paddling in cold weather...


What do you recommand against cold weather (well, not that cold, air temp. around 10-15°C and water temp. 11-13° C ) to paddle ?
For you people in warm areas, please com here to know what I'm talking about before living any sarcastic comments... :-)
I would like to keep paddling in winter too.

Submitted by ninefeet on Mon, 09/29/2008 - 11:51pm

i use a 2mm wetsuit (ripcurl surf kine) and 3mm booties.
the suits these days are like wearing nothing.....
good luck!!

#1 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 12:23am

You call that cold !! ? ?

When it gets up to 10 to 15 c I`m looking for the suntan lotion....

#2 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 1:25am

With water temps in the mid 50ies, a 2mm suit should be good if you’re not falling in the water too much. Personally, I would go with a 3mm if you plan on being a decent distance off shore just in case you get in a situation where you need to be swimming for a while. Booties are good and gloves are an option, but watch out for surfing gloves as they tend to tear at the seams from the friction of holding a paddle.

A real concern when you are wearing a wetsuit in mild weather (50ies and up) is overheating. You have to remember that aerobic exercise and skin-tight black rubber will heat you up pretty good. These suits are meant for being in the water and having water cycle through them. If the water temp is in the 60ies, I’ll often unzip mine for ventilation, knowing I can pop my arms back in if I fall in the water.

Both my 6mm and 3mm suits are the O’Neill Psycho 2 –probably the warmest and most comfortable suit out there. But if you’re not going to be surfing in it, don’t waste the cash on a super high-end suit. You’ll probably be less likely to overheat in a cheaper suit and it will be more motivation not to fall in the water…

#3 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 2:31am


#4 Sun, 11/30/2008 - 2:10am


#5 Mon, 03/23/2009 - 11:17am

I'd recommend looking at something designed for paddling rather than surfing... I've found a couple layers of polypro work well for paddling in those temps in a six man, not sure if I'd trust myself enough in just that on a one man. I'd check out paddling drytops and pants instead of wetsuits. You can adjust what you wear underneath for the air temperature, they're designed for paddling so there's less restriction in movement, and you can get a full suit, a short or long sleeved top, and pair them with pants, a farmer john wetsuit, etc so you've got a lot more flexibility.

I think goto uses a drytop for Seattle winters nowadays based on this article:

He's probably got some good advice on paddling in those temps...

#6 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 3:10am

#7 Sun, 11/30/2008 - 2:13am

those sound like some warm waters compared to here ninefeet!

Last year in prep for Molo Solo we had to paddle with ice chunks floating around
Water temp about 42 F (5 C) and even now it is only about 60 F (15 C)

One of the guys used a drysuit, I used drypants only with polypro on top. Luckily though I never had to see if that would be warm enough if I had to deal with being in the water

I just saw a O'Neill hybrid drysuit (wetsuit bottom, drysuit top) and am considering giving that a try, especially since the date of the Molo Solo has already been anounced to be in April (Last year we were unaware of the Epic/Paa split until after we had alredy booked our flights this year we wil have one less month of we'll have to dodge even bigger ice chunks this year!)

#8 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 3:52am


#9 Mon, 03/23/2009 - 6:34am

Yeah, that O'neill hybrid suit looks perfect for winter paddling. I wear a farmer john w/ a dry top for the really cold days, but a lot of the kayakers have a full dry-suit w/ insulation underneath, but I heard it's really hard to swim w/ those on. Surfing wetsuits are too restrictive for me, but I have a 6/5/4 mm Rip Curl. A thinner one might work better, I heard the Patagonia suits are awesome! Booties are a must, but I only wear gloves when its below freezing, hardly ever up here. Surfing gloves are too fragile, you can get way cheaper and sturdier gloves from Aukai, are you related to my buddy Tom Aukai? He is also a total penny pincher! Nah, nah...I think you're right, technically, but it would be nice if both of you guys could see things each other's way. Kum-ba-mutherfuckin'-yah, and happy Fall/Winter paddling!

#10 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 4:38am

Don't ask Goto what about winter paddling, in winter on LakeWarshingtun all he wears is a big Hawaiian fish-hook! He says the cold water helps to keep his sperm count high...

