First of all, if you want extra warmth, I suggest choosing a full wetsuit (See Women’s Wetsuits | See Men’s Wetsuits). Don’t worry about the sleeveless “farmer john” style or the short-sleeved “shorty” version. You might as well just wear board shorts, because you will warm up quickly when you start paddling anyways.
Second, look for a neoprene fabric that has a thickness of 4/3mm or 3/2mm. I explain more below about the differences between these two and which will be better for you.
The Best Paddle Board Wetsuit? [for both Men & Women]
1. Warmer 4/3 Wetsuits: What to Look for
Typically, you won’t need a wetsuit for paddleboarding during the summertime. However, if you want to paddle year-round of surf in colder climates, an SUP wetsuit can let you do it in comfort.
You don’t necessarily need a wetsuit specific to paddleboarding. However, I suggest looking for a suit that stretches and allows you to move comfortably while out on the water. You don’t want one that feels too constrictive and makes your workouts feel even more difficult.
In addition, you want neoprene that provides the right amount of insulation for your needs. For example 4/3 wetsuits (like the women’s Roxy Synchro or the men’s O’neill Epic) have a water temperature rating of about 55 degrees and up.
So, in many places you can comfortable paddle year-round. (Although you may also want to get booties).
By the way, O’neill wetsuits incorporate seamless “paddle zones” into their wetsuits to minimize chaffing (added bonus). In addition, I often use Glide for longer excursions around the neck or armpits.
2. Lighter-Weight 3/2 Wetsuits: How are They Different?
It has less insulation, but it won’t cause you to overheat during strenuous stand up paddle board workouts or long races.
In addition, these lighter-weight wetsuits are very comfortable on cool mornings or windy days. Plus, they make it easier to go out for early morning paddles before the sun is out. Enjoy some flat quiet water while the sun rises without having to shiver to keep warm. =)
Note: These sup/paddle board wetsuits contain “super stretch neoprene” that gives you superior flexibility. In other words, you will feel less like a whale and more like you just put on a second skin.
Paddle Board Wetsuit Brands and Prices:
Some of the popular high-quality brands include Billabong, Quicksilver, O’Neill, Roxy, Body Glove, NRS and Rip Curl. You can buy one of these well-made long-lasting wetsuits without having to spend more than about $150-200.
Keep in mind that thicker neoprene will cost you more (4/3mm VS 3/2mm), and men’s larger sizes can cost more than smaller women’s suits.
I’ve found that comfort makes a big difference when you enjoy doing lots of water sports. The clothing you wear plays a significant role in how much you enjoy paddleboarding, surfing, etc… Plus, they can last you a good 10-15 years when you take care of them.