There are a lot of loose ends you need to tie up before you can actually head out into the water, and a paddle board wetsuit is one of the big ones. We’ve hand-picked 10 of the best wetsuits for paddle boarding to help guarantee a safe day out on the lake, sea, or ocean of your choice.
In this article, you can expect a detailed breakdown of every feature that’s important for choosing a wetsuit, from material and thickness to price ranges.
Despite all the technicalities, picking out a suit is a lot simpler than you might think, so disregard the voice in the back of your head that says “why not just wear a swimsuit?” and make an informed decision.
Keep reading to find the perfect wetsuit for paddle boarding for all of your water-filled adventures!
- 1 Quick Answer: Best Wetsuits for Paddle Boarding
- 2 Why You Need a Wetsuit for Paddle Boarding
- 3 10 Best Wetsuits for Paddle Boarding
- 4 How to Choose the Best Paddle Board Wetsuit
- 5 SUP Wetsuits FAQ
Quick Answer: Best Wetsuits for Paddle Boarding
|Wetsuit||Image||Thickness||Price||View on Amazon|
|Stohlquist Men's Storm John Wetsuit||3mm||$$|
|Hyperflex Access Wetsuit||3mm||$$$|
|NeoSport Wetsuit||3/2 - 7/5mm||$$$|
|Dark Lightning Full Body Wetsuit||3/2mm||$|
|Scubadonkey Aqua Polo Wetsuit||3/2mm||$$|
|O'Neill Men's Wetsuit||3/2mm||$$$|
|Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit||5/3/2mm||$$$$|
Why You Need a Wetsuit for Paddle Boarding
The science behind how wetsuits work is a little complicated, but we’ll spare you the horrid high school chemistry flashbacks. The short of it is, wetsuits for paddle boarding are generally made of neoprene (with thin layers of other materials sprinkled in), which prevents heat from exiting the body. Add to that the fact that they cover you neck to toe, and you have yourself one of the most important accessories in any paddle boarder’s arsenal.
The reason it’s called a wetsuit is that it incorporates a thin layer of water into its design – these suits are designed to let a small amount of water in and keep it warm, adding an extra layer of protection from the cold.
Even if the weather is pleasant and the ocean isn’t freezing, you’ll definitely want to wear one of these things in case you fall off your board. When you’re in the water, wetsuits increase your buoyancy, which reduces the amount of energy you need to exert to keep yourself afloat. Naturally, this makes swimming back to your paddle board that much easier, and it can make a huge difference in a particularly sticky situation.
On that note, plenty of modern-day wetsuits are coated in what’s called Super Composite Skin, which repels water and further adds to your movement speed. As an added bonus, this built-in “water repellant” mechanic makes it so the suit doesn’t stick to you, making it easier to take it off once you’re on dry land.
Although the main reason to wear a wetsuit is to combat hypothermia, there are certain benefits to wearing a thin one in warmer weather too. Given that they practically shield your entire body, wetsuits offer substantial protection from things like jellyfish stings and the occasional pointy rock or reef.
Not to mention, sea and ocean temperatures can fluctuate wildly from spot to spot – the warmth of water near the coast is a shoddy indicator of its temperature as you move deeper in, so whichever way you spin in, getting a wetsuit for paddle boarding is never a bad idea.
10 Best Wetsuits for Paddle Boarding
Between our top 10 picks, you’re bound to find the perfect paddle board wetsuit for you:
At A Glance: 3mm Standard neoprene | Flat-lock seams | Relief zipper w/ elastic zipper lock | Reinforced knees & seat
While we maintain that a full-body wetsuit for paddle boarding is usually the way to go, this model offers a great safety net if you decide to do SUP in the summer.
The Storm John’s red-and-black color scheme is stylish by anyone’s standards, and you’re likely to find a size for any body type. The 3mm-thick neoprene is perfect for late-spring and summer paddle boarding, and if you’ve been working on your biceps recently, you’ll definitely appreciate how airy the sleeveless design is. With that said, this is definitely not the choice for you if you want to brave the ocean during the colder parts of the year.
Wetsuits can sometimes feel a little tight around the knees, but you won’t be having that problem with this particular model, courtesy of the SupraTex knees. What’s more, the elastic zipper lock lets you get away with going up or down a size, while the flat-lock seams ensure nothing will be coming off without your say-so.