#11 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 4:47am

Unless you burp a full drysuit (which is must for safety in the water) you run the risk of having any air in the suit forced to the top in the water. The top could be your feet or your upper body, although I've never wound up upside down long enough with one on to have my feet inflated. Anyway, if you have too much air, the suit balloons up and you can't move your arms, even if you are floating. Definitely sucks for trying to get back on a boat!

For good paddling gloves, NRS makes a variety from super light to pre-curved super thick ones. I've never found the super thick ones to keep my hands warm though and usually go for the ones that let me still move my fingers. Leather palms are nice for durability. I've had a pair withstand hauling on lots of heavy, wet lines, covered in zebra mussels for several seasons.

That Oneill suit looks nice, but you can probably get a dry top, farmer john setup for a lot less than that, and then you can mix and match a bit more... I've seen drytops on Sierra Trading Post for $100 from good manufacturers.

#12 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 5:02am

#13 Sun, 11/30/2008 - 2:12am


Brah, don't forget, you still owe me $25 for last years Canadians! Or, is it the other way around? Whatever.


#14 Tue, 09/30/2008 - 1:52pm

Neoprene above the waist acts like a rubberband against you everytime you twist. If you wear full neoprene, you really aren't paddling with good form, and you are probably overheating badly.

By my figures, 10 degrees centigrade equals about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That's is moderately chilly.When it is moderately chilly I wear neoprene shorts and a duofold henley style top and a fleece beanie.Duofold (L.L.Bean river driver shirt) is a wool cotton mix. Wool is one of the only materials that provides warnth even when wet. No synthetic does. "Wicking" doesn't work when the material is saturated. Since you lose most of your body heat through your head, some sort of hat is a very easy way to keep your body temperature reasonable. Rule: If your feet are cold, put on a hat.

When it gets colder, I wear splash pants and a splash top over the neoprene shorts and duofold top and very thin neoprene gloves. Neoprene makes for problems with gloves, too. Every time you grip, it springs back against you. When it is this cold, I wear a wool watchcap.

When it is really, really cold air below 32 F and water below 40 F,, I wear a drysuit top over the duofold, a wetsuit bottom, gloves and a neoprene hood. When it is this cold I find I must wear some sort of eyeprotection, so my tears of discomfort don't freeze my eyelids shut.

"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm" - Syrus Publilius

#15 Wed, 10/01/2008 - 4:57am

No booties, Yankee? A farmer john or a full 2-3mm wetsuit are restrictive but if you huli, you'll still be able to regain some comfort. I can be all manly and wear just neoprene shorts in December, but nowdays I prefer to over do it with the farmer john and the dry-top, even when it's in the forties. This enables me to stay out a lot longer.

#16 Wed, 10/01/2008 - 6:07am

Booties, si. Farmer john, nyet.

(I thought I'd already preached the forum elsewhere the perennial need for footgear in New England where the coastal staple crops are poison ivy, broken bottles, and razor clams.)

A farmer john gives you the same rubberbanding problem. The straps cover your shoulders and resist twisting. The harder you twist, the harder they resist.

I went to a dive shop at the end of the season (right about now) and bought one of their rental farmer johns that was on sale and cut it off right above the waist.

I'm sure NRS is mad at me.

Did you want to know what brand of swim brief I wear? Tyr or DeSoto triathlon, the one's with the battery operated heating system.
"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm" - Syrus Publilius

#17 Wed, 10/01/2008 - 8:34am

quote :
A farmer john gives you the same rubberbanding problem. The straps cover your shoulders and resist twisting. The harder you twist, the harder they resist.

I agree with you, but in fact, after one session with a regular neoprene, I was like burned under my arms...
I'll try to cut an old 3/2 mm and let you know !

#18 Tue, 10/07/2008 - 6:02am

Here the lake gets down to about 48 degrees and air temp in the mornings can be high 30's, low 40's. I'll wear booties, 3mm shorts and a Hydroskin vest (0.5mm). If its real windy I'll wear a short sleeve nylon windbreaker over the vest. No huli allowed.

