Picture this: you’re out on the water, enjoying a leisurely paddle on your Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP). The sun shines, the water is calm, and everything seems perfect. But wait, what’s that?
A blazing sunbeam threatening to scorch your face? Don’t worry; we have the perfect solution for you – SUP Hats and Visors!
These trusty accessories shield you from harmful UV rays and add a touch of style to your SUP adventures. So, say goodbye to sunburns and hello to endless fun under the sun with SUP Hats and Visors!
Choosing the Right SUP Hat
Consider the Material
When choosing the right SUP hat, one of the most important factors to consider is the hat’s material. The material should be lightweight, breathable, and quick-drying to provide maximum comfort while out on the water. Look for hats made of nylon, polyester, or a blend of these fabrics. These materials are known for their durability and ability to withstand water and sun exposure.
Look for UPF Protection
Another crucial factor when choosing a SUP hat is its UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that is blocked by the fabric. Look for hats with a high UPF rating, ideally 50+, to ensure maximum protection against harmful sun rays. This will help prevent sunburns, reduce the risk of heatstroke, and protect your skin from long-term damage caused by UV exposure.
Find a Comfortable Fit
Comfort is critical when it comes to choosing a SUP hat. Look for hats in various sizes or with adjustable features such as straps or drawstrings to ensure a snug and secure fit. A hat that is too tight may cause discomfort and headache, while the wind may easily blow away a hat that is too loose. Prioritize finding a hat that fits comfortably and securely on your head, providing protection without sacrificing comfort.
Consider the Brim Size
The brim size of a SUP hat is an important consideration, as it determines the amount of shade and protection it provides. A wider brim offers more excellent coverage from the sun, shielding your face, neck, and ears. However, a hat with an excessively wide brim may impede your visibility, especially when paddling. Consider the activities you will be engaging in while wearing the hat and choose a brim size that strikes the right balance between sun protection and visibility.
Check the Strap or Chin Cord
While on the water, the wind and movement of your paddle strokes may cause your hat to fall off. To avoid losing your hat and having to constantly readjust it, look for a SUP hat with a strap or chin cord. These adjustable features will keep your hat securely in place, even in windy conditions or during more vigorous water activities. Make sure the strap or chin cord is comfortable and easy to adjust, as you may need to tighten or loosen it based on your preference or the conditions on the water.
Consider Your Style Preferences
Lastly, consider your personal style preferences when choosing a SUP hat. There is a wide variety of hat styles available, ranging from sporty and functional to trendy and fashionable. Whether you prefer the classic look of a baseball cap or the wide-brimmed elegance of a sun hat, there is a SUP hat that will suit your style. Choose a hat that not only provides the necessary protection but also makes you feel confident and stylish while out on the water.
Benefits of Wearing SUP Hats
Protection from Harmful Sunrays
One of the most prominent and vital benefits of wearing a SUP hat is the protection it provides from harmful sunrays. Spending long hours out on the water exposes your skin to intense UV radiation, which can lead to sunburns, premature aging, and even skin cancer. A SUP hat with a high UPF rating and a wide brim offers reliable protection, ensuring that your face and neck are shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.
Prevention of Sunburn and Heatstroke
By wearing a SUP hat, you significantly reduce the risk of sunburn and heatstroke, both of which can be severe health concerns. Sunburns can be painful and uncomfortable, while heatstroke can be life-threatening. A SUP hat with a wide brim provides shade and prevents direct sun exposure, keeping your head and face cool and protected from these risks.
Reduction of Glare
Glare from the water’s surface can make it difficult to see and can strain your eyes. Wearing a SUP hat with a brim or a visor helps reduce glare by blocking the direct sunlight. This allows you to have a clear and unobstructed view of your surroundings, improving your overall visibility and making your paddling experience safer and more enjoyable.
Protection for Eyes and Face
Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to a variety of eye-related issues, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. Wearing a SUP hat helps protect your eyes from these potential risks by providing shade and reducing the amount of UV radiation that reaches your face. It also helps protect your eyes from the wind, water spray, and debris that can be encountered while paddling.
