Red Paddle Voyager 13'2" 2021 Review

What to Wear Paddleboarding in the Winter

The ultimate guide on what to wear on your SUP in cold weather!

Not sure what to wear on your paddleboard through the winter months? We have compiled this guide to help you get the most out of your SUP all year round, whatever the weather! Staying warm while on your paddle board is not only more enjoyable, it also makes the sport safer as you are less likely to make mistakes. Getting the right paddle board clothing that will keep you comfortable on the board, and safe if you fall in the water, is extremely important. There are many options from multiple brands, all of the products we stock are made by reputable, mostly british, companies that have been supplying us with watersports equipment for over 30 years. Many of the items that have been honed to perfection to work for kayaking and canoeing are just the right thing to use while paddleboarding in the winter.

There are a few different paths you can go down depending on how much time you are planning to spend in the water and your budget. This guide will run through the options and give you some products to look into. If you have any queries or questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01392 219600 and our experienced staff will guide you through your purchase. Alternatively, come and see our watersports shop, try on and feel the products for yourself in our fully stocked waterside showroom!

Please note this article has been written for the autumn/winter 2020 season. Product specifications, colours and availability are subject to change, please refer to the linked product listing for up to date information.

What type of paddle boarding are you doing?

This guide focuses on ‘touring’ with your SUP, we have found this covers the majority of paddlers getting out in the cold. To keep it simple, we will regard ‘touring’ as anything that isn’t going to the beach and surfing.

Paddleboard surfing through the winter requires a very similar set up to normal surfing; a good winter wetsuit, gloves, boots and a neoprene hood will keep you toasty when you are spending more time in the water than out of it! A full wetsuit is not particularly comfortable when you are not in the water, they still allow cold water to reach your body and they will cool you down rapidly when they are wet and if the wind picks up.

If you are not planning on falling in, we recommend wearing clothing that will keep you dry, while allowing you to wear thermal layers underneath to stay warm if you do go in the water. The key idea is to stay safe if you do fall off your paddleboard, and stay comfortable for long periods of paddling after you have had a dip.

Red Paddle 13'2 Voyager Review
Red Paddle Co Voyager 13'2 Exeter, Devon
Red Paddle Voyager+ 13'2"

Drysuit Vs Wetsuit for SUP

A lot of people we speak to assume that a winter wetsuit is the best answer to SUP in cold weather. There are a few schools of thought, and they definitely have their place, but a 5mm winter wetsuit is not always the answer. A wetsuit works buy letting a small amount of water in between the material and you skin, which then gets warm and stays warm from the thermal properties of the neoprene and your body heat. As you stay submerged, the warmer water is trapped by the suit and stays with you, keeping you at a comfortable temperature. While this is great for surfing and swimming, when paddling, you (hopefully) spend more time out of the water than in it. When you climb back onto your board, the nice warm water will gradually leak out, and you will need to warm it up all over again next time you go in.

Another downside is the cooling effect as water evaporates from the surface of the wetsuit. Once you go for a dip, you will find all your heat is lost when the wind picks up – not great if you still have a distance to go!

A drysuit works by sealing your body off from the water, using stretchy material on the neck and wrists with built in socks. This stops any cold water from reaching your skin, and allows thermal layers underneath to act as if they are not under water. Once you find the combination that works  for you, it can be a quick and simple procedure to get kitted up and out paddleboarding. When you have finished your trip, whip the dry suit off and you are still dry, ready for the drive home.

Drysuits come in a variety of materials, entry methods and different types of seal. As a general rule, the more you pay the more breathable the suit will be which will regulate the heat and moisture inside when you are paddling hard. Latex seals will be the dryest, while neoprene or glideskin will be softer on the skin. A hood is always a nice feature to have when the rain starts, you can tuck yourself away from the elements and concentrate on paddling.

Palm Bora Drysuit

Great for inland and coastal exploration, the Palm Bora range features a stowable hood and soft neoprene neck. Available in Mens & Womens sizes.

  • 4-Layer Breathable Material
  • UltraStretch Neoprene neck, latex wrist seals and built in socks
  • Rear Zip Entry

Kokatat Drysuits

Made in America, Kokatat drysuits use renowned Gore-Tex fabrics to make a range of high performing paddling suits. Available in a range of models to suit the type of paddling, each drysuit is individually pressure tested before it leaves the factory.

