Your Guide to Dinghy Sailing Clothing for Racing

Dinghy racing can be a great experience, but not so much if you have no gear and no idea. So let's change that. We’ve detailed some of the best dinghy sailing clothing specifically for your next race. 

Pro Tip: Temperatures usually feel colder out on the waves but in the direct sun you can also get hot and sunburnt, so to combat both of these issues it’s always wise to have extra layers on hand to save you time and effort when racing no matter what the weather decides to do. Take some time before your race to check the weather forecast. Apps like savvy navvy are a great tools to help you prepare for your race, you’ll receive navigational charts, tidal data from over 8,000 stations around the world and detailed weather forecasts which show both the changing wind speed and direction.



They’re not just for surfers and divers. They’re a must-have all-in-one solution for keeping you both warm and dry during your race. Neoprene wetsuits or steamers that are full length and fit like a second skin are amongst the most popular wetsuits due to their heat-retaining properties, making them ideal for when you’re racing in colder temperatures. But if you know you’re going to be racing in a warmer climate then smaller, thinner wetsuits like flatlock shorties can keep you dry and cool during your race in the beaming heat and sun. GUL offer a range of wetsuits that can accommodate your weather and temperature needs, allowing you to focus entirely on your dinghy race without being distracted by your body temperature or by gear that doesn't keep you dry.

Dinghy Clothing


Tops & hikers

For some that prefer a 2-piece ensemble for their race, the combination of a thermal top and hikers can give you the added flexibility you need. Musto has recently released the FlexLite Alumin Dinghy Collection that doesn’t restrict you whilst you race and is actually suitable for sailing and racing all year round. Their super-stretch neoprene tops give you unrestricted movement and feature ergonomic panelling. There’s a thermal backer for superior warmth and breathability as well as a neoprene panel in the underarm for enhanced ventilation. Musto’s FlexLite Alumin Hikers 3.0 have a unique hiking batten construction that delivers comfort and performance, enabling racers to push harder and go faster.

Padded knee pads

If you've ever uncomfortably knelt on a deck fitting or even a small piece of rope, you are aware of the pain and potential injury this may cause your knees. And when you’re in the middle of a race you do not have time to deal with this. Some long-length knee pads even extend down to the shins to further protect this accident-prone area. One such example is Roosters Race Armour Knee Pads. Stretch panels around the main knee panel allow stretch where you need it the most and improve your mobility during your race. The use of Duratex II on the outer surface and NBR rubber on the inside makes for minimal water absorption so weight will not be added to the pads when wet, and the rubber also adds some shock absorption for any slips and falls.

Sailing boots

Speaking of slips, everyone knows that the deck can become a very slippy place, so purchasing a good pair of sailing boots is essential for your race, keeping you upright, balanced and moving faster around your dinghy. Sailing Chandlery offers a range of different boots that are used by the world’s best Laser sailing athletes, including Olympic and World Champions such as the Zhik 560 Sailing Boots with Laser Grip II Hiking Strap that work harder so you don't have to. The boot and strap system allows your muscles to relax so you can hike harder for longer while maintaining full mobility during your dinghy race.

Hats, sunglasses & gloves

Additional accessories can really come in handy during a dinghy race. Whether it’s sunny and warm or windy and cold, a hat with a brim, sunglasses, and gloves can be really useful. The Gill Offshore Helmsman Hat is a great all-rounder. It will keep the sun off your face, protect your head from burning, and reduce sweat from getting into your eyes. 

The Gill Floatable Sunglasses are polarised and will stop you from straining your eyes on sunny days, particularly from the glare bouncing off the bright white deck in front of you. They also have a hydrophobic outer coating that sheds water and reduces salt residue. Oh, and they float which will appeal to anyone who has ever lost their sunglasses over the edge of their boat and slowly watched them sink and disappear!

Even on a cold day, you might still want to wear gloves. They’re not just for keeping your digits warm - the Henri Lloyd Deck Grip Short Finger Gloves are great for adding extra grip and also some much-needed protection from rope burn, helping to maximise your race performance.

A buoyancy aid

This may not enhance your racing, but if you’re not safe, you shouldn’t race. No sailor or racer is too good for a buoyancy aid. They are one of the most important items of clothing, regardless of whether you’re racing or not. A buoyancy aid will help you keep your head above water, should the worst happen. Even if you become unconscious or go into shock, a buoyancy aid will keep you buoyant until help arrives. 

Rooster's Race Armour Buoyance Aid is made from a low-profile neoprene which is specifically designed to fit you in all the right places. It is longer and thinner than its counterparts meaning there's less bulk, however, the neoprene allows it to stretch for added comfort and movement. 

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