Wearing a SUP hat not only protects your eyes but also enhances your visibility on the water. The hat’s brim or visor acts as a shield against the sun, allowing you to see more clearly and reducing the strain on your eyes. This is particularly important when navigating through obstacles, such as rocks or other watercraft, where clear and unobstructed vision is crucial for safety.
Prevention of Hair Damage
Prolonged exposure to the sun can damage your hair, leaving it dry, brittle, and discolored. The UV rays can also fade hair color and weaken the hair shaft, leading to breakage and split ends. Wearing a SUP hat with a brim or visor offers protection to your hair, shielding it from the sun’s damaging rays and helping to maintain its health and vitality.
Different Types of SUP Hats and Visors
Wide-brimmed hats provide excellent sun protection, as they offer a large surface area of shade. These hats have a brim that extends all the way around, providing coverage not only for your face but also for your neck and ears. Wide-brimmed hats are ideal for extended periods of time spent in the sun, offering maximum protection and a stylish look.
Bucket hats are a popular choice for outdoor activities, including stand-up paddleboarding. They typically have a downward-sloping brim that goes all the way around the hat, offering adequate shade and protection for your face. Bucket hats often feature an adjustable or flexible brim, allowing you to customize the coverage based on your needs.
Baseball caps are a classic option for SUP enthusiasts. With their short brim at the front, they provide shade for the face while allowing for better visibility. Many SUP baseball caps are made of quick-drying and breathable materials, ensuring comfort during your paddleboarding adventures.
Visors are an excellent choice for those who prefer a minimalistic and lightweight option. Visors typically consist of a brim at the front that shades the eyes and forehead, leaving the top of the head exposed. They are an excellent choice for high-intensity water activities, as they offer sun protection while allowing maximum airflow and ventilation.
Sun Hats with Neck Flaps
Sun hats with neck flaps are specifically designed to provide additional protection for the neck, which is often overlooked and susceptible to sunburn. These hats have a wide brim that extends to cover the back of the neck, shielding it from the sun’s harmful rays. Sun hats with neck flaps are an excellent choice for SUP enthusiasts who want extra protection in areas prone to sunburn.
Rashguard hats are made of the same material as rashguard shirts, offering sun protection for the head and face. These hats are typically lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable, making them comfortable to wear during water activities. Rashguard hats often have a stretchy and form-fitting design that ensures a secure fit, even in windy conditions.
Straw hats are a stylish option for SUP enthusiasts. They provide a classic and beachy look while still offering decent sun protection. Straw hats are known for their breathability, allowing air to circulate and keep your head cool. However, they may not provide as much coverage as hats made from other materials.
Mesh hats are a popular choice for those looking for maximum airflow and breathability. These hats have a mesh crown, allowing air to pass through and keep your head cool while paddling. Mesh hats are lightweight and quick-drying, making them an ideal choice for hot and humid climates.
Waterproof hats are designed to withstand water exposure without losing shape or functionality. These hats are usually made of materials that repel water, such as nylon or polyester, and they often feature a quick-drying lining. Waterproof hats are an excellent option for SUP enthusiasts who want a hat that can handle splashes and spray without getting saturated.
Fashionable Beach Hats
Fashionable beach hats are perfect for those looking to paddle in style. These hats come in a variety of designs and materials, offering a trendy and chic look while providing sun protection. Fashionable beach hats may not offer as much coverage as wider-brimmed hats but are an excellent choice for leisurely paddling or relaxing on the beach.
Features to Consider in SUP Visors
Adjustable Velcro Closure
When choosing a SUP visor, look for one with an adjustable Velcro closure. This feature allows you to customize the fit and ensure the visor stays securely in place, even during intense paddling or windy conditions. The Velcro closure also makes the visor easy to put on and take off, providing convenience and versatility.