#19 Tue, 10/07/2008 - 6:33am

I've started OC1 in august (sommer here) and wonder if I'll keep paddling in winter...
Now I know !

Thanks to all for your tips.

#20 Tue, 10/07/2008 - 11:02pm

A beanie, polyprop top and leggings, Boardy shorts so you don't look too rude in the leggings, booties and lipbalm for that wind burn. oh and a water bottle for when you start to warm up.

The polypropolyne thermo wear is light,
it is one of the best isulators if you take a dip.
It also easy to wash and dry. it can fluff up but that is no big deal. It is also cheap.
It comes in all sizes colours and styles... log sleeve, short sleeve, poloneck and singlet. Male and female shapes.
polyproplene rules in cold weather!!
I love my polyprops

#21 Wed, 10/08/2008 - 12:18am

The only thing about the polypro get-up is that you might die if you have to swim for it in cold water! That's pretty much what wear for winter racing, though.

#22 Wed, 10/08/2008 - 6:26am

NRS has a product line called hydroskin. Very light neoprene. They have pants with the higher waist to keep water from dripping down your back.

#23 Wed, 10/08/2008 - 8:17am

Despite what EMS and REI tell you about polypropylene, I don't believe it keeps you warm when it is totally saturated with water.

I may be wrong, but I think polypropylene just has a good PR agency. It keeps you warm when you sweat alittle because it wicks perspiration away from your skin. Once its saturated, no more wicking.
"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm" - Syrus Publilius

#24 Wed, 10/08/2008 - 9:18am

Yeah, NRS Hydroskin vests are great. Doesn't bind up your body, plenty warm till you're talking serious cold. Unless its really windy, its all I'll wear on my upper body.

#25 Wed, 10/08/2008 - 9:45am

I will be paddling in the central coast area this winter...water 50-53 range with air temp about 60's...I tend to run on the warm side but I have do fall in a bit. Would the NRS hydroskin vest and shorts be good for this temp?

thanks for advice!

#26 Wed, 10/08/2008 - 11:42pm

The shorts and vest would be fine for those temps, as long as you don't have to swim for it. When I go in the Puget Sound on a rough day, I like to dress as if I might end up boatless, just in case. This is also when the "don't paddle really far from shore" rule comes into play. Most of the time, you can get away w/ wearing lighter clothing than you should. It's just that one time that you end up needing better protection that it matters. So it's more of a personal decision. If you really want to be safe and don't mind the restricted movement, wear a full wetsuit or drysuit. If you like chance 'um, you can wear whatevahs...

#27 Thu, 10/09/2008 - 2:50am

maybe the farmers suit. Just trying to gauge. Thanks for reply.

OR whatever these guys are wearing.

#28 Thu, 10/09/2008 - 9:28pm

Lets hope that we do not have to leave our craft and swim. That could be a big mistake.
I guess it is a decission that has to weighed up on the spot.

I have been exposed to cold stormy conditions (damage OC6) with only polyprops and survived to tell the tale. Spent a couple of hours in the water before being rescued.

When I surfed, neopreme was only warm when it let water in the suit and I stayed in one position. If I changed positions the warm water would exit the suit and cold would replace it.
In white water Kayaking I found neopreme could get sweaty .. but not hold the warmth like a polyprop top and wind breaker.
There is more bouyancy in neopreme but polyprop is less restrictive.
I guess if we end up in the water and can not get back in the craft for some reason.... we can assume the H.E.L.P (heat escape lessning position) and stay with our craft.
That way we will maintain more body warmth. We have the added bonus of multiple body warmth in an OC6.

I have used polyprop camping in the snow, and camping in storms in the mountains, as well as white water Kayaking in dam cold rivers, so I do not believe that it is a PR promotion. I state my life on it...more than once.
And the PR people are not doing a great job...the stuff is dirt cheap.
I guess it comes down to personal choice

#29 Thu, 10/09/2008 - 11:28pm

There's no way in hell polypropylene underwear is going to keep you warm in 50 degree water. That's why when you go surfing in 50 degree water, everyone's wearing 5mm's of neoprene. Do you see anyone surfing w/ polypropylene undies on in Tofino? Stop telling people they can survive w/ fricken long johns on in cold water, please. You might cause them to die in proving your point. Polypro is great, but not for submersion. I'm not advocating leaving your boat, either. This is for the situation, like the Oceanside guy, where you have no boat. That's why I prefer a wetsuit, because it's really hard to swim in a drysuit. Polypropylene is great under the wetsuit, but by itself in 50 degree water won't keep you warm much longer than skin.

