what to wear pedal boating

As a pedal boating enthusiast, you would be roaming around the internet to know what to wear pedal boating. Well, it’s common for pedal craft owners, even though I struggled to find it out in my initial boating experience.

If you aren’t dressed well while enjoying sports, we’re in different boats. Being asked to play football with high heels sounds hectic and weird, isn’t it?

Pedal boating is also a water sport, and wearing the right clothes is vital to cruising and enjoying nature’s scenery. Uncomfortable or wrong clothing can lead to a terrible experience (you can also get wet).

Most technical sports, like cricket, require expensive wardrobes like pads, shoes, and helmets. However, the right clothing for pedal boating doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. In fact, I can say with certainty that you already have these pieces in your closet or drawer.

You can wear whatever you want when pedaling across the water since you won’t get wet. But if you want to have the best experience, we recommend wearing comfortable and functional clothing. Swimsuits or athletic wear, such as T-shirts and shorts, are our top choices. By choosing the right outfit, you can make your adventure even more enjoyable.

Here’s more you need to know about what to wear pedal boating.

Best Outfits Options for Pedal Boating

It sounds like you’re up to hitting the water with your pedal craft. But before hopping off this fun venture, you should consider the best boating wear for the occasion. For example, now some people go for pedal boating dates ideas then their attire might be different. Well, it’s a bit difficult, but don’t worry; I have some recommendations for you.

Swim Wear

Let’s start with swimwear that is ultra-versatile and acts as a perfect balance between fashion and function. As swimsuit styles constantly change, you must find one that caters to your needs and body.

pros and cons of wetsuits for pedal boating

A one-piece or t-shirt and shorts, both would be a great way to cool off in the freshness of water. Just be sure to choose a flexible option, so you can enjoy the outdoors with the ultimate coziness.

Athletic Wear

Now, if you plan to cruise around the lake without being soaked, athletic wear can be ideal for you. Opt for quick-drying leggings, a loose tank top, and robust water shoes.

This type of outfit will keep you cool and refreshed, even if you pedal hard. But if it’s cold outside, you can always add up a layer of extra warmth, such as a lightweight jacket or sweatshirt.


If you are like me, you would want to get rid of cold water. That’s not due to hydrophobia; I always get viral flu whenever I get in touch with water. In that case, a WetSuit is a must-have.

A WetSuit will keep you dry, warm, and comfortable, ensuring you enjoy water fun without feeling the chill. Plus, if the outfit fits you well, it can enhance your buoyancy and streamlines your body posture, making it effortless to pedal through the lake. Sometimes, the answer for what to wear pedal boating can differ as per your boating destination. For example, if you’re going to the river for pedal boating then your attire might be different as compared to the water park or even the ocean.

Sunglasses and Hats

No matter what boating dress code you prefer, it’s vital to have some essentials to protect your eyes and skin from harmful UVs. Polarized sunglasses would shield your body against the sun and reduce glare from the water’s surface, making it easier to explore the depths.

Most importantly, put on sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face from scars or sunburn.

Recommended Outfits to Avoid Hypothermia Risk

If you are a water enthusiast who enjoys pedaling across lakes, you might have realized that spring and fall are prime opportunities to hit the waves. However, the cold temperatures during those seasons can pose a significant risk.

Immersion in cold water can lead to rapid heat loss, resulting in cold shock and hypothermia. Here’s a chart considering a general outfit guide to avoid hypothermia risks while enjoying your pedal boat:

Temperature of WaterHypothermia RiskRecommended Boating Wear
60° F or aboveLowWetSuit
55 to 59° FModerateWetSuit or DrySuit
45 to 54° FHighDrySuit
Below 45° FVery HighDrySuit (highly recommended)

What to Wear Pedal Boating For Your Next Visit? (Depends on Some Conditions)

What to wear pedal boating heavily depends on some conditions.

For instance, you don’t need to think too much about your wardrobe (enjoy your current clothing) when you have rented out a pedal boat. The hour will run out in thinking and changing the outfit, leaving you no joy but a reduced amount of penny in your pocket.

Here are some factors you must consider to puzzle out the best boating wear for your next water adventure.

Type of Pedal Boat Activity (Recreational or Racing)

What exactly would you be doing? Obviously, you will be pedaling around the water, but the question is, what else. I mean, you can fish from your pedal boat, get some exercise, racing or use it as a swimming base.

In most activities, a T-shirt with a combination of shorts can serve you well. However, you might not need a shirt if you intend to sunbathe. Also, you need to evaluate where can you go for a pedal boat.