  • Kokatat Meridian is a great all rounder with latex seals
  • The Kokatat Odyssey is a high performance touring suit with a packable hood
  • Available in Mens & Womens sizes

Palm Cascade Drysuit

A great all-rounder, the Cascade is easy to get on with its front zip. Latex neck and wrist seals with built-in socks stop the water getting in.

  • 3-Layer Breathable Fabric
  • Reinforced knee panels
  • Available in Mens & Womens sizes

Alder Stealth 5mm Wetsuit

If you are planning on ending up in the water, a 5mm winter wetsuit will keep you warm. With quick-dry lining and glued and blindstiched construction, the Stealth suit is a great option without breaking the bank.

  • 5/4/3mm thickness neoprene
  • Glued & blind-stitched seams
  • Available in Mens & Womens sizes

Palm Blaze Longjohn

This premium Longjohn will keep your core protected – team it up with a spraytop for colder days. The plush waffe lining will take the moisture away from your body, regulating your temperature depending on the conditions.

  • Super stretchy neospan neoprene allows full range of movement.
  • Longjohn cut makes it easy to get on, and your shoulders free to paddle.
  • Available in Mens & Womens sizes

But what if it’s not that cold?

Ther are alternatives to drysuits that will still keep the cold water at bay. Creating a split system with a dry top and waterproof trousers is sometimes the best option, giving you a selection of different outfits to suit the conditions. Will you be launching off the beach, but the sun is out and there is no wind? Wear the dry trousers and take a jacket with you.  Are you halfway through a warm autumn paddle and it’s starting to get a bit miserable? Keep your shorts on, but pop a jacket over your top. Planning a winter SUP epic where the conditions could get very chilly? A twin waisted cag matched up to twin waisted trousers will keep you safe.

Waterproof Paddling Tops

We stock a wide range of jackets and cags designed for all types of watersports, many of which are great for paddleboarding in the winter. Everything we stock is made with enough room to SUP comfortably without restricting movement, so choosing the right top for you comes down to a few key features. The material of the jacket has a big effect on how comfortable you will feel, we always recommend coming into the shop to feel and try on the different options if you can.

The warmth of the jacket primarily comes from protecting you from the wind, we always suggest to layer up properly underneath so you can stay warm if you end up in the water.

A few key things to look out for:

  • Seals – the main difference between most jackets. There are lots of different options for neck, wrist and waist seals, each having pro’s and con’s. For paddleboarding through winter, the better the seal, the safer you will be if you fall in.
    • Neck seals – A latex neck is the driest option, but the least comfortable. An adjustable, opening neck will let you release any heat built up, but can be closed up tight if the conditions require it. A zipped neck will allow the most air in with no material to rub against your skin, but will let water in if your head goes under.
    • Wrist seals – Latex wrists are the most common on upper end jackets, stopping all drips from running down your arm. Adjustable cuffs allow you to pull them in tight to seal from the elements.
    • Waist seal – Typically available in a single or double waist configuration. A double waist will allow you to create a really good barrier when partnered with a pair of dry trousers. A single waist with good adjustment can keep most of the water from making its way through.
  • Material – A good waterproof material will stop water getting in, and allow moisture to breath out, stopping you from feeling hot and sweaty. Each manufacturer names their materials differently, but as a rule of thumb, the more layers it has, the warmer and more breathable it will be.

Red Original Active Jacket

Designed for paddleboarding and other outdoor sports, the Red Original Active jacket features a 4-way stretch fabric, full length zip and packs away into its own pocket. As comfortable on an all-day paddling session as it is walking to the pub.

  • 4-Way stretch material
  • Adjustable and stowable hood.
  • Mens & Womens sizes

Palm Chinook Womens Cag

Available in womens and mens sizing, this twin waisted cag will partner up nicely with a pair of twin waisted dry trousers. A removable hood, adjustable neck and breathable material make this a jacket you will get lots of use from.

  • 2.5 Layer Material
  • Vented outer collar and velcro adjustable neck seal.
  • Twin waist with drawcord adjustment.
  • Available in mens & womens sizing

Palm Terek Jacket

Made from recycled materials, this light-weight but high performing jacket is perfect for cold weather paddle boarding. The zip opening neck helps release heat when the weather is better, while the hood will keep you protected if it starts to rain. Soft neoprene cuffs will stop any drips from running down your arm.

  • 3-Layer Breathable Material
  • Neoprene Wrist Seals
  • Single Waist with hook and loop adjustment

Palm Bora Cag

The ultimate touring cag, for complete protection from the elements. The adjustable neck closes in tight or can be opened to release heat that has built up. The breathable material will keep you comfortable while the latex wrists and twin waist keep you dry.

