With SUP’s growing popularity so are the accessories that go with them. It’s turning into a massive hobby and even a way of life. One of the accessory types that is really picking up steam is SUP clothing. 

That might sound a bit weird at first if you’re just getting into SUPs. After all, who thought the hobby could use its own type of clothing? 

Well, SUP clothing isn’t exactly unique to SUPs. It’s more like repurposed apparel items from other aquatic sports. Sometimes, these clothing items are completely necessary, and sometimes, you really don’t need them. 

We’re going to go over what each one is what they’re used for. Let’s get started. 

1: Swimsuit

This isn’t anything special. It’s just like the normal swimsuit you probably have tucked away with your summer clothes. At most, it might be made of quick-dry fabric to make sure you don’t get your car seat wet if you’re in a hurry to get home after a day on the water. 

This type of SUP clothing is what the average rider needs. If you’re just casually paddling around in calm, warm water, you don’t need anything special, really. Just focus on comfort and your ability to swim if you fall off. 

2: Wetsuit

This is a bit more specialized. If you’re going to be riding your SUP in the ocean and going further out to catch big waves, you need to have some sort of protection against the colder temperatures. While you might not get hypothermia, any bit of cold that is harsh enough to limit your ability to swim is enough to get you killed in the waves. A wetsuit prevents that. 

This can also be useful if you plan on using your SUP to get to snorkeling locations. You’ll be diving fairly deep, and it can get a bit cold down there. While it’s usually nothing life-threatening if you’re in proper weather conditions, being comfortable is a lot better than suffering the whole time. 

3: Fishing Gear and Life Jackets

These two go together. You can buy a fishing SUP, and you can use it to drag you and all your fishing gear out to your favorite spots without a boat. Obviously, fishing entails some things that aren’t exactly safe to do in swim trunks. You certainly don’t want to have to cut fishing line or bait while wobbling around on a board half-naked. 

Fishing gear can help protect you if you fall on your gear, keep hooks from getting caught in your skin, and even carry some of your most-used lures to prevent you from having to constantly kneel down and go through a tackle box. 

However, all that weighs you down and makes it hard to swim, too. That’s why you need a life jacket even if you’re a great swimmer. 

Dress for the Occasion

Those are the three most common types of SUP clothing. As you can see, they’re all meant for very different situations. It’s up to you to understand what it is you’re doing and what challenges you might face, and then prepare accordingly by wearing appropriate clothing.

Zoe Kickhefer