Summer is waning but the day time temps are still warm, just a little cooler at night.  Folks have been asking me what to wear in the PWN when paddling in late Summer and early Fall.  To me, it’s the same as any season – wear what you need for the activity and water / air temp.

Here’s some early fall paddling clothing tips..

Daytime – Flat water casual paddling with winds less than 10 knots, minimal if any waves, current, etc.. Temps above 60F. Easy paddling…

If you run hot or warm, you can get way with a rash guard or non cotton top and shorts.   Add a paddling jacket to bump up warmth and stay drier with the NRS Men’s HydroSkin 1.5 Jacket or the (pictured) NRS High Tide Splash Jacket ideal for cutting wind chill, keeping your warm and with a hi-vis color – being seen.  

NRS Paddling Jacket

NRS Paddling Jacket


Paddling Pants

I’ve been using the the NRS Hydroskin 1.5mm pant for SUP and surf skiing.  Many SUP, outrigger and surf ski paddlers like the Vaikobi VC Cold Flex pants (note they run small) and GiantFish pants.

NRS Pants

NRS Pants





Rough Water / Surf / Downwind / Coastal conditions

Air Temps 50F to 70F, water temp in the 50’s-60’s, I wear a 4/3mm wetsuit (4mm in torso and legs, 3mm in arms). If you run hot, wear the above top/bottom neoprene options.

If you run cooler, go for the full wetsuit.  Many good wetsuits now are seam sealed and dry.  Or wear something like NRS’s Pivot dry suit. 

My favorite 4/3mm wetsuits include the NRS Radiant 4/3mm and the Ripcurl Dawn Patrol suits.

4/3mm back zip full wet suit

4/3mm back zip full wet suit








Night any conditions

Flat water for bioluminescence viewing or quiet time to paddle after work, I recommend a top/bottom neoprene option if you run hot or a full wetsuit or dry suit if you don’t run hot and/or don’t know.  Better too warm vs too cold.  Check out my blog posts on paddling at night.

I always wear booties

Like the NRS Freestyle Wet Shoes to protect my feet from rocks and barnacles, keep them warmer and for more traction on the board.





Add a Skull Cap to Boost Your Warmth

I keep a ‘skull cap’ in my PFD to pop on anytime I get cold or chilled. The NRS Storm Cap is a great option.


Moving into Fall/Winter

Here in the PNW, we’ll be in hooded full wetsuits or dry suits starting late October through May or June depending on temps.  Anything on the coast all year requires a full suit.

Safety and Straying off the News

Always wear a life jacket (PFD) and leash to stay off the news any time of year!  Leave a float plan with a friend before leaving shore and bring a communication device like a cell phone in a waterproof case or a VHF hand held radio, both on a tether.





Check out my surf ski and SUP and Kayakingclasses in the Pacific Northwest

Salmon Bay Paddle SUP Tips