What to wear kayaking in Florida-Everything you need to know for 2022

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Last Updated on August 19, 2022 by Tony K. Henderson

Paddling through a tropical paradise is similar to kayaking in Florida. With over 1,000 miles of coastline and 1,700 miles of streams and rivers to explore, the Sunshine State is surrounded by water.

Furthermore, the Florida waters are good for anyone with core strength and upper-body strength to efficiently manage a kayak.

If you visit Lover’s Key, Florida for your first kayaking adventure, you’re in for a treat! It’s a good idea to educate yourself on the fundamentals of kayaking before renting a kayak.

Before You Go Kayaking in Florida:

Before you go kayaking in Florida, you should consider the following factors:

Kayaking rules

Non-motorized and powered watercraft are governed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s laws and regulations. Although kayakers are not required to obey the same laws as motorized vessels, some of these rules do apply to them.

weather forecast

It is critical to check the weather prediction in order to dress properly. Wearing a thermal shirt and windbreaker, for example, may be acceptable on a breezy, cool day, but it may be uncomfortable on a hot day.

Water temperature

You should know the temperature of the water as well as the temperature of the air. A bathing suit or dry suit is often good for hot water temperatures, whilst a wetsuit is ideal for cold water temperatures.

What to wear kayaking in Florida

kayaking in Florida


Layering entails wearing a number of light and adaptable clothing that may keep you warm just as well as a single heavier one. Consider wearing an inner or base-layer composed of a material that insulates you and eliminates sweat while enabling you to move freely. To keep you warm and dry, the outer layer should be waterproof, breathable, and windproof.


A quick-drying, moisture-wicking long sleeve shirt offers total sun protection. Simply make sure it’s made of a light, breathable fabric for maximum comfort.


They will shield your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Consider polarized sunglasses, which will allow you to see well through the water.


Water shoes or boots are an excellent choice for kayaking. They will stay on your feet, protect your feet from rocks, and keep your feet toasty. Sneakers with wool socks, river sandals with correct straps, neoprene wetsuit booties, or specialist paddling shoes can also be used.


Because of its proximity to the equator, the sun’s rays are brighter in Florida than in the rest of the country. The rays might produce heatstroke and terrible sunburns if you are not acclimated to them. As a result, it is critical to apply sunscreen more liberally than normal.

Paddling gloves:

Lightweight gloves made of neoprene, polypropylene, or wool can shield you from abrasion and exposure. Paddle shafts, pogies, and mittens that fit securely over your hands are also appropriate for keeping you warm and dry.

Buoyancy Aids

Buoyancy aids are a type of lifesaving vest that allows for better arm and neck movement. They are more suited to wear when kayaking because they are designed for physical activities.

Even if you’re a good swimmer, you should use a buoyancy aid. If you fall out of the kayak, you risk hitting your head or injuring yourself. If you are unable to swim for whatever reason, buoyancy aids will assist you in staying afloat.

What to avoid wearing when kayaking in Florida


Jeans are made of heavy, perspiration-sucking fabric. Because of this, kayaking in Florida may be difficult if you don’t have the proper gear.

Flip flops

In the water, they may be readily removed. Because of this, the soles may be dangerously slippery.

Cotton clothes

Your clothing will become wet even if you don’t flip your kayak because of drippings, splashes, and sprays. Cotton clothing may be very chilly and ill-fitting because it rapidly wicks away water and stays damp. Instead, use synthetic fabrics like Gore-Tex, fleece, and polyester, which are quick-drying and easy to pack up.

Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Dress and Water

Florida is hot, hot, hot for most of the year. When you go kayaking, you should dress in summery clothes like t-shirts and shorts.

Water takes a long time to heat up, even when the weather is scorching. It will most likely be chilly enough to give you a chill if you fall in. There’s also the air to consider, which might make you feel cold if you get wet.

This temperature differential is most noticeable in the winter, which is Florida’s peak season. In the afternoons, air temperatures can range from the 50s to the upper 70s and 80s, while water temperatures remain consistent in the 60s.

Rent the right paddle.

Paddles designed for whitewater rapids are not the same as those designed for recreational use. Those paddles are short to make paddling easy and quick.

Recreational paddles, on the other hand, are longer due to the fact that they are designed for leisurely paddling. Even yet, when it comes to choosing a paddle, your size and the size of your kayak are important considerations.

Your paddle should be shorter than your height. Paddling with a paddle that is too long will be exhausting and difficult. A shorter paddle will be ineffective for a taller individual, and they will be unable to reach the water.

However, regardless of your size, if your kayak is larger, you may need to consider a longer paddle.

Paddle Correctly

Pull your paddle towards you once it’s in the water. But don’t pull too hard or too tightly on the paddle. This will injure your arms and hands as well as stiffen them up, making them less mobile.

Maintain your balance by standing up straight with your nose aligned with the boat’s tip. If you’re balanced, you won’t have to worry about the kayak toppling and flinging you into the water.

Maintain correct sitting posture.

Maintaining a proper seating position is one of the most crucial pieces of kayaking advice for beginners.

Although sitting erect in the cockpit might be exhausting, it is preferable to straining your muscles.

Bend your knees and make sure your legs have adequate room to move around.

What To Wear For Kayaking In North Florida

Summertime temperatures in North Florida may reach 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoiding heat exhaustion and sunburn may be prevented by dressing correctly. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a long or short-sleeved shirt and applying sunscreen. Convertible pants, which can be worn as shorts by just unzipping the bottoms, are a great way to protect your legs from the sun.

In addition to keeping your feet warm, water shoes also shield you from potentially harmful debris both on land and in the water. A portion of our cruises takes place in the marshlands of the Intracoastal waterway. Wearing a pair of water shoes (or a pair of old sneakers) can protect your feet in the event that your boat capsizes.

Reflections from the river make it difficult to see in the morning. Squinting your eyes all morning may be avoided with the use of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed cap.

What To Wear For Kayaking In Summer

Depending on the water temperature, dressing for kayaking in the summer might be a breeze or a hardship. Sun protection is important in hot weather and warm water, but if the water is cold, you must balance comfort in the cockpit with safety in the case of a swim.

Paddlers should focus on apparel that keeps them cool and protects them from the sun in hot circumstances with warm water. Long-sleeved wicking base layers give ample coverage and sun protection. For ultimate coverage, specialized base layers with hoods and long sleeves are provided.

In many circumstances, shorts will be enough, but long, quick-dry nylon trousers will provide additional protection from the sun and biting insects. Sun protection can also be obtained by wearing lightweight nylon shirts or hooded tops. A broad-brimmed hat is a smart choice to keep the sun off your face and neck.

Additional equipment needs to Bring before kayaking

  • If it rains, bring a rain jacket, a towel, and a change of clothes in case you get wet.
  • Binoculars with a camera to take in the scenery and capture memories.
  • Snacks and lots of water are recommended.
  • Anything you don’t want to get wet should be kept in a waterproof case.
  • Repellent for insects


Are life jackets required on kayaks in Florida?

Florida law requires kayakers and canoeists to carry a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device onboard, but they are not forced to use it. The most popular PFD is Type III, and Bill Jackson’s carries a vast assortment appropriate for kayak fishers and leisure paddlers.

Do I need a license to fish from a kayak in Florida?

Even if you hire a kayak fishing guide, you will still need your license if you are fishing from a kayak. A fishing license is not needed for children under the age of 16.


Kayaking for clothing is comparable to that required for other outdoor activities. You should dress appropriately to be dry and warm when kayaking, ensuring a safe and pleasurable experience.

Finally, when on the road, you should look for durability, adaptability, and comfort.

Leave a Comment

4 × 3 =