Although you shouldn’t have any trouble putting on or taking off a decently made wetsuit, this specimen is particularly easy to slide in and out of, thanks to the conveniently shaped cuff openings.
At A Glance: 3mm 4-way stretch lightweight neoprene | 50+ UV shield | Flat lock inside seams | Knee-pads & underarm gussets
This paddle board wetsuit sets a serious precedent for its competitors, as its impressive spec sheet clearly demonstrates – the suit offers everything from a sleek design to the highest-end functionality you can hope to find.
If the sleeveless design of the previous entry isn’t to your liking, the Hyperflex Access Wetsuit also offers full arm protection while still boasting a summer-friendly, 3mm neoprene build. On top of being extremely flexible, the suit offers some incredible UV protection, allowing you to paddle board with the best of them on even the hottest of days.
You’ll often want to wear something underneath your wetsuit (keep reading to find out more about that), but the flat-lock seams on this particular model let you go commando with little to no chance of irritation.
Taking the suit off is every bit as easy as putting it on, owing to the back zip and solid fit. Whether you’re dealing with freshwater or saltwater, you’ll be getting a lot of stretch at a very affordable price.
Also, good luck putting a tear in this thing – the suit is perfect for a variety of water-based activities beyond just paddle boarding.
At A Glance: 3mm neoprene & nylon elastic fabric Flatlock stitching | Fitting neckline | Back zip & hook and loop fasteners
Although there’s no shortage of unisex wetsuits for paddle boarding, this particular model caters to the ladies like few others can.
Whether you’re looking for a simple, dichromatic design or something a little more cutesy, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to this model. The 3mm neoprene construction is ideal for warmer temperatures, and it’ll feel like a second skin that also happens to give you some much-needed buoyancy in the water.
Another important component of the suit’s construction is the nylon elastic fabric, which gives you the kind of movement range you would associate with much more expensive models. The extra-solid protection from jellyfish stings can’t go unmentioned here, either!
Finally, this wetsuit comes in every possible size under the sun, making it the perfect choice for in-betweeners who tend to have trouble finding clothes that fit them. There’s no waist size Hevto wetsuits can’t accommodate, making this one of the premier picks for females looking to hit the waves.
On top of that, the UV protection is second to none, to the point where any guys reading this might feel a bit shortchanged!
At A Glance: 3/2 – 7/5mm neoprene | Spot taped at stress points | Flatlock seams | Lycra trimmed arm, neck & waist openings | Thermal bonded knee pads | Adjustable collar | Internal key pocket
Worry not, males, we’ve got you covered, too… Wetsuits for paddle boarding don’t come much more diverse than this, both in terms of available sizes and thickness options.
One of NeoSport’s biggest selling points is that they don’t specialize in seasonal products – they make all manner of neoprene wetsuits for any season, from 3/2 to 7/5mm. These things also feel extremely comfortable around the arms and neck, thanks to the lycra openings.
The thermal-bonded knee caps will let you make some risque movements while on your paddle board without having to worry about abrasion. The suit features a secure internal pocket for your keys or trinkets, and you can even adjust the collar for an extra bit of comfort (extra useful if you’re paddle boarding in the summer and want your neck to breathe).
Although this is a relatively minor touch, you can find this suit in a couple of different color variations. Whichever one you choose, you’re guaranteed to catch some looks at the beach in this thing!
At A Glance: 3/2mm neoprene & stretch nylon | Zipper & premium Velcro | 25 size options | Flat lock stitching
Behind its deceptively simple design, this wetsuit for paddle boarding offers some of the best performance on the market today.
With a whopping 25 sizes to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find a Dark Lightning wetsuit that fits you. The suit is 90% neoprene, while the rest is stretch nylon, so even if you get the size slightly wrong, there’s more than enough stretch to make up for it.
This stretchiness is probably Dark Lightning’s biggest selling point, as you can use the suit for anything from scuba diving to surfing if need be. The mix of materials also helps it dry off exceptionally quickly, giving you one less thing to worry about if you plan on paddle boarding several days in a row.
3/2mm is a great thickness for paddle boarding wetsuits – the 3mm around the chest area will keep you plenty warm in the spring and summer, while the slightly thinner arms and legs sections allow for added mobility while still providing that trademark protection.