SUP visors made of moisture-wicking fabric are designed to pull sweat away from the skin and help it evaporate quickly. This feature is essential for active water activities where perspiration is typical. Moisture-wicking fabric keeps your head dry and comfortable, preventing sweat from running into your eyes and obstructing your vision.
A built-in sweatband is a valuable feature in a SUP visor, as it helps absorb and manage sweat. The sweatband is typically made of a soft and absorbent material that prevents sweat from dripping into your eyes and keeps your forehead dry. A visor with a sweatband enhances comfort and ensures that you can focus on your paddleboarding experience without the distraction of sweat.
Visors with reflective details are great for those who frequently paddle during low-light conditions, such as early or late evenings. These reflective details enhance visibility and make you more easily seen by other watercraft or boaters. Safety should always be a priority, and a visor with reflective details adds an extra layer of protection during times of reduced visibility.
Choose a SUP visor made of quick-drying material to ensure that it dries rapidly after exposure to water. Quick-drying visors are essential for activities such as SUP surfing or whitewater paddling, where your visor may get wet frequently. The quick-drying feature prevents the visor from becoming heavy or uncomfortable, allowing you to stay focused on your paddleboarding adventure.
A breathable SUP visor is essential for maintaining comfort during water activities. Look for a visor with perforations or a mesh panel that allows air to circulate and keeps your head cool. This feature prevents excessive heat buildup, reduces sweat, and ensures proper ventilation. Breathable visors are particularly beneficial for hot and humid environments.
Packable and Lightweight Design
Consider a packable and lightweight visor if you often travel with your SUP gear or have limited storage space. These visors are designed to be easily folded or rolled up, making them compact and convenient. Additionally, a lightweight visor will not add unnecessary weight to your gear and will be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
A visor with a ventilated crown allows for optimal airflow and breathability. The crown is the top part of the visor that covers the top of your head. Ventilated crowns are typically made of mesh or have perforations, allowing air to circulate and keeping you cool. This feature is essential if you paddle in hot and humid conditions.
Just like SUP hats, SUP visors must offer UV protection. Look for visors that block harmful UV rays and have a high UPF rating. This ensures that your face is protected from sunburns and long-term sun damage. The visor’s brim should provide adequate shade for your eyes, forehead, and other exposed areas.
An anti-glare visor is particularly beneficial when paddleboarding in bright sunlight or on water surfaces with high glare. These visors are designed to reduce the reflection and glare caused by the sun, enabling better visibility. Minimizing glare allows you to focus on your surroundings, navigate more efficiently, and enhance your safety.
Tips for Taking Care of SUP Hats
Hand Wash with Mild Soap
To prolong your SUP hat’s lifespan, hand-washing it using a mild soap or detergent is recommended. Fill a basin with lukewarm water and a small amount of soap, then gently agitate the hat in the soapy water. Pay special attention to any areas with visible dirt or stains. Avoid harsh chemicals or bleach, which may damage the fabric or alter the colors.
After washing your SUP hat, allow it to air dry naturally. Avoid using a clothes dryer or exposing the hat to direct sunlight, as this can cause the fabric to shrink, fade, or become misshapen. Lay the hat flat on a towel or a drying rack in a well-ventilated area, and ensure it is scorched before storing it.
Avoid Folding or Crushing
To maintain the shape and integrity of your SUP hat, avoid folding or crushing it unnecessarily. This can cause creases or distortions in the brim or crown. If you need to pack or store the hat, consider using a hat box or stuffing it with tissue paper to help it retain its shape. Remember to remove any excess stuffing before wearing the hat.
Store in a Cool and Dry Place
Proper storage is essential in preserving the quality and lifespan of your SUP hat. Store it in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat. Avoid storing the hat in a damp or humid environment, as this can promote mold or mildew growth. Consider using a hat rack or hanging it in a closet to prevent it from getting crushed or damaged.
Keep Away from Chemicals or Harsh Cleansers
When wearing your SUP hat, avoid contact with chemicals such as sunscreen, insect repellent, or hair products. These substances can stain or discolor the fabric of the hat. If contact with these substances does occur, gently dab or blot the area with a damp cloth and mild soap as soon as possible. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can further damage the fabric.