#30 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 3:09am

Got to agree with Jim, polypro is not going to keep you warm in the water or if its fully saturated. Neoprene will. If your wetsuit is "pumping" cold water its not a good fit. Look at surfers, divers, world round in cold water. They all wear neoprene.

The Hydroskin vest and shorts are plenty warm as long as you know that you're not going to have to do the big swim. If its cold and windy here, that's what I wear plus a leash.

#31 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 5:20am

I'm extra paranoid 'cause my boat is old! Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, right?

#32 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:03am

In Cold Weather training one of the first things they taught us about our gear/clothing is not to get them wet. Polypropylene was the "new" wicking/warming layer product, but it won't keep you warm if it's wet. That was the reason the Gortex jacket/pants which is the wind/water protector layer was needed. If the polypro got wet, it was advised to change into a dry pair or you'd lose body heat through convection.

Polypro is great for wicking the sweat/moisture away from your body to the outer garment that you wear over it. So you really still need something over it (an insulating layer) that will keep you warmer (and dryer) especially if you get in the water. Coming out of the water, I'd definitely be putting on some dry ones ASAP.

Warm in Wet Clothes?

The presence of water in any insulating material results in:

(1) A rapid conduction of heat from the body over dry material.
(2) Displacement of air volume that is normally used for effective insulation (dead air).
(3) Faster evaporative cooling resulting from the use of body heat to induce a phase change from liquid to vapor.

In addition, the absorption of water into a knit, woven, or high-loft insulation results in a reduction in insulation resiliency caused by fiber structure collapse.

This effect reduces the thickness of the insulation further and magnifies the effects of (1,2 and 3.

Plus the body loses heat 20-25 times faster when wet.

So unless you can guarantee that you won't huli in your OC/Surfski/kayak, you may want to think about what you wear or buy to keep you warm out on the water.

#33 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:12am

I like these dry pants layered with polypro;

The neoprene / side velcro worked great to minimize chaffing risk and bodyglide ( took care of the rest


#34 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:30am

I often hear that in the dry pants/suits the air in them shifts around and makes it hard to move in the water. As the huli king I know I am going in...and it is not really that cold here, it is kinda boarderline.

These gear suggestions are a huge help as you can take years to find good products so for new to the sport it is a great help, thanks

#35 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:40am

Shawn - see my earlier comment about burping drysuits to remove excess air.

When you're in the water, the hydrostatic pressure is just going to force all the air towards the surface. In a full dry suit or a dry top, this means your arms and chest balloon up, in pants it will collect at the waist. This is assuming you're heads up in the water. Diving dry suits have special valves to release air where it collects so your trim isn't affected as you move up and down in the water or change your pitch.

For the dry tops/pants/suits mentioned here, just make sure before you get in the water (read, while still on shore) you get rid of most of the air by compressing it and forcing it out one of the gaskets. Shouldn't be too much trouble for swimming. At least not any more than wearing what amounts to a ziplock bag for a couple of hours...

#36 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 10:59am

Kanu The Rock
Time to chime (or Chine!!!!) in here. I paddle in the North Atlantic Labrador current when I'm in saltwater (I tend to stick to the ponds around here). Ocean water around or a bit above freezing point. Often if not always from effort I sweat to the point of saturating my thermal layers (merino or mizuno breathe thermo) under the drysuit and no, its not urine. In these cases a good psychological buffer has been a light insulated (like primaloft). You can get hypothermic even on lunch stops if you don't change into dry base layers but you can only bring so many changes of base layers on an OC-1.

#37 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 1:13pm

A lot of the neoprene gear nowdays come w/ some kind of polypro liner.

#38 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 1:27pm

Geezus you blokes, you're making me cold just reading about it. ...hehehehe


#39 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 6:10pm

Poor of us... paddling almost naked ! We bless the rain, it makes us fell less hot !

