What to Wear for SUP Yoga

Clothes that are stretchy, comfortable, and moisture-wicking (as you might wear to the gym) are best for SUP yoga.

If it’s hot, a swimsuit and rash vest is ideal. When cooler, leggings and a workout top are a great choice. This guide will show you everything you need to know about what to wear for SUP yoga.

By the time you’ve read our article, you’ll know everything you need to choose the right clothes for your paddle board yoga sessions.

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What Should I Wear To Paddle Board Yoga?

We’ve already established that paddle board yoga requires its own particular dress code – the idea is to be comfortable, 

You’re not going to find much specialized paddle board yoga clothing. However, it’s pretty easy to put together a practical and stylish outfit from regular workout gear.

This is what I consider when deciding what to wear:

  • What’s the weather like? – It’s easy to get cold, but I also don’t want to be too hot. The temperature and wind will significantly determine what I put on and take with me. I might be wrapped in layers on a given day, or it could be time for my swimsuit and rash guard.
  • Is my outfit suitable for yoga poses? – I’ll need either stretchy or loose-fitting clothing that won’t hinder my downward dog.  
  • Will the clothing stop me from getting hot and sweaty? – Moisture-wicking clothing is a great idea. Although yoga is a more relaxed pastime than, say, running, you can still get surprisingly sweaty. 

Remember that if your session isn’t in a pool, you’ll be paddling to and from the site, so you might get hot. Avoiding materials like cotton means that I’ll stay comfy. Breathable, lightweight spandex or nylon yoga wear is an excellent place to start.

  • Will I be comfortable? – Comfort isn’t just about how the clothes feel. Lots of SUP yoga poses involve vigorous stretching or being upside down. Yoga should be a relaxing pastime, and I don’t want to be distracted by a wardrobe malfunction as I attempt the wheel pose.  
  • How will the clothing cope if I fall in? – It’s inevitable that you’ll fall in the water eventually when practicing SUP yoga. It’s a good idea to think about water-resistant clothing, so an accidental dip ruins nothing but your pride.

There’s no need to worry about what you look like so long as you’re comfortable. However, if you want to consider style, then go ahead. The most important thing is that you feel relaxed and confident as you find your inner peace. 

Let’s take a more detailed look at what to wear for an average stand up paddle board yoga session.

Upper Body SUP Yoga Clothes

You’ll want a top that either lets your body move freely beneath it or is form-fitting and stretches so as not to restrict movements. 

Loose tops can end up sliding down when you are in upside-down SUP yoga positions. This can be a bit embarrassing as well as restricting your view.

Ideal tops for paddle boards in typical weather might include:

  • Breathable t-shirt
  • Sports bra
  • Anything you might wear to the gym or running

Yoga-specific tops are made from breathable, quick-drying materials.  They’ve also been designed to accommodate all your favorite poses.

Even on warm days, you’ll probably want to take a hoodie or running fleece. You’ll probably get pretty warm paddling out to your site, but once you’re on the open water, it’s easy to get chilled. 

Lower Body SUP Yoga Clothes

gili komodo board

Your lower body will follow all the same rules. You’ll want to choose something that allows you to move without restriction but isn’t so baggy that it will get in the way.

In average weather, this means that regular yoga pants, leggings, workout trousers, or gym shorts are excellent. You’ll want a moisture-wicking material so you stay comfortable as you practice yoga on your SUP board.

If you decide to wear shorts, consider taking some workout trousers so you can layer up to stay warm if necessary.

Feet

Most people agree that you should enjoy your stand up paddle board yoga practice barefoot, just as you would in the studio. Not only will you get  a much better grip on the deck pad, you’ll also experience a better feel for the paddle board movement and find it’s easier to keep your balance.

For launching your SUP, however, you’ll need water shoes of some kind. Whether you choose flip flops, water sandals, or aqua socks, remember to bring them with you, so your feet are protected. Stow them securely under your board’s bungee cord so you’ll still have them when you return home.

Choose SUP Yoga Clothes That Are Suitable for the Weather

As I’ve already mentioned, one of the most important factors is choosing SUP yoga clothes that are suitable for the weather conditions. So let’s take a look at what to wear when it’s hot or cool.

Warm Weather

There’s little better than paddling in the warm sun with perhaps a gentle breeze to keep you at the perfect temperature. However, you’ll want to pay particular attention to how the heat might affect you. If it’s warm rather than hot, you’ll need clothes that will keep you cool and dry as you workout, yet warm during breaks.

