What to Wear When Paddling
Whether you’re kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding, your outfit under your PFD should be determined by the conditions you’re going to encounter: weather, water temperature, wave conditions and wind.
If it’s a sunny, pleasant day on warm waters, your outfit can be pretty simple: a swimsuit and a non-cotton synthetic shirt or rash guard are lightweight, comfortable and quick-drying, and provide sun protection along with a hat and sunglasses. Water shoes or neoprene booties will keep your feet dry.
On cooler waters, tops and bottoms made of hydroskin material (similar to a thin wetsuit) are still lightweight, but offer better protection against chilly water or weather. You should also bring a lightweight waterproof jacket if conditions are on the cool side – it’s great for protecting against wind, sun and light rain.
Finally, when conditions are much colder, it’s time to consider a wetsuit or drysuit. A sleeveless “Farmer Jane” or “Farmer John” wetsuit is a good option to keep your core warm without restricting your mobility; a full-body drysuit allows you to wear a totally warm outfit underneath the suit without any worry of it getting wet.