What to wear paddling:

Summer Edit


That summer feeling can inspire us to do what we love the most. For those who love to take part in paddling activities, nothing beats getting out on the water and enjoying the beauty of the day.

Whether you are new to paddling or have ample experience, adding something new to your collection of paddling apparel is a good idea this summer.

Here at Gill, we wanted to create a blog that gives you an insight into the best options for paddling clothing, and highlight some of the brilliant paddling gear we have available.

As part of our Summer Edit, take a look at this guide on what to wear when paddling and find some inspiration today.

Summer weather and paddling

It is easy to look out the window on the day you are paddling, see the sun shining brightly, and think that less is more when it comes to what to wear.

While the sun can make you feel hot onshore, the temperatures of the water itself can drop, so having the right clothing when paddling is very important.

Safety first

Whenever we venture out on the water, safety needs to be front and centre of our thoughts. This means having items that offer protection and enable us to have peace of mind.

The obvious answer on this front is a buoyancy aid. This will prevent people staying under the water for any length of time and allow for the desired level of safety to be achieved with ease.

Buoyancy aids are vital regardless of your paddling experience or ability, and Gill has a Pursuit Buoyancy Aid that fits the bill perfectly. We are also pleased to reveal a new colour available this summer, with the Pursuit Buoyancy Aid now available in Sulphur, as well as Black and Orange shades.

Quality paddling gear for the summer months

The Gill range contains a whole host of brilliant products that can be the perfect fit for your summer paddling goals.

Let’s talk you through what we have in our range and how they can align with your summer paddling activities.

Eco Pro Rash Vest

rash vest offers an excellent base layer for the body when out on the water. These items are durable, quick-drying and the go-to layer for round-the-clock comfort.

You can get rash vests wet while paddling with no concerns as they will dry quickly. Gill’s range of rash vests also offers excellent levels of protection in the summertime thanks to the inbuilt 50+ UV protection.

Our Eco Pro Rash Vest is great from a sustainability standpoint, as it’s made from recycled PET plastic bottles, part of our sustainable edit.

Deck Shorts and Trousers

For the lower part of the body, our Deck Trousers and Deck Shorts are strong choices to meet your paddling requirements.

Made with a four-way stretch fabric and built-in UV 50+ protection, these items come with silicone grips in the waistband and leg hem for a secure fit. It is worthwhile having both a pair of trousers and shorts this summer, as this gives you options for different weather conditions and temperatures.

Pilot Jacket and Spray Pro Tops

While we might want to think of every summer day being beautiful and warm, that’s sometimes not the case. For slightly cooler summer days, our Pilot Jackets and Spray Tops are a great way to stay warm and fend off light water spray.

Wearing a waterproof layer is great for if you don’t plan to spend too much time in the water, for example while kayaking or canoeing.

Gill’s Pilot Jackets are made with XPLORE® 2-layer waterproof and breathable fabric technology, a YKK front zipper, internal storm guard, and a rollaway hood.

Our Spray Dinghy Top protects against splash and features adjustable PU neck seal and cuffs and a neoprene waistband to ensure no water gets beneath the layers. The spray top is slightly more effective at preventing water from getting through.

Neoprene Shoes

Some paddlers (like those on a SUP) opt to go barefoot in the Summer, as it helps them to ‘feel’ the board better when on the water.

There are benefits to wearing footwear however, especially when you’re making your way to and from the water and needing protection, or you need extra grip with a rubber sole.

Quality neoprene shoes are a strong option this summer thanks to the excellent grip and comfort they offer for anybody out on the water. They’re great for if you plan to get in (or fall into!) the water as they’ll protect your feet from the lake, river or sea bed.

Gill’s Aquatech Shoes can get wet with no problems thanks to the 3mm double lined neoprene design, which will trap a thin layer of water to keep your feet warm. They have a wrap around, non-marking rubber sole that allows for flexible movement in the summer months.

Waterproof gloves

Our hands are one of the ways our bodies lose heat, so keeping them covered and warm when out on the water is a good idea. Even if the sun is out, the water can be cold – so those prone to feeling the cold should definitely pack a pair of gloves in their bag!

We recommend the Gill waterproof gloves, which are truly durable and made with a non-slip silicon printed palm. They offer excellent grip capabilities, while the touch screen fingers make easy use of your phone if needs be.

Dry Bag

When getting out on the water to kayak, canoe or SUP, one difficulty can be having a place to put your belongings while out on the water.

dry bag is a great answer to this problem as they can be secured to the front of your paddleboard, canoe or kayak with ease.

Gill’s dry bags are hard-wearing and made with puncture resistant PVC fabric. They have a roll down closure design, while the D-ring attachment points make these dry bags easy to secure down.

We recommend folding down the roll-closure three times to ensure a watertight seal. We’d also recommend carrying your phone in an extra waterproof case – just in case you need to get it out on the water, it’ll have that extra barrier of protection.


We all want some sun to enjoy in the summer months, so keeping your eyes protected is important, especially as the water can reflect the sun when you’re on the water.

This is where sunglasses come into their own.

Most of the sunglasses in Gill’s range are fully floatable (please check the style), so all hope is not lost if you drop them or fall in the water!

Our designs are 100% glare free, with some varieties having polarised lenses. Other models feature Hydrophobic and Oleophobic coatings that repel salt residue, fingerprints and oils. This leaves the wearer with a crystal-clear perspective in all conditions.

Changing Robe

And we can’t forget about the Gill Changing Robe, which offers a solution to the long-standing problem of having somewhere to change before and after paddling.

Made with hi-loft thermal microfibre construction and quick dry technology, you can dry yourself easily and transport the robe home without it soaking your car!

The Changing Robe makes it super convenient to change in awkward places. Additional features include the large front pocket and volume hood.

We hope these items offer you some strong options for summer paddling gear. At Gill, we have a fantastic range of items to choose from, so don’t miss out.

If you are looking for tips on paddling for beginners, be sure to take a look through some of the do’s and don’ts of paddling, as well as some tips we have for new paddlers.

If you are more experienced, then be sure to check your kit and ensure everything is as it should be. Take a look at our Buoyancy Aid MOT blog to make sure this very important item is working as it should be.

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