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There are few greater activities than paddle boarding on a bright, sunny day. But if you’re going out on the water, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
One of the best ways to protect your head and face is a hat. A paddleboard hat keep much of the sun off your face. This not only minimizes the chance of a sunburn but allows you to enjoy the sights while on your SUP. If you constantly are squinting to block the sun you are not fully enjoying the ride.
In this review, we’re going to cover some of the best hats for paddle boarding, (and their relative prices) so you can enjoy the blue without turning red.
FCS Wet Bucket Surf Hat ($)
The FCS Bucket Surf Hat is made for surfing but will make a great paddle hat too if you love getting wet. Because of this it is made to get wet, stay on your head and dry off quickly. That’s why it has a smaller brim. It’s made from Quick-Dry Microfibre so your hat doesn’t stay soggy. If you dive into the water often while paddling this hat will make a good addition to your SUP gear!
Because this headgear is made to swim while wearing, the brim is smaller than most of the other models. Don’t expect massive shade over your entire face from the FCS hat. But you really should be wearing sun screen on your face anyway right? I don’t know about your but no matter how big the brim is on a hat my face still gets roasted out on the water if I am out for a while. The sun’s rays bounce off the water and right back onto your face. So a wide brim is great but doesn’t completely prevent the sun burn on our lengthy paddle board sessions.
LETHMIK Outdoor Waterproof Boonie Hat ($)
This one-size-fits-most, adjustable hat is a great option, particularly because of its waterproof construction. The LETHMIK is made from high quality polyester and boasts a UPF of 50+. The flexible brim can be worn down or up, and the hat easily folds to take up little space when packed (can even fit into a pocket!). The adjustable chin strap keeps the hat on in windy conditions, and air vents, along with mesh, keep you cool with air flow. One concern among some customers was the size. While it does fit most adult heads, reviewers with larger head sizes found the hat to be snug. Fits sizes 7- 7 ⅝ (22-24 inches).
airSUP Bucket Hat ($$)
This unisex, one-size-fits-all paddle board hat, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon, is built specially with paddle boarders in mind. It’s designed like a surf hat, but with another big perk: a neck flap to offer more protection. Made from polyester, this hat dries fast and keeps you cool with vents, which allow airflow. It also has a hard brim to shield the eyes, but not obstruct the view. Comes in black or sandy khaki.
Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Hat ($$$)
The Outdoor Research Sombrero is hands down one of the best hats for paddle boarding, though the priciest option on this list, is the most reviewed and one of the highest rated. It comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and X-large, but can also be adjusted for a better fit. It is made of 3 layers of waterproof, durable Gore-tex material, while maintaining comfort. The hat is perfect for sunny and rainy days, and the removable, adjustable strap will keep the hat on on windy waters. The foam-stiffened brim can be worn down or popped up. While the dome can easily be collapsed if needed, be careful with folding the hat brims, as a crease in the foam can last.
The Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Hat comes in assortment of colors: yellow/dark grey, abyss/black, black, forest/black, glacier/dark grey, khaki/java, multicam, orchid/dark grey, and redwood/dark grey. NOTE: not all colors are available in every size.
Best Hat for Paddle Boarding
As far as sport-specific goes… stand up paddle board hats are widely available but are not aways marketed towards paddle boarding specifically.
A paddle boarding hat should be on the top of every SUPers “must have” list, especially if you’re going out on a hot, sunny day. They protect you from UV rays, which can cause sunburn and poisoning, so you can stay on the water longer and more comfortably. The biggest concern is the fit, so if you can, purchase different sizes and keep the best one! But first, check to see if the company offers refunds. With that, best of luck and happy paddling!