Days are getting shorter and the wind brings now a cold breeze instead of relief, as it did 4 weeks ago. This leads necessarily to an adjustment of your SUP cloth. Shorts and Bikini are from now on categorized as underwear (!) and you need to start to layer up!
In the following, you will find my approach to tackle the cold of the upcoming months of autumn and transition into winter.
Neoprene, Lycra & Co.
Often, I got the question neoprene (?) and if – full or half and how many millimeters? Well, there is no general answer. It all depends on what you like and what kind of person you are. If you are easily cold? You will for sure not be happy in a shorty when it is 12°C outside.
Additionally, consider what kind of paddler you are? Do you prefer shorter tours with only limited water contact? Are you an adventurer who likes to practice and play when on the water and who gets easily wet? Or are you even out for an ocean SUP session?
My recommendations for river SUP in autumn
- get layers of cloth for your tour
- long- or short sleeve Lycras & quick-dry materials for pants
- layer neoprene and neoprene/ mix material
- have a cozy and warm sweater or cardigan in your backpack (to layer up or change of cloth)
When it comes to material Neoprene, Lycra and mixed Material that is quick dry and breathable or my top choices.
Sportswear – The ultimate transition cloth?
In the end, it also depends on your paddle capabilities. If you are a practices paddler who does not fall in easily, you can basically wear whatever you like.
I honestly prefer my regular Gym cloth and mixing it up when I plan on getting wet. Leggings mixed up with a neoprene jacket when it is likely to rain.
A hoody, thermos shirt, and neoprene pants are my go-to items.
Wetsuit – until late autumn
- It is warm while in movement
- Feels comfortable to be wet
- No worries when you fall in while doing a Boyeturn or having other sorts of fun
- Looks kind of sexy 😉
- if there is no water your sweat will be the wet component
- often getting chilly in it, on colder days, when you take the pace out of your strokes to relax for a moment
- getting in & out of it (kinda takes the sexiness right out of it)
My recommendations for Ocean SUP
As it gets colder, gear up with your wetsuit, and go full neoprene. Mine is a 5 mm neoprene suit for surfing. There a plenty of options out there for cold water and long sessions. Do your research before buying.
Drysuit – for winter cold days
I get the drysuit out when it gets continuously below 10°C. On this pic, it was -4 °C and I was wearing thermal underwear and a functional jacket under my drysuit. It was actually a bit warm that day as the sun was really burning.
I will give a full update on Drysuits in a later blog post.
This is a functional shirt from Uniqlo I love. Thermal shirts like this are generally in my autumn & winter wardrobe integrated. I can only recommend this to every lady out there that easily gets cold.
Thermal shirts are comfortable, thin and super warm. Perfect to stay warm in a drysuit or under a hoody.
Gloves & Footwear
Gloves above 10°C, are not a must-have item for me. A nice neoprene glove like the once from NRS with 0.5 mm Neoprene, can add an additional layer of grip for a secure paddle stroke or open even palms gloves offered by Standout are ideal if you don’t want to lose any performance.
After investing in some cheaper options of neoprene sock & shoes. I invested 40 € in neoprene shoes from Prolimit. as you see in the picture below. I could have saved about the same amount if I wouldn’t have tried to buy cheap in the beginning.
I wear neoprene shoes, from the beginning of autumn, until late spring. I value the most that the Prolimit shoes have a good, almost solid sole and are not so slippery. The shoe is made of 5 mm neoprene and ensures warm feet, even when the water starts to freeze.
When it is getting colder I recommend an additional neoprene sock (0.5. mm). Furthermore, you can wear a sock like that, in a water shoe.
If you prefer to have some more solid footwear and do not mind that it feels a bit shakier going on your board with shoes. Then a nice solution for you will be a water shoe. You can find great shoes nowadays, that offer quick-dry, ventilation and good looks.
NRS has these trendy and stylish water shoes.
(+) Those a quick-dry & comfortable.
(+) combines all kind of activities like SUP & Hike
(-) As they are mostly nylon and other synthetic materials it is easy the get a blister without socks.
- Check out local Schools and Shops that are closing now down for the season for 2nd Hand material. You can make a good deal here if you are just starting out or working on a budget.
- Test before buying. Neoprene needs to fit nicely otherwise you will be cold. Put expensive items into a real action test. Most manufacturers have a partner or test centers where you can lend stuff and see if it is the right fit for you.
- Don’t overthink it and maybe even missing out on going at all out on the water. This time of the year is so special you would miss a great opportunity to connect with nature and yourself!
- Neoprene Gloves are also pretty cool when you have to take the bike while it rains.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to add something. As alwas enjoy yourself on the water and stay safe.