Author Topic: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate  (Read 23009 times)

Mavrick161

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Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« on: March 25, 2014, 08:54:44 PM »
I realize there have been several threads regarding cold weather SUP gear, but I haven't found one that really discusses the gear those of us who live in the north use as it gets cold. Water temps in the 60s are hardly 'winter conditions' for us, but many threads focus on such mild conditions.  I'm curious what those of you in the Midwest wear during the cold times of our year-wetsuit/drysuit, etc. 

Badger

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 11:44:45 PM »
I'm not from the midwest but right now in NH the water is 36 degrees. We often paddle on days well below freezing.

To me drysuits are the most practical. I wear the Ocean Rodeo Soul. It has a very wide comfort zone. I've worn it in air temps as low as 20 and as high as 65. Sometimes I just wear my regular clothes under it. When I take it off I'm completely dry and don't even have to change clothes.

Modern drysuits are still a new idea but I think they will eventually catch on. To me, wetsuits are tight, sweaty, restrictive and heavy, not to mention wet, but that's what most people wear.

I wear 7mm Xcel boots with thin lycra/microfleece socks. For flatwater, when it's cold, I make sure to let some water get inside them and they stay warm longer. The socks make it a lot easier to get the boots off.

7mm Xcel mitts for below freezing.

3.5mm NRS Toaster mitts with glove liners for above freezing. As it gets warmer I can remove the liners.

2mm Stormr watch cap if I'm surfing. Fleece or wool hat for flatwater. The drysuit also has a hood if I need more warmth.

.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 12:06:59 AM by Shoals »
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SteamboatBORN

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 09:14:02 AM »
Drysuits are too "Trash Bag" feel for me, similar to fishing waders. But in 36 degree water, I agree with SHoals, and would want that dry suit. BRRRRRR!!!! I like a neoprene full suit but I am also too hot in most things. I am the weirdo in shorts and sandals fly fishing in spring/fall up to my waist in cold mtn water. Lakes around her are around 50 degrees a lot of the spring/summer(higher altitude lakes)/fall. I am in the market for a new 3/2mm wet suit so I can get into river next week. Helmet is warm enough from my fat Irish head, and some thin waterproof socks with Teva water shoes. Anyone have an recommendations for thing neoprene socks?

PDLSFR

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 09:53:45 AM »
SteamboatBORN, you should check out these sock : Hyperflex Thermal Layering Poly Fleece Hot Socks

http://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/page/WW/777-XB00N
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hbsteve

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 11:50:11 AM »
Try Riffe.  They make a 3 mil. wetsuit sock.

Badger

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 12:24:24 PM »
Drysuits are too "Trash Bag" feel for me, similar to fishing waders.

I don't know what you mean by "Trash Bag feel".

With the Soul drysuit, whether I'm in the water or standing on the board, it feels just like ski or snowboard clothing. It's perfectly comfortable. The only difference is that it's completely waterproof.

I get a lot of looks when I go walking into the surf in the middle of winter wearing what looks like nothing more than rain gear. People sometimes ask if I'm wearing a wetsuit under it.

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Kalama E3 6'1 x 23" 105L
Axis HPS 980 / PNG 1300
Sunova Flow  8'10 X 31"  119L
Me - 6'0" - 165lbs - 66yo

Bean

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 12:36:13 PM »
Hey Shoals, what is your contingency plan if your dry suit comes apart in the surf?  I know its not likely but a fin cut, or even a defective seam could become a huge issue.  Am I wrong in thinking that the suit would fill up with cold water?

I love the idea of a dry-suit but that would be my biggest concern. 

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 02:42:30 PM »
Hey Shoals, what is your contingency plan if your dry suit comes apart in the surf?  I know its not likely but a fin cut, or even a defective seam could become a huge issue.  Am I wrong in thinking that the suit would fill up with cold water?

I love the idea of a dry-suit but that would be my biggest concern.

Yes, that's something to be aware of. One time I forgot to close my relief zipper. Water came in but I quickly zipped it up. When it gets a little warmer I should do a test and see what would happen in a true leak situation. It would be good to know the limitations.

A defective seam is extremely unlikely in a quality drysuit. Good drysuits are well made and the material is very rugged. It would take something very sharp to tear it. A fin might do it if you ran into it just right. Don't buy a cheap drysuit if you want it to hold up.

There may be times where you might have to be a little more careful if there is any possability of a long swim. Surfing is one, extreme river whitewater might be another.

I would say if you go out in large surf or do heavy whitewater, you might be safer in a wetsuit, but for all the other times, a dry suit is a good choice.

I don't do whitewater but in less than overhead surf, I have no worries.

.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 02:50:54 PM by Shoals »
Kalama E3 6'1 x 23" 105L
Axis HPS 980 / PNG 1300
Sunova Flow  8'10 X 31"  119L
Me - 6'0" - 165lbs - 66yo

surfinJ

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 02:55:02 PM »
I was about 100 yds out in weak 3' and managed to skeg the back of the
shoulder on a dry suit open.  It filled quick and only my leash saved me
as I couldn't surface!

