to wear because it doesn’t restrict movement. If you’re out on a hot day, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing water-resistant sunscreen as well as a hat or head covering to prevent heatstroke.
Whether you’re paddleboarding in the Lake District or out in the Atlantic, a rash guard will help protect your skin against any chafing or windburn, as well as offering excellent SPF protection. When choosing your rash guard you’ll want one that is snug and fits tight to the body.
In the winter months, you should wear a wetsuit, gloves, and booties. Neoprene is the perfect material for a wetsuit. Trapping a tiny amount of water between your skin and the suit, your body warms up the water creating a hot water bottle effect. If you’re going out into the sea, it’s always worth checking the sea temperature as it can be vastly different from air temperature. In the UK, sea temperatures range from 6-10 C in winter and 15-20 C in the summer depending on the region.
Whilst in winter it’s recommended that you wear booties to keep feet warm, in the summer barefoot is the way to go – unless it’s jellyfish season and you’re braving the seas, then booties might be wise.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter than neoprene booties, then water sport shoes are a great investment. With great ventilation, water sport shoes won’t get waterlogged or heavy and often have a thicker sole, making them suitable for wearing on the shore – ideal if you’re paddleboarding from a pebbled beach.
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