There’s no doubt that most SUP boarders get wet a lot. Especially in the beginning, you will fall into the water all the time while practicing your balance on the board. And, let’s be honest – it’s a lot of fun and one of the reasons why more and more people take up stand up paddle boarding. Particularly in hot weather, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the ocean or a chrystal-clear, cool lake.
However, if you want to practice the watersport on a regular basis, chances are that not every day is a picture-perfect summer day. The moment will come where you wake up, keen to start the morning on the board, and it’s pouring with rain outside. But can you Stand up paddle board in rain?
Stand Up Paddle boarding in rain is possible. In fact, this watersport can be practiced all year around. SUP boarders may experience colder and rougher conditions in rainy weather. Therefore, appropriate preparations are necessary.
Before you grab your SUP board now and run off into the rain, just stick around for two more minutes. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to make the most of your outdoor adventure.
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Things to Keep in Mind When SUP Boarding in Rain
Stand up paddle boarding in rain differs from SUP sessions in sunshine in a couple of aspects. Let’s dive right in:
Your Board Can Get Slippery
The most obvious difference compared to a dry day outside is that your SUP board gets more slippery in the constant rainfall, which could affect your grip. This is something that beginners may struggle with a little, however, your traction pad should still do its job and will keep you on the board.
And as we all know: Practice makes perfect, so go ahead and take the challenge!
Windy Conditions Cause Choppy Waters
Another thing to keep in mind is that rain is often accompanied by wind, which can result in choppy waters. If you practice stand up paddle boarding on the ocean from time to time, you have experienced similar conditions before. SUP boarders who are used to the calm waters of a lake on the other hand will struggle with this in the beginning. It will feel a bit weird and you might fall off the board a couple of times.
It Can Get Cold
This one is probably the most important aspect of SUP boarding in rain: Depending on the season and your location, it can get freezing cold. Even if it doesn’t seem like it’s too cold outside, always factor in the combination of wind and water. Ideally, you are also prepared for sudden temperature drops – you want to avoid risking hypothermia at all costs.
What to Wear When Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Rain
The perfect outfit for stand up paddle boarding in rain mainly depends on the temperature. While you are totally fine wearing your bikini or shorts during a quick sommer rain shower, colder temperatures require you to wear a wetsuit.
If you don’t have a wetsuit yet, here’s everything you need to know in a nutshell: Wetsuits are measured in size and in thickness. The colder the weather, the thicker your wetsuit needs to be.
If you are planning to stand up paddle board in the sea, you can use this website to figure out what the temperature of your closest ocean is. Once you have figured out what the water temperature of your SUP spot will be, you can move on to choose the perfect wetsuit.
Use the chart below to make sure you get the right wetsuit for stand up paddle boarding in rain:
|Water Temperature||Wetsuit Thickness||Recommended Wetsuit Type||Seal Type|
|65°-75℉ / 18°-23℃||0.5mm – 2/1mm||Sleeveless||Flatlock|
|62°-68℉ / 16°-20℃||2mm – 3/2mm||Shorty||Flatlock|
|58°-63℉ / 14°-17℃||3/2mm – 4/3mm||Fullsuit||Sealed|
|52°-58℉ / 11°-14℃||4/3mm – 5/3mm||Fullsuit||Sealed and taped|
|43°-52℉ / 6°-11℃||5/4mm – 5/4mm||Fullsuit||Sealed and taped|
|42℉ / 5℃ or less||6/5mm – 6/4mm||Fullsuit/Drysuit||Sealed and taped|
For more in-depth information about wetsuits and how they work in cold conditions, check out our article about the best wetsuits for cold water swimming.
Best Wetsuits for SUP Boarding in Rain
If you are going to face rough conditions and expect the water to be really cold, you want to be well prepared. The following three wetsuits are perfect for stand up paddle boarding sessions in rain.
1. Scubapro Everflex Steamer
The Scubapro Everflex steamer features neoprene that is thicker around the body’s core but thinner around the body’s extremities, allowing for better mobility/flexibility.
The Everflex Steamer has a Class B dive suit rating making it best for water temperatures ranging between 50 to 64.5 degrees F (10 to 18 degrees C).
The wetsuit design uses fewer seams and panels allowing for maximum range of motion and lovely slip on fit. Like all Everflew steamers, this one has been assembled using solvent-free, water-based Aqua glue making it incredibly durable.
The openings surrounding both the wrists and ankles feature fuse-cut finished cuffs that are super-stretchy, making it much easier to put on. (Important when you are dealing with a thick wetsuit). The rear of the wetsuits supports a YKK zipper with KA brass slider. This offers increased durability making your wetsuit last much longer.
- Temperature Range: 50 to 64.5°F (10 to 18°C)
- Range of motion: Unrestricted
- Zipper: Backzip
2. XCEL Drylock
One of our personal favourite wetsuit brands is Xcel. they make high quality suits that will keep you as warm as a pig in pyjamas.
This particular model from Xcel is made from a special 100% stretch Nanoprene Lite Japanese as well as Channel Flex neoprene. With its weightless super flexible design, this 5/4mm hooded wetsuit is perfect for stand up paddling in cold and rainy weather, as it will keep you warm, even if you fall into the water.
In fact, the material is a hydrophobic channeled textile, which basically means it can repel water. It even has special heat-retaining minerals in the chest lining which maintains warmth and is fast-drying.
The wetsuit features a 100% ultraflex neoprene in the lower body and a glide skin collar, along with an easy entry front zip design with a magnetic closure. The seams have been sealed with FusionX taping which makes them waterproof.
- Temperature Range: 38°F (3°C) and above
- Range of motion: Unrestricted
- Zipper: Front zip
3. NRS Radiant 4/3mm Wetsuit
This wetsuit is a true allrounder. We highly recommend it to stand up paddle boarders of all levels, as it is not too expensive and can be used in all kinds of conditions. The blend of 4 mm and 3 mm neoprene gives you maximum warmth without limiting mobility.
The wetsuit has a the butterfly opening and hooded-style entry, which allows you to simply step into the wetsuit, slip it over your head and close the zipper across your chest.
- Range of motion: Unrestricted
- Zipper: Chest zip
Now that you know that stand up paddle boarding in rain is not only possible, but can in fact turn into a pretty epic adventure, you are good to go!
And when you’re back, tell us about your best tips for SUP boarding in rain – we will be happy to add them to our article, in order to make this resource even more useful for beginners!