It was a long time ago, 70's, so I guess materials are stronger now.
Just saying.

pdxmike

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 03:01:35 PM »
A couple years ago someone rescued a kayaker in the Willamette who sounded like he may have been close to death from hypothermia and exhaustion.   From what I remember he'd been pulled in after struggling for a long time in the winter water after he capsized and couldn't get back in the kayak.  The news said his 'wetsuit' had a leak and filled with water that weighed him down and froze him, but it sounded like he must have had a drysuit that he may not have zipped up. 

Badger

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 04:36:40 PM »
I was about 100 yds out in weak 3' and managed to skeg the back of the
shoulder on a dry suit open.  It filled quick and only my leash saved me
as I couldn't surface!

It was a long time ago, 70's, so I guess materials are stronger now.
Just saying.

Materials such as fabrics and zippers have changed dramatically, even in just the last few years.

Plus, all drysuits are not the same level of quality. There are some that are not really designed for extreme sports.

When talking about drysuit failures it's important to specify the brand and other info to give an idea of the quality because they are not all made the same.

Some of the cheaper drysuits are just made for fishing or boating and are nothing more than rain gear with seals.

.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 05:16:02 PM by Shoals »
Kalama E3 6'1 x 23" 105L
Axis HPS 980 / PNG 1300
Sunova Flow  8'10 X 31"  119L
Me - 6'0" - 165lbs - 66yo

mrbig

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 05:09:40 PM »
Flat water in the winter I use an O'Neill Boost Drysuit or an O'Neil Assault semi-dry. Water temps as low as 34-35. Full 7.5 mitts (lobster claw your single finger will literally freeze if its windy), and neosport explorer boots that are calf high. Cold water hood.

Option two is the I won't fall option - snowboard gloves or mitts replacing the neoprene mitts, and wool hats, baklava, neck gaiters replacing the cold water hood. Warmer in wind chill closer to zero - not kidding. The major problem is from the wind and cold air temperatures, not water temps.

I surfed in an Aquala drysuit in the eighties which was made of very thin rubber and prone to pinholes, and easily cut. Surfing in New Hampshire I cut the toe off and felt the leg fill with water, managed to get in and went back to my 6/5/4 hooded wetsuit. I believe that the suits of today are not going to cut, but the dreaded drysuit zipper blowout is a possibility.

Option three is the surfing gold standard  hooded 6 5 4 7 ml boots and gloves, mittens, lobster claws. I still sup surf in gnarly beachbreak sometimes in this setup, but paddling suffers because of the rubber and mrbig becomes
20 pounds bigger. I have started sup surfing a lot more in

my drysuit cuz I know the sup will float me. Yeah, leash could break, zipper blow out, but I am not at Mavs.
Then there is the 3 2 wetsuit with clothes. Warmer and if you fall you will survive. Tried it and found that I
was not warm enough in extreme cold. I fell and survived, but at this point my personal feeling is when it's really cold I want to be wearing something I could surf in and be comfortable, and not just survive the dunking. Partial frostbite sucks. End of rant. As JD sez - Paddle on! And be careful out there in real cold!

P.S.  I know nothing about whitewater so I will keep quiet. Apologies for typos, wordos, tablet newbie!
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 05:17:17 PM by mrbig »
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addapost

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 05:50:57 PM »
Mass/RI here. Winter water temps in the mid 30's, air temps in the 20's. If I am paddling on flat water I wear a gore tex dry suit. If I am surfing I am in a 5mm hooded wet suit. In either case I wear 7mm booties and 5mm gloves or 7mm mitts. Because of the consequences of dry suit failure in rough water I would not surf in a dry suit, but that's just me.
Bunch of old shit

Board Stiff

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 06:09:57 PM »
For SUS in the cold months here in NH, I've been layering with the following:
  • Base: Hyperflex Polyolefin shorts
  • Wetsuit: 4/3 XCEL OS-Zip full suit
  • Head: 5/3 Neosport X-Span hooded vest
  • Hands: NRS Mavericks gloves
  • Feet: lavacore socks, Hyperflex 7 mm boots

This has kept me plenty warm for a couple hour session on a sunny day with air temps in the 40s and water temps in the 30s when I spent more time in the water than out. The gloves are pretty thin, so my hands got cold easily while out of the water on a day when the water temps were in the 40s but the air temp was in the 20s with strong wind.

Still, I hate having to squeeze into and peeling myself out of all this gear in the parking lot before and after a session. I'm tempted to try a drysuit just to avoid the hassle, though I'm definitely concerned about the possibility of it ripping and filling with water no matter how well it's constructed.

spookini

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Re: Cold Weather Gear for Northern Climate
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 06:18:03 PM »
This jacket may work well for sup. 
Or it may not. 
What were we talking about again?? :o
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