Do You Need a Wetsuit to Paddleboard in Southern California?

By 4  pm on

When you see the beautiful Pacific Ocean off of Southern California’s coast, you’ll quickly understand why so many people love to swim, surf, and paddleboard here.

While you may know if you need a wetsuit if you’re a swimmer or a surfer already, paddle boarding’s popularity has exploded over the past few years leading many people to try it out for the first time. If that’s you then you may be wondering if you need a wetsuit to paddleboard in Southern California, and we have our best answer below.

Read all about it, then visit the Beach Bound shop for the fastest and friendliest beach and bike rentals in Hermosa Beach!

Assess Your Skill Level First

Unlike surfing or swimming, you could spend most of your time out of the water while paddle boarding. If you’re out of the water in a wetsuit for a long period of time then you could either get too warm due to the sun shining down on your or you could even get cold if your suit is wet.

However, if you’re new to paddle boarding or board sports in general and plan on falling off the board as you learn then a wetsuit could be a good idea.

It all depends on how much time you’ll actually spend in the water, which is why you have to consider factors like where you’ll be launching from and the conditions where you’ll be paddling.

If you’re an experienced paddleboarder heading out into calm conditions then you may not need a wetsuit, but if you’re new to the sport and are unsure of your skill level then a wetsuit could keep you paddling for longer.

Think About the Weather

Of course, the weather and the time of year affects the water and air temperature.

If you’re paddle boarding in winter in Southern California then a wetsuit could keep you warm if you fall or jump into the water as well as while you’re actually paddling.

There’s also a chance it makes you colder though.

Wetsuits work by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the inside of the suit. Your body’s natural heat warms that water and keeps you warm in cold water as a result. If you’re not in cold water though, like if you’re standing on a board and paddling, then your suit is only going to be cold as it can’t insulate against cold air.

For that reason, you must assess how cold the air is before deciding on wearing a wetsuit. The coastline gets more wind than the inland, so plan for a consistent breeze while on the water.

Think About Where You Plan on Paddling

Lastly, think about where you’re launching and what the conditions will be like once you’re on the water.

If you’re launching through the surf and plan on getting in the water often at your destination, then a wetsuit will serve you well!

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