Can You Wear Swimsuits for Kayaking? Tips for Your Water Journey

Kayaking can be an awesome water sports experience, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned pro.

But here’s the huge question if this is the first time you’re going kayaking: can you wear swimsuits for kayaking?

This question will pop up for any new kayaker. Since swimsuits are usually the only water sports attire people know, can they wear them for kayaking?

The answer is… yes and no. It can depend on a few factors like the water temperature, UV rays, etc. Here are some tips to help you decide whether you can wear swimsuits for kayaking.

When Can You Wear Swimsuits for Kayaking?

In short, whenever you want! But there are a few things to remember when deciding whether to don your favorite swimsuit. Let’s go over a few key points.

The Water Temperature

This is probably the number one deciding factor for most people. And it makes sense – if the water is too cold, it will be miserable (not to mention dangerous). So how do you know if the water is too cold?

According to the National Weather Service, anything below 70 degrees Fahrenheit is considered cold water.

So if the water temperature where you’re kayaking is below 70, it’s probably not the best idea to go in a swimsuit.

Of course, every person is different, and some can withstand colder temperatures better than others. If you’re someone who gets cold quickly, err on the side of caution and plan accordingly.

UV Rays

Believe it or not, the sun’s UV rays can be just as harmful – if not more so – in colder weather as they are in hotter weather.

So even if it’s a cloudy day or the air temp isn’t that high, the sun can still do some damage.

That’s why it’s essential to wear sunscreen when spending extended periods outdoors – no matter what season it is.

And if you’re kayaking in a swimsuit, that means ensuring your whole body is covered, so you don’t end up with painful sunburns later on.

What Should You Look for When Wearing for Kayaking?

Now that we’ve gone over when you can wear swimsuits for kayaking let’s talk about what kind of clothing is best for kayaking.

After all, certain fabrics and materials work better on water than others. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your kayaking outfit:


This one’s pretty self-explanatory – you want something that won’t soak through and get heavy as soon as it comes into contact with water. That way, you won’t be weighed down (literally) when you’re trying to paddle around.


Again, pretty straightforward – windy days on the water can be chilly, so wearing something that cuts down on wind chill will help keep you comfortable.


As we mentioned before, the sun’s UV rays can be harmful even on cloudy days or in cooler temperatures.

So make sure whatever you’re wearing offers some degree of protection from them.

What Are Recommended Equipment for Kayaking?

Besides the clothing you can wear, specific equipment can help make your kayaking experience better and safer.

Some key items to consider include:

Personal floatation device (PFD):

A must-have for any kayaker, no matter how experienced they are. A PFD gives you extra protection in case you capsize or fall out of your kayak unexpectedly.

Rashguard :

Especially important if you’re going to be wearing a swimsuit while kayaking! A rashguard helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays and abrasion from paddling around all day.

A Kayaking Hat :

Again, this goes back to protecting yourself from UV rays – a good hat will help keep the sun off your face and head so you don’t get too hot (or end up with sunburn).


Not everyone likes wearing gloves while they paddle, but if you tend to get blisters easily or want an extra layer of protection against abrasion, they’re worth considering.


Kayaking should always be fun above everything else – but that doesn’t mean safety should be ignored entirely.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a great time out on the water. Use common sense, dress appropriately for the conditions, and never go alone.

And most importantly, always let someone know where you’re going before heading out!