At A Glance: 3mm neoprene & stretch nylon | UV protection 50+ | Back zip | Mock turtleneck design | Elastic knee pads
The top of a paddle board is hardly the place to try and look stylish, but it’s hard to resist SUP wetsuits with as much pizazz as this one.
If “plain-looking” suits just don’t appeal to you, you’ll be happy to know there are a slew of color and design options to choose from (for both males and females), and the prices are by far among the best on the market right now.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more comfortable wetsuit than this, as the neoprene/stretchy nylon blend really lets your skin breathe while still providing that top-quality cold and UV protection. Putting this thing on is a cinch as it features a convenient back zipper, and the 3mm thickness makes it perfect for mild and warm weather.
It’s worth noting that OMGear products are by no means waterproof, so if you’re expecting to get out of the water relatively dry, you might want to look elsewhere. To offset this, the suit has some great quality-of-life features, like a turtleneck you can roll up to reduce the inflow of water. Besides, you can still reap the benefits of added buoyancy by using this suit for swimming and scuba diving too.
At A Glance: 3/2mm 4-way stretch, abrasion resistant neoprene | Flatlock stitching | Neoprene gaskets at neck, wrist & ankles
If you can get past the somewhat dubious name, this wetsuit for paddle boarding might just be one of the best investments of your SUP career.
The first thing to note here is the triple-layer design, which offers plenty of protection from wind, moisture, and UV rays alike. The outermost layer is key here, as it’s made up of an extremely stretchy fabric that gives you a little bit more glide in the water than your run-of-the-mill wetsuit.
The suit also features Super Stretch gaskets around the neck, wrists, and ankles, which let you put it on and take it off in moments flat. The 3/2mm neoprene thickness gives you the perfect blend of warmth and mobility, although this is definitely not something you’ll want to wear in winter or late fall.
A final thing worth pointing out would be the price. Although wetsuits are hardly a high-margin commodity, the Scubadonkey Aqua Polo Wetsuit is one of the more affordable options on our list, making it the perfect choice if you’re just not sure if you want to commit to paddle boarding in the long term.
At A Glance: 3/2mm ultra stretch neoprene | Backzip system | Seamless design | Wind-resistant
Taking things up a peg in terms of pricing, this wetsuit for paddle boarding is a high-end pick through and through.
O’Neill is a brand that commands respect across all its products, and this is no exception. The 3/2mm neoprene build lends itself wonderfully to the paddle boarding niche, as it keeps you plenty warm without compromising your mobility. The smooth skin surface lets you SUP even on the windiest of days, and the seams are positioned in such a way that they bring abrasion down to a minimum.
You shouldn’t have any worries as far as the fit is concerned, as this suit comes in every size you could possibly need. It’s also incredibly stretchy, giving you that always-welcome leniency in case your size is out of stock, and you can get away with quick and rapid movements without worrying about tears or any other form of damage to the suit.
At A Glance: 5mm hydrodynamic neoprene | High grade anti corrode internal zipper | Low neck with snoothskin material | Triple stitched seams | 19 sizes
The vast majority of our picks thus far have been extremely budget-friendly, but if you’re looking for something a little more professional, this is one of the finest wetsuits for paddle boarding you can find.
This award-winning women’s suit has an amazing 5/3mm neoprene construction, providing you with top-of-the-line, year-round protection without affecting your mobility in the slightest. Thanks to its thick and buoyant core, the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit effectively doubles as a glorified lifejacket in the event of a major wipeout.
The drag on this suit is practically nonexistent, to the point where it feels like you’re wearing nothing when you’re in the water. On top of that, nifty features like the smooth skin neckline and anti-corrosion internal zipper go a long way in making this one of the best suits on the market today.
At A Glance: 3mm neoprene | Heavy duty front zip | Velcro collar | Silicon printing on knees | Reinforced flatlocked stitching
If you’re looking to take your SUP skills to the next level, the Shorty line is one of the best wetsuits for paddle boarding you can get your hands on.
With a standard thickness of 3mm, this neoprene suit is ideal for mild temperatures, although the flat-lock stitched seams offer a fair bit of leeway if you choose to wear it during colder seasons. The combination of neoprene and nylon fabric makes for the perfect insulator, and frankly, we’d be shocked if you managed to put a tear in this thing.