#40 Fri, 10/10/2008 - 6:45pm

Jim mate,
people surf with wetsuits because they not only keep you warm...ish... they have extra bouyancy and are more drag resistant when duck diving under a wave. Other clothing will catch the current and cause drag.

Like I said it comes down to personal choice what you wear to paddle with.... to handle cold conditions.
My experiences with polyprop have all been positive in extreme conditions...more so than with nepopreme.

I totally disagree about being submerged in polyprop and not having some form of insulation.
Of most fabrics..I would rate polyprop up there with wool.

I choose to paddle in cold conditions with polyprop and not neopreme because that is my choice of clothing for paddling.
I have tried both and made my choice.

If I was to go for a surf I would put on a wetsuit say that you were taught to change your polyprop as soon as possible when you have been submerged in cold water.

The advice I had been given was...change ANY wet clothing for a dry set.
Heck mate if anyone had dry polyprop and could put it on... don't you think they would choose the dry stuff???

I am not saying don't use neopreme or nor am I saying that polyprop is the only answer. I am saying that I have faith in polyprop from certain experiences.
Only one paddlers view.
I take on board about the new products on the market and will look in to these new products...because I do not want to be left out in the cold.
Thanks to those that have shared such info.
Much appreciated

#41 Sat, 10/11/2008 - 2:30am

Mid-40's F, ten knot breeze, this morning.

Neoprene shorts. Wool long underwear henley collar shirt. Wool watch cap. Lifejacket worn (legally required hereabouts after Oct 1) and it too provides warmth.

Water was warmer than the air. My season will end in December when the water temperature drops.

Comfortable into the wind, a bit warm with the wind. By the time I came back (with the wind) my duofold shirt was soaked, but it did not make me cold.
"Anyone can steer the ship when the sea is calm" - Syrus Publilius

#42 Sat, 10/11/2008 - 12:52pm

Like, Alan C, I prefer splash gear with layers of poly type clothing underneath. I also only go out if the water is flat, to minimize the chance of a huli. We paddle on a river, so we never get to far away from the shore. Many of our club members use variations of the clothing discussed in this thread. I've attached a picture of a winter outing where you can see some of the variations. IIRC, this was taken on a day where the temp was upper 30's, maybe 40. The water temp was probably around the mid to upper 30's.

#43 Sun, 10/12/2008 - 4:54am

Only go out when it's flat? That's no fun. We get our best windy days in Fall/Winter. Usually on a windy day in Puget sound air and water temps are in the low 50s, and I wear my "prepare to swim" gear.

#44 Sun, 10/12/2008 - 5:20am

Yeah, it's not nearly as fun, but I have hulied in 30 something degree water wearing only a layer of poly and a pair of Hydroskin shorts. The only good thing I can say about that experience is that I had the fastest huli recovery time ever and I learned from my mistakes.

#45 Sun, 10/12/2008 - 5:52am

Looks like its in the 70's at least, except for the weird clothing.

#46 Sun, 10/12/2008 - 6:07am

I can see how someone could easily think that. The only giveaway to the season are the trees missing all their leaves in the background. Winter days around here can look really nice .........until you open the door. I think that picture was taken in December, so the grass hadn't turned brown yet.

#47 Sun, 10/12/2008 - 9:04am

I am going to give the hydroskin vest and shorts a try. I see the hydroskin also has a spring suit or farmers type set up but it sounds like the vest and shorts might move a little easier with the body.

#48 Sun, 10/12/2008 - 9:55pm

Hey, I have been out in 2-5 degrees Celsius and find the neoprene shorts under Gortex pants by Kokatat + tall booties covers off the legs and feet just fine.

I tried a neo vest and found as the time went on it really constricted my breathing in an annoying way. I use an O'neal poly pro 200 weight stretch top or a Level 6 warm top with 100 weight poly torso and breathable lightweight on the arms. These are easier to rotate and reach in as well. I wear a cycling jacket vented on the back to stop the wind.

In the winter I also wear a Small PFD when the water is down below 15 degrees Celsius and stay in by shore cause as others pointed out, you ain't gonna be able to swim too far in chilly H2O..

