Wetsuit vs drysuit - Which is best for stand up paddle boarding?

When stand up paddleboarding (SUP) in cold water, it is important to wear a proper thermal suit to stay warm and safe. Two popular options for cold water paddling are wetsuits and drysuits. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between a wetsuit and drysuit for SUP:

  1. Water temperature: The temperature of the water you will be paddling in is a key factor in determining whether to wear a wetsuit or drysuit. In general, wetsuits are better suited for milder temperatures, while drysuits are ideal for extremely cold water.
  2. Mobility: Both wetsuits and drysuits can restrict movement to some extent, but wetsuits are generally more flexible and offer better mobility. Drysuits, on the other hand, can be bulkier and less flexible, but they provide better protection against the cold and wet conditions.
  3. Water exposure: If you are paddling in conditions where you are likely to get wet, such as in rough seas or heavy rain, a drysuit is a better option as it provides a watertight seal that keeps you dry. Wetsuits, on the other hand, are designed to allow a small amount of water to enter and warm up against your body, providing insulation and warmth.
  4. Duration of paddling: The length of time you will be on the water is another factor to consider when deciding between a wetsuit and drysuit. For shorter sessions, a wetsuit can be a more convenient option, as it is easier to put on and take off quickly. For longer paddling sessions, a drysuit is a better option, as it can provide more insulation and protection against the cold and wet conditions.

Ultimately, the decision between a wetsuit and drysuit for SUP will depend on the specific conditions and personal preference. It's important to choose a suit that provides enough warmth and protection for the water temperature and conditions, while still allowing for comfortable movement on the board.


See full review of the affordable Bluefin Sprint here: https://www.standuppaddleboardingguide.com/sup-gear-reviews-paddle-boards.html

Dockslocks locking system

Wetsuits by Patagonia – R1 Lite Yulex

Thermal Protection Test – floatation and thermal protection
The following video shows safety apparel and its effectiveness in cold water immersion environments. Narrated by Gordon Giesbrecht Ph.D.


Key points:

  • Not waterproof
  • Designed for warmth
  • Has give and fits snug

Wet suits are made of a rubber neoprene. They are designed to keep you warm, especially if wet. A proper fit is key to experiencing the warmth your wetsuit is rated for. It's not waterproof, so a loose fit will let too much water in and cause chills. A skin-tight fit it what you’re looking for. If it becomes wet, your body temperature will warm the water absorbed by the neoprene to keep you warm.

There is no need to wear clothing underneath, although depending on temperature you may want to wear a thin layer such as a swim suit, or a full thin liner if paddling in very cold weather.

Paddlers’ wetsuits are generally 2 to 3 mm thick. There are full-length suits that cover your entire body and may include booties, or shorty suits that are typically cut above the knee and to the elbow for warmer weather. If you are paddling in extreme weather you might consider a getting a thicker suit such as can be found at a dive shop. It’s always a good idea to ask other boarders what they’re wearing for a particular situation.

The following link gives insight on the dangers of cold weather paddle boarding. This post is written by a …hardcore winter waterspouts dude… http://www.sup-talk.co.nz/


7Till8 Wetsuits

Imagine a custom made suit with high grade materials: a glimpse of the new line of custom suits and cutting edge way to order. Made of Yamamoto rubber, polypropylene, and smooth jersey. Check them out at www.7till8.com

How to clean and deodorize neoprene wetshoes

Neoprene doesn't breath so your neoprene wetshoes can begin to acquire foot odour over time. The following video gives some solutions for how to maintain and keep your wetshoes as fresh as possible.

M Essentials Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo


Key points:

  • Water proof
  • "Shell" style not designed for warmth if used alone
  • Fits with enough room for layers to add warmth

A drysuit is made of waterproof material (various materials are used). It is basically a shell with seals at the neck and wrists to keep the water out, and the boot is built in. These suits are not designed for warmth, so you need to consider the temperature the drysuit is rated for and layer underneath to address weather conditions. The typical suit is designed with divers and kayakers in mind, but is widely used by SUPers and works well. Some drysuit manufacturers are beginning to design specifically for stand up paddlers: lightweight, good fit, and with room for thermal layers for cold days.

More in-depth details on drysuits:


SUP specific drysuit –"Surf Dry" Jacket  

In 2012 a company in Victoria, B.C. Canada (OceanRodeo.com) designed the first drysuit specifically for paddle boarders called the "Soul". Today they offer the  "Heat", "Soul" and "Ignite". These suits are unisex in style and come in a range of sizes. See reviews at the following link.

Ocean Rodeo Ignite

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SUP accessories

Drysuits, wetsuits and rash guards. You may need all three depending on your paddleboarding preferences.

This forum gives further insight on cold weather paddling and wetsuit vs drysuit:


This handle is a mainstay in my deck bag. If poor conditions force me off the water, I can walk back carrying my board with ease. Its SUPER SUCK feature has never failed (apply on a dry surface).

Find out more at the following link:

Surfstow SUP grip

full review go to: SUP gear reviews