Remove Sweat and Saltwater Residue
After each use, wipe off any sweat or saltwater residue from your SUP hat. Excessive salt can cause the fabric to become stiff or discolored over time. Use a damp cloth or sponge with freshwater to gently clean the hat. Allow it to air dry before storing.
Check and Replace Damaged Parts
Regularly inspect your SUP hat for any signs of damage or wear. Check the seams, straps, and other components for fraying, tearing, or stretching. Replace any damaged parts or consider getting a new hat if the damage is extensive. It’s crucial to ensure that your hat is in good condition to provide optimal protection and comfort.
Use Hat Retainers or Clips
Consider using hat retainers or clips to prevent your SUP hat from flying off in windy conditions. Hat retainers attach to the hat and can be secured under your chin or at the back of your head. They provide an additional layer of security, keeping your hat firmly in place. Clips can be attached to the brim of your hat and secured to your clothing, preventing the hat from lifting off.
Choosing the Right SUP Hat for Different Water Activities
When paddleboarding in the surf, choose a SUP hat with a secure strap or chin cord to ensure it stays in place. A hat with a broader brim provides better protection against the intense sun and spray. Consider a quick-drying and lightweight hat that won’t hinder your movements in the water.
A visor or a hat with a lightweight and breathable design is recommended for SUP yoga. This allows maximum ventilation and airflow, ensuring you stay relaxed and comfortable during your yoga practice. Look for a visor or hat made of quick-drying fabric to minimize discomfort caused by water exposure.
When fishing from your SUP, choose a hat with a wide brim to provide ample shade to your face, neck, and ears. Look for a hat with a sweatband to prevent sweat from getting in your eyes while reeling in a catch. It’s also important to consider a hat with a secure chin cord or strap to prevent it from falling off while casting or battling a fish.
When participating in SUP racing, choose a hat that balances sun protection and aerodynamics. Look for a lightweight and streamlined hat that won’t weigh you down or impede your speed. Consider a hat with a quicker-drying fabric to avoid discomfort caused by water exposure during the race.
For SUP touring, a hat with a broader brim is ideal to protect your face, neck, and ears from the sun’s rays. Look for a hat made of lightweight and breathable material to ensure maximum comfort during long paddling sessions. It’s also important to consider a hat with a chin cord or strap to keep it in place while navigating different water conditions.
SUP Whitewater Paddling
When paddling in whitewater, choose a secure hat that stays in place, even when encountering turbulent rapids. Look for a hat with a strap or chin cord that can be tightened for a secure fit. It is essential to prioritize safety and choose a hat that the force of the water won’t easily knock off.
SUP River Surfing
River surfing requires a hat that can withstand the dynamic nature of the sport. Look for a hat made of durable material that can handle exposure to water, waves, and impacts. Consider a hat with a secure chin cord or strap to ensure it stays on even during wipeouts or powerful maneuvers.
For general SUP recreation, where you may engage in various activities, choose a hat that suits your style and offers adequate sun protection. Look for a hat that is comfortable, secure, and made of quick-drying fabric. Consider the level of coverage you desire, whether you prefer a visor, a baseball cap, or a wide-brimmed hat.
Factors to consider when choosing SUP Hats for Kids
Safety should be the top priority when choosing SUP hats for kids. Look for hats with a secure and adjustable chin strap to ensure they stay on even during active water activities. Avoid hats with long straps that can pose a choking hazard. Choosing hats made of non-toxic materials that won’t irritate sensitive skin is also essential.
Size and Fit
Proper sizing and fit are crucial when choosing SUP hats for kids. Look for hats in various sizes or with adjustable features such as straps or drawstrings. Ensure the hat fits comfortably and securely on your child’s head without being too tight or loose. A well-fitting hat offers optimal protection and ensures it stays in place during water activities.
Kids can be rough on their gear, so choosing a durable SUP hat that can withstand their active lifestyles is essential. Look for hats made of high-quality materials that can handle exposure to water, sand, and sun without losing their shape or functionality. Reinforced stitching and sturdy construction are also essential for long-lasting durability.
Choosing SUP hats with child-friendly designs can make the whole experience more enjoyable for kids. Look for hats that feature fun prints, bright colors, or their favorite characters. This allows kids to express their style and makes them more likely to wear the hat willingly.
As with adult SUP hats, UPF protection is also crucial for kids’ hats. Look for hats with a high UPF rating to ensure maximum protection against harmful UV rays. This helps prevent sunburns, reduces the risk of heatstroke, and protects your child’s skin from long-term sun damage.
Choose hats with adjustable straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for kids. Kids increase, so being able to adjust the hat as they grow makes it more versatile and cost-effective. Adjustable straps also help keep the hat in place during active play, preventing it from falling off and getting lost.
Breathable and Lightweight Materials
Kids can quickly overheat, especially during outdoor activities. Look for SUP hats made of breathable and lightweight materials that allow air to circulate and cool their heads. This ensures maximum comfort and reduces the risk of overheating or discomfort caused by excessive sweating.
Bright Colors for Visibility
Opt for hats in bright colors or with reflective details to enhance visibility, especially in crowded areas or low-light conditions. A hat that stands out makes it easier to keep an eye on your child and helps others on the water notice their presence. In situations where kids might swim near boat traffic, visibility becomes even more critical for safety.
Easy to Clean
Kids tend to get dirty, so choosing SUP hats that are easy to clean is essential. Look for hats that can be hand-washed or machine-washed without losing their shape or color. Avoid hats that require delicate or complicated cleaning processes, as this can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Supplementing SUP Hats with Sunscreen and Sunglasses
Applying Sunscreen Properly
While wearing a SUP hat provides significant sun protection, it is essential to supplement it with sunscreen for complete coverage. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to all exposed skin, including the face, neck, and ears. Pay special attention to easily overlooked areas, such as the back of the neck and the tops of the ears. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if sweating or in and out of the water.
Choosing the Right Sunglasses
Select sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for sunglasses with polarized lenses, as they reduce glare and enhance visibility, especially when surrounded by water. The sunglasses should fit securely and comfortably on your face, ensuring they stay in place during water activities.
Importance of UV Protection
UV protection is essential for both your skin and your eyes. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to skin damage, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. UV radiation can also cause eye-related issues such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. By wearing a SUP hat, sunscreen, and UV-protected sunglasses, you can enjoy your paddleboarding adventures while minimizing the risks of UV exposure.
Ensuring Full Body Sun Protection
While this article focuses on SUP hats, it is essential to remember to protect your entire body from the sun’s harmful rays. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing covering your arms, legs, and torso. Consider using rashguards or sun-protective clothing with a high UPF rating. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas, especially on areas prone to sunburn, such as your hands and feet.
Sunscreen wears off, especially when exposed to water, sweat, or friction from the hat or clothing. Relying on sunscreen every two hours or more frequently is crucial if you have been sweating or in and out of the water. Use a water-resistant sunscreen to provide more extended protection, but remember that no sunscreen is entirely waterproof, so regular reapplication is necessary.
Consider using sunglasses retainers to ensure you don’t lose your sunglasses while paddleboarding. These retainers attach to the temples of your sunglasses and secure them around your head or neck. Sunglasses retainers are especially useful in active water activities with a higher risk of losing sunglasses.
Consider Polarized Lenses
Polarized lenses are particularly beneficial for paddleboarding, as they reduce the glare from the sun reflecting off the water’s surface. Glare can be distracting and impair visibility, making it harder to navigate and increasing the risk of accidents. By choosing sunglasses with polarized lenses, you can enjoy a clearer view of your surroundings and a safer paddleboarding experience.
Waterproof sunscreens are specifically formulated to remain effective even when exposed to water for extended periods. These sunscreens are ideal for water activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, where water-resistant protection is necessary. Look for sunscreens labeled “waterproof” or “water-resistant” with a high SPF to ensure long-lasting and reliable sun protection.
Where to Buy SUP Hats and Visors
Sporting Goods Stores
Most sporting goods stores carry a variety of SUP hats and visors specifically designed for outdoor water activities. These stores often have knowledgeable staff who can help you choose the right hat based on your needs and preferences. Some stores may even have a try-on area where you can test the fit and comfort of different hats before purchasing.
Outdoor Specialty Stores
Outdoor specialty stores that cater to water sports enthusiasts are another excellent option for purchasing SUP hats and visors. These stores offer a wide selection of gear and accessories for activities such as stand-up paddleboarding. The staff at these stores are usually passionate about water sports and can provide expert advice on choosing the right hat for your needs.
Online retailers offer a convenient and extensive range of SUP hats and visors. Websites like Amazon, REI, and Backcountry provide various styles, brands, and price ranges. When purchasing online, read customer reviews and check the sizing and fit information the seller provides. It’s also important to check the return policy in case you need to exchange or return the hat.
Surf and SUP Shops
Surf and SUP shops specifically cater to water sports enthusiasts and often have a great selection of SUP hats and visors. These shops may carry specialized brands and models explicitly designed with SUP. The staff at these shops are usually knowledgeable about the sport and can provide valuable advice on choosing the right hat for your individual needs and preferences.
Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is paramount when standing-up paddleboarding. Choosing the right SUP hat plays a crucial role in ensuring your protection, comfort, and performance on the water. From considering the material and UPF protection to finding a comfortable fit and style that suits your preferences, there are various factors to consider when choosing a SUP hat.
SUP hats offer numerous benefits, including protection from harmful sunrays, prevention of sunburn and heatstroke, reduction of glare, protection for your eyes and face, improved visibility, and prevention of hair damage. Different types of SUP hats and visors are available, ranging from wide-brimmed and bucket hats to baseball caps and fashionable beach hats. Each type offers unique features and advantages, allowing you to choose the best one for your needs and water activities.
When selecting a SUP visor, consider features such as an adjustable Velcro closure, moisture-wicking fabric, sweatband, reflective details, quick-drying material, breathability, packable and lightweight design, ventilated crown, UV protection, and anti-glare visor. These features enhance comfort, functionality, and overall performance during your paddleboarding adventures.
Taking care of your SUP hat is essential to ensure its longevity. From hand washing with mild soap and air drying to avoiding folding or crushing and storing in a cool and dry place, following proper maintenance practices helps preserve the quality and functionality of your hat. Regularly checking and replacing damaged parts and using hat retainers or clips contribute to keeping your hat in good condition and preventing it from getting lost.
When choosing SUP hats for kids, prioritize safety considerations, proper sizing and fit, durability, child-friendly designs, UPF protection, adjustable straps, breathable and lightweight materials, bright colors for visibility, and easy cleaning. Attention to these factors ensures your child is well-protected and comfortable during their paddleboarding adventures.
While SUP hats provide crucial sun protection, it’s important to supplement them with sunscreen and sunglasses. Applying sunscreen correctly, choosing the right sunglasses, and ensuring full body sun protection complete your sun safety routine during paddleboarding activities. Following these practices allows you to enjoy your SUP adventures safely and confidently.
SUP hats and visors can be purchased at sporting goods stores, outdoor specialty stores, online retailers, and surf and SUP shops. Consider the benefits of each option, such as customer service, product selection, and convenience, when deciding where to buy your SUP hat.
Protecting your skin and eyes, enhancing your comfort and performance, choosing the right style and features, and investing in high-quality SUP hats are crucial to enjoying your SUP adventures safely.
Whether leisurely paddling on a calm lake, exploring river rapids, or racing against the clock, the right SUP hat significantly contributes to your overall experience on the water. So grab your SUP hat, apply sunscreen, and get ready to embark on thrilling paddleboarding adventures while staying shielded from the sun’s rays.