I usally don't wear gloves but I pack them and a poly hat as well as another top in a dry bag in case I huli....

Riggin heavy cause it's a workout I'd rather stay dry in anyways.

Misery is Optional.....

#49 Sun, 11/09/2008 - 7:52pm


Breathable is not the same as shirtless so make sure you wear a polypro shirt under a gortex top to soak up your sweat.....

#50 Wed, 11/26/2008 - 6:26pm

Here in the frozen north we paddle almost year round . Basically we dress like cold water scuba divers from the hips down and cold weather runners from the hips up .

Pfd is good to hold in heat too . Wool mittens we have found remain warm when wet and get crusted over with ice which helps to block wind.

Watch out for those floating chuncks of ice that can hole your boat . Never paddle alone .

#51 Thu, 11/27/2008 - 3:07am

The main thing is to dress for the water temp. Have clothing that you can ventilate to reduce moisture. We paddle at water temps in the high 30's and air temps in the teens and twenties. I wear the following on the coldest days:

Poly liner socks with heavy NRS sock over
Chota over the calf boot
NRS 3mil Ultra John
Base layer s/s poly top under the John
Mid layer/mid weight poly top over the John
Paddling Jacket
Wool mitts or NRS Mitts
Kokatat surfskin Cap or OR WIndpro hat

On warmer days(30's) I'll replace the John with NRS Rodeo Pants.

When Paddling alone, I'll carry my cell, VHF, Flares (used to start fire too), whistle, mirror, Fire Kit (tinder, Strike Force, matches), Extra mitts/socks/hat/food. It all fits nicely in the smallest dry bag. Additionally, I always leave a trip plan with the wife. At least she knows where to find my body.

Keep in mind the physiology of cold water immersion. What kills people is:

  1. Cold Shock with initial contact
  2. Swimming failure after 10 minutes or so
  3. Hypothermia after 30 minutes(you have about an hour of consciousness)
  4. Post rescue collapse

Remember the 1-10-1 rule. 1 minute to get breathing under control from hyperventilating, 10 minutes to rescue yourself before swimming failure and loss of extremity use, and one hour of useful consciousness. The goal being to live long enough to risk dieing from hypothermia.

Hope this helps.

#52 Thu, 11/27/2008 - 7:07am

Recently went for a chilly paddle all prepared. Knew it would be high waves when I got to the beach as 5 kite boarders were ripping it with horizontal lines.

I got ready to go but my buddy was underdressed and had a rip chord type pdf. He explained if the self inflate failed he could blow it up by mouth. I said not if you are unconscious or dead....

I suggested a change in prep. for him or I won't go out in the cold again with him. Rescue in an OC1 is not my specialty.... Great list and advice from the post above..

Misery is Optional.....

#53 Thu, 11/27/2008 - 8:40am

I also use another rule: 50/50. 50 yds from shore, 50 degree water or lower, 50/50 chance of making it. Assuming your improperly dressed. No scientific data behind this, but it keeps you aware of the risks during cold weather and reminds you to access what your wearing.

In other words, can I make it 50 yds with what I'm wearing based on the water temp. And once I make it, can I survive the air temp being soaked...

#54 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 2:57am

Aloha leavenobeave,
what is 50 if you trnslate to celcius?

#55 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 3:27am

50 degree Fahrenheit is 10 degrees Celsius.

#56 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 7:32am

its colder than that her in Vancouver, it could snow today, and this is the worm part in moor of them great videos on outrigging I guess.

#57 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 8:10am

Ya Mulus, it was 5 degrees celsius when I put the canoe in on Sat. here in Kelowna. Still broke a sweat in the sauna suit though....

I post some snow paddle pics soon..

Misery is Optional.....

#58 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 9:31am

Aloha painteur,
we have 10 celcious in winter here, i use a 5mm booties, and 3mm wetsuit(surf kine) nowdays they are super flxible, so is basicly like wearing nothing, we have no problem like this.
i really dont know what happends under 8 celcius.......... but when i take my canoes to the ocean in winter thats about how cold the water gets, and with 4mm wetsuit you are more than happy.