  • 3-Layer Breathable Material
  • Vented outer collar and adjustable, stowable hood keep you cozy when the weather takes a turn.
  • Twin waist with hook and loop adjustment

Palm Bora Paddle Boarding Jacket for winter

Yak Apollo Jacket

All the features of top-end jackets at a budget price point. Adjustable neck, latex wrists and a twin waist keep you dry and the high-vis stowable hood keeps you comfortable.

  • 2.5 Layer Material
  • Latex Wrist seals and adjustable neck seal
  • Twin waist with hook and loop adjustment

Palm Vector Cag

A good quality cag that will keep the spray off and stop the wind chill. Velcro adjustable neck, wrist and waist lets you choose how tight you want it. Great to have with you, even on a warmer day.

  • 2 Layer material
  • Velcro adjustable seals
  • Single Waist with hook and loop adjustment
  • Available in mens, womens and junior sizes.

Cheap jacket for winter paddleboarding

What does a twin waist mean, and how does it work?

Traditionally, kayaking cags will have a twin waist – an inner tube and an outer cover. The inner tube goes up against your body, the spraydeck goes over that, with the outer cover on top of them both. This is designed so that when you are in the kayak with the cockpit covered by the spraydeck, it will stop the water getting into the boat when the weather gets rough, or even when rolling.

Obviously, there is no need for a spraydeck on a paddleboard, but a twin waist still has its use when teamed with a pair of dry trousers. Have a look at the diagram below, the double waist creates a “maze” that the water has to go through to get to your body. This does create a few layers over your midriff, which is why a one-piece drysuit becomes a less bulky alternative.

Paddleboarding Trousers

Just like the waterproof jackets, we stock a wide range of paddling legwear too. A good pair will protect against splashes of cold water from your paddle, keep you dry when wading to launch and keep you comfortable if you fall in. Choosing the right winter paddleboarding trousers comes down to selecting the features that will suit you best.

As with the top half, the warmth of the trousers comes from protecting you from the wind, layering up properly underneath to protect you from the water temperature is essential.

A few key things to look out for:

  • Material – As with the drysuit vs wetsuit, neoprene pants are great if you are going in the water. A good pair of dry trousers will be more comfortable; the more layers, the more breathable they will be.
  • Waist Seal – As described above, a twin waist can layer up with a jacket to create a good barrier. Single waist trousers reduce the amount of material around the middle of your body, and can still create a good system with a twin waisted cag. Look for something with a nice big adjuster, this will spread the pressure and help you get a tight fit without digging in.
  • Feet – This is the main choice, mostly down to personal preference and budget;
    • Built in socks – usually a fabric sock made out of a similar material to the rest of the trouser. The ultimate in comfort, these will stop any water from touching your feet or going up inside the leg. An adjustable over-cuff will stop excess flapping around and stop water running into your boots.
    • Latex Ankle seal – The second best option for stopping the water. Your feet will still be open to the elements, but the latex will stop water travelling up the leg. These can feel tight and need to be cared for.
    • Neoprene Calf Seal – Designed to be more comfortable than a latex seal by being a softer material over a longer length. This option will stop the majority of water getting in.
    • Neoprene Cuff – A basic adjuster that will stop splashes, but water will easily make its way up your leg if submerged.

Yak Chinook Trouser

The Yak Chinook trousers are a great entry level dry trouser. Latex ankle seals stop water from running up your leg, while the twin waist matches up to your twin-waisted cag. Reinforced areas extend their life.

  • 2.5 Layer Material with reinforced areas.
  • Latex Ankle Seals.
  • Twin Waist with hook and loop adjustment

Palm Atom Pant

Featuring a twin waist to match up to your cag, built in socks and breathable material the Palm Atom pants are our go-to winter paddleboarding trousers. Wade in up to your waist without any water making it’s way through. Reinforced knees mean you can kneel on your board without causing damage.

  • 3-Layer Breathable Material with reinforced areas.
  • Built in socks.
  • Twin Waist with hook and loop adjustment
  • Available in mens and womens sizing

Palm Atom Pant winter paddleboarding trousers

Palm Blaze Pant

These high quality neoprene pants will keep you warm in the water, while the thermofibre lining and stretchy neospan 3mm neoprene will be comfortable when dry. Reinforced areas protect from damage. Great for warm to cool days on the water.