On top of all that, the protection it offers from both UV rays and aquatic fauna is truly top-notch, and the fact that the zipper is in the front makes it extra-easy to take off. The only real downside of having a “standard” front zipper is that the front of your neck is fairly exposed, which may wind up letting a bit of extra water into the suit.
How to Choose the Best Paddle Board Wetsuit
There are a number of things you’ll want to look out for when picking out the perfect paddle board wetsuit. Here are some of the top considerations to keep in mind!
The first and most obvious thing is that you’ll want a wetsuit that fits you well. Unlike other articles of clothing where you’ll want a little bit of breathing room, the ideal wetsuit feels tight around your body without being constrictive. This is to make sure that the small amount of water that makes its way in stays in place, irrespective of how fast or erratic your movements on the water are. If you feel like any part of your suit is dangling or airy, you’ve got the wrong suit.
A good way to test a wetsuit is to do some light stretching once you put it on (you should be doing this as a warmup either way, as paddle boarding can be an intense cardio & strength exercise). You’re supposed to feel the tiniest bit of resistance when you reach down to touch your toes, but your arm and leg movements should by no means feel restricted in any way.
Then there’s the matter of deciding whether you want a suit with a back or chest zipper. Although the differences are pretty negligible, you’ll generally find that wetsuits with chest zippers are less restrictive in terms of movement, but these tend to come at a higher price for a variety of reasons.
Another huge factor is the time of year you plan on paddle boarding – the warmer the weather, the thinner you’ll want your suit to be.
Look out for 3/2mm wetsuits if you’ll be paddling primarily during spring and summer months in warmer waters. What this means is that the core of the wetsuit will be 3mm to keep you warm and buoyant, while the arms and legs are a thinner 2mm for increased airflow and a better range of motion.
If you’re planning on paddle boarding during colder months or in the chilly ocean, you’ll want to opt for a wetsuit with a thickness of around 5mm or more to keep you toasty even in frigid conditions.
If your budget allows for it, you’ll want the stretchiest suit you can get your hands on. The degree of stretch on a neoprene suit (commonly referred to as Super Stretch) can vary greatly from sample to sample, so if you want the highest-quality protection, coupled with a bit of extra wiggle room in terms of sizing, try to find a suit made of 100% stretch neoprene.
On the topic of budget, there are a number of things that can affect the price of a suit, with most falling somewhere between $50 and $400. Just to give you a rough idea, shorty wetsuits tend to cost less than full-body ones, and the price tends to go up with thickness too.
The key difference between a low and high-end wetsuit is the insulation it provides. You can generally expect more expensive models to keep you warmer, but there’s no need to go overboard unless you plan on paddle boarding in extreme weather – in fact, you’ll find that most of our picks fall comfortably within the budget-friendly category!
SUP Wetsuits FAQ
If you still have some questions about finding the best paddling boarding wetsuit, check out these FAQs for more information.
What wetsuit thickness do I need for paddle boarding?
The short answer is, it depends on the weather. If the temperature dips well under 50 degrees, you’ll definitely want a 5mm suit at the very least, but otherwise, a 3mm piece (which also happens to be the most common) should do just fine.
What do you wear underneath a wetsuit?
You don’t really need to wear anything under a wetsuit, especially if you got the size just right. With that said, if you’re worried about chafing, you can apply anti-chafing gel or put on a regular swimsuit underneath.
Do I need a wetsuit for paddle boarding?
If the weather is cold, the answer is a categorical yes, for all the reasons we outlined earlier in the article. In the summertime, wetsuits slightly less essential, although they do offer some amazing UV and scrape protection that you won’t want to miss out on.
How do I care for my wetsuit?
Just because your wetsuit is wet after a paddle boarding session, that doesn’t mean it’s clean. Be sure to rinse it inside and out at home and leave it out to dry overnight. Wetsuits generally don’t shrink in the conventional sense, but failing to dry off your suit properly can result in a loss of stretchiness and reduced comfort.
And that concludes our list of the 10 best wetsuits for paddle boarding you can buy today. We hope we’ve done a good job at explaining just why wearing one is so important, especially in cold weather, and chances are you’ve found your perfect fit somewhere on this list!
Looking for more paddle boarding tips? Check out these guides:
- The Best Cheap Paddle Board: 10 Quality Picks 
- The Ultimate Guide to the Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards – 2021
- Best Paddle Boards for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide