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Paddling Clothing

We carry a wide variety of paddling clothing to make any outing more enjoyable. Whether you plan to brave the Atlantic during the off-season or just enjoy the river on a sunny day, we have clothing options for you.
When selecting paddling clothing, consider both the water temperature and the air temperature. If the water is cold (below 60F), you'll need to dress for cold-water paddling!
If you have questions about what clothing works best in what situations, come down and talk to our sales staff, who has tried it all!
Drysuits
A drysuit is the ultimate in cold-water safety and comfort. Imagine being fully immersed during your paddle, then getting into your car totally dry — without a change of clothes!
Kokatat
When selecting a drysuit, the primary concerns are the quality of construction and the waterproofness and breathability of the fabric. That's why we've chosen Kokatat as our drysuit supplier.
For maximum comfort, we recommend drysuits with integrated waterproof socks and a relief zipper. You may also like such features as double tunnel, zipper protector, and hood.
Also consider our Drysuit Rental Program, where you can rent by the day!
Neoprene Paddlewear
When the water is cold, the air is cold, or you know you'll be immersed repeatedly or for a long time, neoprene paddlewear will keep you warm. Many different choices are available, and having the flexibility to choose between a variety of options (maybe a wetsuit one day, shorts and long-sleeve top another day) is extremely valuable.
When you choose neoprene paddlewear, make sure you don't wear anything underneath (except perhaps a bathing suit or synthetic/polypro underwear and bra) because the cold-water protection of neoprene requires a tight fit right against your skin.
NRS
Hydroskin neoprene paddlewear is an ideal mix-and-match system that offers the perfect blend of comfort and warmth. Hydroskin is 0.5mm neoprene with thinner Lycra panels under the arms and crotch for moving comfort. The fabric contains titanium to reflect body heat back to your core, and DWR coating to bead and shed water quickly. Pants have a high-back waist and drawstring to prevent ride-down.
We carry Hydroskin long- and short-sleeve tops, plus shorts and long pants, in men's and women's. The combinations are endless, but here are a few suggestions. Say it's 55 degrees and windy. Wear the Hydroskin long-sleeve top and pants (plus an NRS Sea Hood and Snap Dragon Hot Hands). If it's 75 and lightly raining, try the short-sleeve top and shorts. If you'll be practicing rolling and the water is only 70, wear the Hydroskin long-sleeve top over a Farmer John from Deep See (see below).
You can work Hydroskin into your layering system by wearing a fleece or paddling jacket over it. Because neoprene blocks wind and insulates well, it will serve as an excellent base layer on cooler days.
Immersion Research
Neoprene shorts are really nice, but not everyone wants to go outside in tight-fitting apparel. Enter the Neo-Lined Guide Short from Immersion Research. They hide a neoprene inner short under board shorts, all in one stylish package! The outer is loose-fitting, quick-drying polyester with a cargo pocket. The inner has a high neo back to reduce chafing.
Deep See/Warmers
Paddlers generally prefer Farmer John wetsuits because of the comfort, arm mobility, and reduced cost compared to a full wetsuit. We offer the Aquatherm Farmer John because of the paddling-specific design (including stretchy panels in the seat and knees) and reasonable price. You'll want a relief zipper, and the Aquatherm includes the appropriate zipper in both the men's and women's styles.
NRS Immersion Research
Deep See & Warmers
Gloves & Pogies
Gloves can be a good choice whether it's cold or not. Half-finger gloves can offer protection from blisters and sunburn. When it is cold, gloves or pogies will keep your hands warm — choose pogies if you like a direct grip on the paddle shaft; choose gloves for warmth even when your hands aren't on the paddle.
The keys to selecting gloves are fit and grip on the shaft, while for pogies you want easy access to the shaft without resorting to your teeth.
NRS Snap Dragon Design
 
Base Layers & Sun Protection
Your choice of base layer — the clothing directly in contact with your skin — is very important for your comfort and safety. You want a fabric that will wick moisture away from your skin
(keeping you drier and helping to regulate your temperature) and dry quickly when wet.
We carry NRS Hydrosilk as our base layer of choice. Lightweight Hydrosilk is perfect as a base layer in cooler weather and alone during the summer. Hydrosilk also provides SPF 50 UV Protection against the hot summer sun.
NRS
Hydrosilk is a 6-oz. nylon/spandex blend that wicks moisture away so you stay dry and comfortable. The silky outside and brushed-nylon inside provide all-day comfort. Hydrosilk is designed to fit snugly for easy layering, or wear it alone to keep off the sun.
Paddling Jackets & Pants
Your outer layer can make or break your outfit, and not just in a stylistic sense. Whether it's wind and spray, waves and surf, or rain, you want to be prepared with a paddling jacket and pants to keep you dry, warm (but not too warm), and comfortable.
Paddling jackets range from hardcore drytops with perfect latex seals at the wrists and neck, to spray jackets that will keep off rain and spray but aren't designed to seal well. Each jacket has its purpose, and your job is to identify the situations where you'll likely use the jacket and choose the right one for the job.
Once you've chosen the right category of jacket, the most important considerations are the waterproofness and breathability of the fabric, and the comfort and seal of the wrist, neck, and waist closures.
Paddling pants can be great if you want to stay warm and keep your feet dry. Choose a waterproof pant with integrated socks for cold water or just cold days.
Immersion Research Kokatat
View Paddling Jackets and Pants in our Online Store
Headwear
Whether it's warm or cold out, you need to pay attention to headwear while kayaking. During the warmer months, you'll want a hat to keep the sun off. During the colder months, or if you're being immersed into cold water, you'll want something to keep you warm. And if you're surfing or playing in rocks, you'll want a helmet.
To keep your head warm during cold weather or cold-water immersion, try the NRS Sea Hood and Storm Hood. Made from their Mystery fabric, these hoods shed water while providing insulation. The Sea Hood covers the head and ears, while the Storm Hood also covers the neck (like a balaclava). They even fit under your helmet!
WRSI is our helmet brand of choice for surfing, playing in rocks and tidal currents, and whitewater. The customizable foam padding and adjustable retention system make wearing these helmets a breeze.
Sunday Afternoon produces hats for active outdoorspeople that are made from quick-drying nylon and are designed to keep you cool when it's warm. We've chosen wide-brimmed options for sea kayakers that stay on in the wind.
Sunday Afternoons NRS WRSI
View Hats & Hoods and Helmets in our Online Store
Footwear
NRS
When we paddle, we inevitably get out of our boats and walk along rocky shores and hiking trails. We want footwear that will protect our feet when out of the boat, and give us heel protection when in the boat. If the water is cold, we also want a shoe that will keep our feet warm.
We carry NRS booties because their thick soles wrap around the sides and heel to protect your feet and the 3-mm neoprene keeps your feet warm in cold water and comfortable in warmer weather. NRS also offers minimal booties for paddleboarding and whitewater.
See All These Products at
Our Newton Paddling Store
    Charles River Canoe & Kayak
160 Riverview Ave.
Waltham, MA 02453
(617) 965-5110
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