Prefer Being Wet or Dry

No one wants to pedal with a wet body, as it seems pretty uncozy. For that reason, you should get rid of water while pedaling. The good news is you can do that, as long as you pedal at a moderate speed and avoid splashing.

But if you want to enjoy speedy rides, there is an alternate method to eliminate water splashes. And that’s a WetSuit. As mentioned, this outfit can keep you warm, dry, and comfortable for an extended time on the lake.

Pedal Craft Contains Bimini or Not

If your pedal-powered vessel contains a shade, you can choose from various boating dress codes, especially if you are susceptible to sunburn, just like me.

While pedaling a boat, I typically cover myself with protective clothing, such as a lightweight, long sleeve shirt, shorts, and a hat. However, if you forgo the shirt, don’t forget to put sunscreen all over your body.

what to wear pedal boating

What Not to Wear During Pedal Boating?

Pedal boating is extremely fun, especially if you dress well. For sure, you don’t want to wear the wrong thing and end up walking the plank. Here are some fashion don’ts for pedal boating:

  • Tight Clothing: Pedaling requires a lot of moving effort, and wearing tight clothing can cause you to feel uncomfortable and restricted. That’s why I always opt for loose clothing, which allows me to pedal efficiently.
  • Sunglasses Without Straps: Although sunglasses are a must-have for any water adventure, you must wear a pair with straps, holding the glasses tightly on your face. Losing your sunglasses in the middle of the lake is not fun.
  • Anything White: In general, water is considered notorious for causing strains. For that reason, wearing something white can be a risk. Stick to dark clothing, which won’t show stains as easily.

What is the Best Boating Wear For Cold Water Pedal Boating?

If you’re looking to pedal a boat in chilly waters, don’t let the cold cramp your style. A sleek wetsuit is a fabulous outfit that keeps you toasty and dry.

With its snug fit and insulating neoprene material, a wetsuit will keep you warm and comfortable even in the coldest water. Plus, it’s a statement piece sure to turn heads – perfect for anyone who wants to stand out while staying snug.

You can pair the wetsuit with neoprene booties and gloves for extra warmth and protection. This outfit will allow you to comfortably enjoy your pedal boating adventure, even in colder temperatures.

Pros of WetSuit

  • Available at a reasonable cost
  • Keeps you warm and cozy in chill weather
  • Releases sweat and allows you to breathe comfortably.

Cons of WetSuit

  • Can be extremely hot in warm weather
  • Protects you in a temperature limit (50°F and above)

Tips for Choosing the Right Clothing

Looking good is our top priority in every venture, and pedal boating is no exception. That’s why I have listed some vital tips for choosing your boating outfit. After all, you want to look unique, but not due to the wrong reasons. Let’s get started with them:

Choose Comfortable Clothes

When dressing for a boating excursion, striking a balance between fashion and function is the way to go. Sure, looking stylish is a must, but it’s also vital to feel comfortable, especially when navigating choppy waters.

So, be sure to choose an outfit that looks good and allows you to pedal around easily.

Consider Clothing With UPF Protection

While spending time on the water can be a lot of fun, it’s important to remember that the sun’s harmful UV rays can pose a severe risk to your health. Sunburn, scars, and even skin cancer are all potential dangers of prolonged sun exposure.

That’s why sun protection is vital, as you’ll likely spend several hours in direct sunlight. One creative option is to clothe with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) protection. It is made from unique fabrics with a tight weave or treated with UV-absorbing chemicals.

Dress in Layers For Changing Weather Conditions

Dressing in layers is a creative and effective way to ensure you stay comfortable and protected, no matter what nature throws your way. Begin with a moisture-wicking base layer made from breathable materials, such as merino wool or polyester.

Next, add a middle layer for insulation, like a fleece jacket or puffer vest, and top it off with a lightweight, breathable outer layer, such as a windbreaker or waterproof jacket. This way, you can easily adjust your outfit to changing weather conditions while pedaling away in comfort.

FAQs – Pedal Boating Outfits

Can I wear regular shoes while pedal boating?

Yes, you can wear regular shoes while pedal boating. You must ensure that these shoes allow you to pedal effortlessly and comfortably.

Is it safe to wear jewelry while pedal boating?

Yes, it’s generally safe to wear jewelry while pedal boating. However, avoiding loose one or jewelry that could get caught on something and cause injury is recommended.

Wrapping Up – What to Wear Pedal Boating

Pedal boating is a fun water activity that requires appropriate clothing to ensure safety, comfort, and enjoyment. The type of clothes you have should not determine your decision to go for a pedal boat ride.

As long as you wear something comfortable and weather-appropriate, you’ll have a fantastic time on the water.

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