Picking Your Next Sup Hat

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Spending a day out on the water is always just what the doctor ordered. Getting some vitamin D and letting the salt air hit your skin, it’s all incredibly therapeutic. However, being out in the sun for hours on end can cause the all so dreaded sunburn, and even if you don’t get sun burnt, there are lasting effects of over-exposure to the sun without proper skincare measures.

Let’s be honest; you can’t just throw a ton of sunscreen into your hair to protect your scalp. I mean, you can if you really want to, but why would you want to? It doesn’t matter how much hair you have on the top of your head. A hat is what you need to invest in to avoid burning your scalp to a crisp.

So let’s explore paddle board hats and all that you need to know!

What to Look for In a SUP Hat

There are very few things you need to look for when considering a hat suitable for paddle boarding.

UV Protection

First things first, if a hat you’re considering doesn’t offer UV protection, stop considering it.

When a hat offers UV protection, it means the fabric has been treated with stuff that keeps the sun’s harmful rays from reaching your scalp and burning it. So always look for adequate UV protection; otherwise, you’ll just be getting a regular old hat that won’t offer adequate protection.


You have to consider what your needs are when it comes to coverage. If you’re worried about your neck and ears getting burnt, you should consider full coverage from an explorer-type hat.
If you’re more worried about your scalp, then a simple baseball cap will do!

How Fast Does it Dry

You’re likely going to get wet, and you don’t want a hat that’s going to hold on to that water. It isn’t just annoying and uncomfortable, but it can also cause issues while riding.

Secure Fit

Unless it’s a one size fits all you need to ensure the hat you’re considering will actually fit you and stay on while riding. Considering you’ll be zipping around on the waves and white waters, you have to have something that won’t move or get lost in the wind.

My Personal Pick

Personally, the hat I think is the best is the Lethmik Men’s Boonie. The functional design, overall style, and numerous features it has makes it a great choice for paddle boarding. You’ll enjoy the fact that it’s waterproof, meaning even in the rain, you can use it to protect you from sneaky rays that slip in through the clouds.

Some Great SUP Hats

Here are three great options for hats that are perfect for paddle boarding.

LETHMIK Men’s Boonie

LETHMIK Men's Boonie

This 100% waterproof sun hat is perfect for your time on the water. It’s a one-size-fits-all 100% polyester hat that offers adequate protection, is exceptionally comfortable, and is stylish to boot. You can adjust the strap to keep it in place so you can enjoy the waves without the fear of losing your hat. It’s the only hat on this list with some color options, so if you’re not sold Grey, then you’ve got beige and black to choose from.

KUHL Renegade Cap

KUHL Renegade Cap

If you’re looking for a ball cap that is able to protect you from the sun, is easy to adjust, and fits to your head, all while looking stylish, look no further than KUHL’s Renegade cap. The Renegade ball cap is a one size fits all hat made using durable 2-way stretch fabric that is also water repellant. It’s comfortable, stylish, and protective, all the things you’d hope for in a hat.

REI Co-op Vented Explorer Hat

REI Co-op Vented Explorer Hat

This stylish Rockwell-colored hat is a great addition to your extensive SUP gear list and will effortlessly protect that scalp of yours from the blistering sun. You’ve got four sizing options, so no head size is left out. Made with organically grown cotton and featuring polyester mesh side vents, it’s durable, breathable, and has UPF 50+ sun protection!

Final Thoughts

Don’t think that wearing a hat makes you any less cool while out on the water. It’s better to take care of yourself than deal with painful consequences! So take this aspect of paddle boarding seriously, get a hat, and protect your noggin before the sun burns through those luscious locks. SUP smart, and stay safe out there.


Paddleboarding has been one of the few activities that's allowed me to take a mental break from life and just be in the moment. Whether you're looking for an outlet, a method for physical fitness, or even just a way to meet new people, paddle boarding can put you on a path to achieving all these goals. Every article I post on this site is made with the intention to spread sup love and get more people to stand up and paddle!

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