#59 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 11:04am

My worst day out paddling is better than my best day at work.

#60 Fri, 11/28/2008 - 3:54pm

Using the McKenzie Bros formula:

C to F = double it and add 30

F to C = subtract 30 and halve it

Works well above zero. Ballpark anyway.

Works even better with beer. A 6-pack converts to 12 plus 30 = 42 metric beers. I like this system!

#61 Sat, 11/29/2008 - 9:46am

I put the OC-1 up when the temperature drops and move to marathon canoe in protected waters. When it's really cold (ice on the boat cold) I wear paddling pants made by Rapidstyle. They are thin neoprene with fleece on the inside. Inadvertant swims are still possible and very unpleasant. Dry clothes in the car are essential.

#62 Sat, 11/29/2008 - 2:39pm

NRS Ultra John, polypro socks, 7mm surfing booties, two or three patagonia paddling shirts, polypro long johns, and a really thick rash guard w/ a neoprene hood when it's extra wet and cold.

#63 Sat, 11/29/2008 - 4:25pm

When it gets really cold during the winter months it sometimes gets in the low 70's and is really not much fun to paddle. What we usually do is wait a few days until the sun breaks out and it is in the 80's again and safe to paddle. There are some hard core guys who will paddle in any conditions but most of us just take a few days off and wait for it to warm up.

#64 Sat, 11/29/2008 - 10:27pm

Tommy , you are torturing me and probably everyone else who lives in a cold place.
But your comments will no doubt boost Hawaiis ` economy a little when we pastey white , frozen haoles arrive on your beaches with paddle in hand.
Have a little compassion will ya .....

Side note for Rambo :

My wife is now calling me Fuzey ......

#65 Sun, 11/30/2008 - 2:13am

I agree with Tommy and Rambo,if you can't paddle half naked or fall in on purpose to cool off, anything else tooooooo cold!

#66 Sun, 11/30/2008 - 6:05am

My heart bleeds for you soft shells. Winter paddling is as good as it gets. The solitude is worth waiting for each fall as the fat wann-a-bees head for the frig and the TV for the winter.

I definately prefer the warmer days, but my desire to be on the water or on the snow overrides the inconvenience of putting on a few extra layers. I don't have much choice because those that live below the 45th gain fitness and experience if I don't paddle in the winter. Not willing to give that advantage because its cold.

Other than frozen water, there is no excuse with todays clothing not to paddle all year anywhere. Not unless your excuse is weakness!...

#67 Sun, 11/30/2008 - 8:07am

Here's a vid of a paddle we did last winter, Notto gave me an old long john O'Neill wetsuit he got from the OpShop for 50 cents, chucked my best shorts over them with a thermal, cag and beanie. "Snug as a bug in a rug." Might even enter "fashions on the field" at the next Melbourne Cup as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#68 Thu, 12/04/2008 - 2:18am

Last year


#69 Fri, 12/05/2008 - 9:14am

The most important thing you can do to keep warm in Cold weather is not to get wet. I know easier said than done but I think it is your responsibility to Know how to paddle well enough to not flip in the conditions you paddling in. What I think you should take into account is where you experience the greatest loses of heat; feat, legs, arms, and head. The heat that you lose from here will affect you the most, so given that cover them up, and stay dry.

I personally couldn't paddle in the cold if my feat and legs were cold. Booties and pants (of any material) were my greatest friend, also a wind/ water repellent jacket to help keep dry. I would often start a workout with a bean on and take it off if the air temperature wasn't cold enough. I think the covering of the lower half of the body is important because it is the first thing to get wet, and is the farthest away from the heart's blood flow.

Three things to take into account in cold weather paddling are; Water temp., how cold is the water and if I get wet how long can I last in it. Two Air temp. what is it going to be like on top of the water, in the late fall in Cali you can still get Santa Anna winds that will bring air temp to the 70+ range with the water in the 50's. Lastly would be the Wind chill factor, for those who have done the cold weather Dune runs know what I mean, low 50's for the water and air with a wind chill that drops everything to the 40's or lower.

You need to know what your doing, that is the safest way to help yourself.

#70 Fri, 12/05/2008 - 11:48am

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