paddle board wetsuit guidepaddle board wetsuit guide


Choosing the right wetsuit for paddleboarding doesn't have to be difficult. We offer a range of Osprey® wetsuits and accessories, designed in the UK, that are ideal for all kinds of adventures on the water so that you're guaranteed to stay a bit warmer if you do fall in.  If you are looking for a wetsuit for your paddle board expeditions, we can help your find the perfect fit.

Do you need a wetsuit for paddle boarding?

You don't necessarily need a wetsuit for paddleboarding but you need to consider that UK sea and river water temperatures range from 6-10°C in the winter to 15-20°C in the summer, which isn't particularly warm. The chances are if you're starting out and only a beginner at stand-up paddle boarding, you're likely to find yourself in the water a few times. Falling into the cold sea or river water can cause a shock to the body and complications with breathing or swimming. Having a wetsuit when paddleboarding gives you the reassurance of warmth if you do end up in the water. 

wetsuits for paddleboarding wetsuits for paddleboarding

What type of wetsuits is there for paddleboarding?

We have three main types of wetsuits available to use with inflatable paddle boards. All three wetsuit types are specially selected for water sports as they allow you to perform to your best abilities with the least amount of restriction.  

Full-Length Summer Wetsuit

Standard full-length summer wetsuits generally have a thickness of around 3/2mm, with the 3 referring to the thickness around the torso, as this is where you need warmth most around vital organs. The 2 will generally refer to the thickness in the legs and arms. The reason this number is lower is that you need the flexibility to paddle and swim in the water so thicker neoprene will hinder your movement and tire you out faster.


Shorty wetsuits are best for use in the summer when the water is likely to be a bit warmer. Shorties, as the name suggests, have short sleeves and legs.  Unlike' full' wetsuits, they only cover the torso, upper arms, and thighs, allowing for unrestricted movement of the limbs for paddling and swimming.

Long Jane / John

A long John or long Jane wetsuit offers the best of both worlds and are perfect for water sports like paddleboarding. The full leg coverage provides the warmth and protection you want from a wetsuit, and the sleeveless top gives you unrestricted upper body movement and flexibility. 

wetsuits for paddleboarding wetsuits for paddleboarding

How to get a good wetsuit fit

To get the best wetsuit fit, you need to make sure that it’s as tight to the skin as possible and prevents water from flushing through the arm, leg, and neck openings. Stopping a wetsuit from completely filling with water guarantees maximum warmth and comfort. 

To find the perfect wetsuit fit, you’ll need to measure both your height and your chest. To measure the chest, place a tape measure loosely under the arms (over the shoulder blades) around the fullest part of the chest. To measure height, measure from the top of the head to the ground. Remember to keep your feet flat and remove any footwear. You can find size guides on each of our wetsuits that will help you find the best size for you. 

paddle board wetsuit size guidepaddle board wetsuit size guide

How to look after a wetsuit

Firstly, be gentle putting on a taking off your wetsuit. Avoid pulling or yanking the material too hard as it can cause stress on the neoprene and even tear seams. Start by getting your feet through the legs and slowly working your way up.  

Always rinse it with cold fresh water after use and allow it to dry naturally inside out, ideally not in direct sunlight. Make sure the wetsuit is fully dry before storing it away on a wide non-metal hanger to support the shoulders properly.  

A few things not to do with your paddleboard wetsuit: 

  • Folding and storing away wet  
  • washing with harsh chemicals 
  • washing in a washing machine 
  • tumble drying
looking after a wetsuitlooking after a wetsuit