I try to wear light colors so as not to absorb too much heat from the sun. I’ll also make extra sure that my gear is moisture-wicking, especially if the humidity is high.

Thin layers are a great idea, so you can adjust depending on how hot or cold you feel.

When it’s hot weather, the choice of SUP yoga clothing is easy. On these days, SUP yoga in your bathing suit with perhaps a rash guard on top can be all you need.

Swimsuits benefit from free movement and are perfect whether you take an accidental dip or choose to have a refreshing swim. A close-fitting rash guard is a great idea to protect you from the sun or to have an extra water-resistant layer if it’s getting a bit cooler. 

For men, board shorts are perfect. Ladies in a SUP yoga class might like to add shorts or rash guards to a bikini or one-piece to feel comfortable during the workout. 

It’s well worth practicing with your outfit at home beforehand to ensure that you’ll be happy with it.

Cool Weather 

Cold weather SUP yoga can be challenging. Not only is it chilly for your workout, but if you fall into freezing water, it can be really uncomfortable or even life-threatening.

If it’s just cool, then warm yoga-style clothes are a good choice, with extra layers and a good towel to dry off.

Breathable leggings worn underneath water-resistant trousers are also a good option, along with a hoodie and a light, wind-resistant jacket. You might also want aqua socks or booties to keep your feet warmer.

If it’s really cold weather, you’ll need a wetsuit, neoprene boots, a hat, and maybe gloves. Wetsuits come in different thicknesses and designs, so it’s essential to get one suitable for the temperature while also being stretchy enough for you to move. 

If you fall in the water in a wetsuit, it will keep you relatively warm and safe. However, when you get out, you’ll cool off rapidly, especially if it’s windy. It’s crucial to take a towel and a spare outfit in a dry bag so you can change and get warm quickly.

What Else Do I Need for SUP Yoga?

As well as regular clothing, consider the following items for your SUP yoga session.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

In the US, you must wear an approved paddle board life jacket. Check the regulations in your location and consider if you should be wearing this safety device.

Sunscreen

It’s very easy to get burnt while you’re concentrating on your breathing and balance. Make sure you wear plenty of waterproof sunscreen, even if it’s overcast.

Sunglasses

Save your eyes from the sun with sunglasses. Consider getting a retainer so that when they fall off, you don’t lose them.

Hat

Protect yourself from sun exposure or keep your head warm with a hat. Make sure, though, that it will stay in place as you make your moves.

Towel

You’ll want a good towel to dry yourself or to wipe away sweat. You might also like one to relax on during the savasana.

Water Bottle

Keep yourself properly hydrated. Make sure you take plenty of liquids as it can be surprising how much you need. 

Dry Bag

Whether it’s keeping your mobile phone and keys safe or a complete change of clothing, you’ll want somewhere that’s dry on your board. Make sure that you get one that you can clip securely to a D-Ring.

Change of Clothing

Unless it’s really hot, you want to take a change of clothing just in case you take an unexpected dip.

SUP Anchor

If you’re making your SUP yoga session in open water, you’ll need a paddle board anchor to stop yourself from drifting off.

SUP Yoga Clothes Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Wear Leggings Paddle Boarding?

Yes, you can wear leggings for paddle boarding. They’re ideal as they’re stretchy and allow free movement.

What Shoes Are Best for SUP Yoga Class?

The best shoes for a SUP yoga class are your bare feet. Going barefoot gives you the most grip on the traction pad. Your feet also provide the best movement and balance.

Take water shoes for getting your board into the water. If it’s really cold, you’ll need neoprene booties.

Can I Wear a Swimsuit for Paddle Board Yoga?

Yes, you can wear a swimsuit for paddle board yoga in warm weather. Consider adding a pair of shorts and rash guards to protect you from the sun and embarrassment when you’re stretching.

Q: Can I Wear a Wetsuit for SUP Yoga Practice? 

A: Yes, you can wear a wetsuit for SUP yoga. They are essential if the weather is very cold.

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Conclusion

Choosing SUP yoga clothing is relatively straightforward. You’ll probably want to take layers so you can keep warm or cool off. Wear dry-wicking clothing materials and something that won’t restrict your movement.

If you’re lucky enough to be paddle boarding when it’s warm, your swimsuit might be ideal. Just make sure you consider the sun and that yoga moves can challenge the fit of small bikinis or trunks. A rash shirt and shorts can save a lot of embarrassment and sunburn!