  • 3mm Neospan Neoprene with Thermofibre Quick Dry lining
  • Glued and Blind-stitched construction
  • Stretchy neoprene makes them easy to get on and off.
  • Available in mens and womens sizing

Palm Vector Pant

A basic splash trouser that will stop the wind. Great to have with you to put on over your neoprene trousers if the wind picks up.

  • 2-Layer Breathable Material
  • Velcro Ankle Cuff
  • Single Waist with drawcord

Our Top Combinations

We help guide a lot of people to the right combination of products in the shop, whilst all of the products will work alongside each other, here are a few of our most common winter SUP clothing set-ups.

The Ultimate Combo

££££

The bib style trousers will keep you dry when wading in, with a built in convenience zip. A top end jacket creates you own cozy environment, perfect for ploughing through when the going gets tough.

Palm Bora Jacket

Palm Tsangpo Mens Thermal

Palm Tsangpo Womens Thermal

Palm Atom Bib

Palm Gradient Boot

The Autumn Paddler

£££

A super comfy lightweight top matched up to trousers with a built in sock is always a winner. Mix and match depending on the condition, but together they will keep you cozy in even the wettest weather. High breathability will to keep you from overheating if the sun comes out for longer than expected!

Palm Terek Jacket

Palm Arun Mens Baselayer

Palm Arun Womens Baselayer

Palm Atom Pant Mens

Palm Atom Pant Womens

Palm Paw Boot

Stay Dry on a Budget

££

A good quality jacket with all the features of a higher end model, but a more modest price tag, partnered up to twin waisted trousers to keep you dry if you go in. Latex ankle seals mean a thick pair of neoprene boots is essential.

Yak Apollo Jacket

Yak Chinook Trousers

Typhoon Surfmaster Boot

Testing the Water

£

A good combo for the warmer days of the season and good gear to have on a colder summer day, so still useful if it turns out cold weather paddle boarding isn’t for you.

Palm Vector Mens Cag

Palm Vector Womens Cag

Palm Vector Junior Cag

Palm Quantum Mens Pant

Palm Quantum Womens Pant

Palm Rock Boots

Winter Paddling Accessories

A few key essentials to make life easier and more comfortable while on or around the water. Great for all sorts of watersports and activities.

Changing Robes

We stock a variety of changing robes, our favourite is the Red Original Pro Change Robe, with a waterproof outer and super fluffy quick dry lining. Put it on as soon as you are off the water, and you will be warm and cosy all the way home!

Dewerstone Beanie

Nothing beats a warm bobble hat when the temperature drops! Designed by local Dartmoor brand, Dewerstone.

 

Palm Tsangpo Thermals

Available as a variety of styles in mens and womens sizing. Made from stretchy Pontetorto fleece material these will keep you warm without overheating. Polygiene odour control reduces the amount of washing needed, easy to care for and better for the environment.

 

Wetsuit Boots

A good pair of wetsuit boots will get use all year round. The neoprene will keep your feet warm when wet, and can be layered up with a pair of neoprene socks inside.

 

Neoprene Gloves

Stop your hands from feeling the chill with a pair of neoprene gloves or mitts to protect from the wind and water. Most options feature a grippy palm design to maintain contact on your paddle.

 

Changing Robes

We stock a variety of changing robes, our favourite is the Red Original Pro Change Robe, with a waterproof outer and super fluffy quick dry lining. Put it on as soon as you are off the water, and you will be warm and cosy all the way home!

Dewerstone Beanie

Nothing beats a warm bobble hat when the temperature drop! Designed by local dartmoor brand, Dewerstone.

 

Palm Tsangpo Thermals

Available as a variety of style in mens and womens sizing. Made from stretchy Pontetorto fleece material these will keep you warm without overheating. Polygiene odour control reduces the amount of washing needed, easy to care for and better for the environment.

 

Wetsuit Boots

A good pair of wetsuit boots will get use all year round. The neoprene will keep your feet warm when wet, and can be layered up with a pair of neoprene socks inside.

 

Neoprene Gloves

Stop your hands from feeling the chill with a pair of neoprene gloves or mitts to protect from the water. Most options feature a grippy palm design to maintain grip on you paddle.

 

Make the most out of your paddleboard during the colder season.

This information will help narrow down your choices, if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us for personalised advice from our experienced staff. Our aim is to get you out and enjoying the sport, and having the right equipment not only makes it more enjoyable, but also safer.

Buying online can be a minefield of descriptions and mixed reviews. We only stock tried and tested products that we would use ourselves, but we always recommend coming into our shop to feel and try the garment on before you purchase.

Happy paddling!