Gearing up for Winter Paddling
Winter is a Great Time to Keep Paddling
By Brian Raymer
New to winter paddling? What do you really need? Stay warm and safe with the following recommendations and gear tips.
Start with booties. The first essential gear for all year paddling is a good pair of neoprene booties. 7mm will keep your feet warm even on the cold days. A pair of zipper boots are easy to put on and take off and usually have a durable sole for short walks to and from the beach.
Paddling Top and Pants
There are many choices for shoulder season paddling clothing. Usually similar to neoprene or “airprene”. Vaikobi gear is made from a breathable neoprene and has a great line of technical clothing that will keep you warm. The VCold series is very popular and is available in pants and tops. You can find Vaikobi gear on our store! https://southislandsup.com/store
Light wetsuits (3/2) work well for shoulder season and mild winter days. For all weather winter paddling a hooded 5/4 wetsuit is recommended. The numbers are thickness measured in mm. A 5/4 would be a combination of thicknesses. 5mm around the core areas of your body and 4mm on the legs and arms of the suit.
Thicker wetsuits are warmer. Thinner wetsuits less warm but easier to move in. Not all wetsuits are created equally. Higher quality neoprene is warmer and more flexible. Great wetsuits are available at www.coastlinessurf.com
Wetsuits work for SUP Touring and SUP Surfing too! *Gear tip* A waterproof jacket and other layers can be worn over your wetsuit for additional warmth.
Drysuits are the best cold weather gear for SUP Touring. A good quality drysuit is waterproof and breathable. It is a good idea to wear a minimum of long leggings, long sleeve shirt and socks too. Merino wool is a great base layer. Vaikobi pants and shirts work too. More layers can be added for cooler days. Good quality drysuits range in price from $1000-$2000.
If you decide to buy one make sure it has neoprene neck and wrist gaskets. And built in socks are recommended as well. *Gear tip* When taking off your drysuit be careful with the seals. Fingernails and jewellery can tear the seals. Remove by pulling off inside out. A quick rinse on the inside when you get home and then dry overnight. The next day the suit will be ready to use. Or a quick rinse on the outside and then dry thoroughly before storage.
High quality drysuits from Ocean Rodeo and Mustang Survival can be rented from us! Just add on to your tour when booking. Or pick one up for your multi day trip. Members receive 50% off gear rental including drysuits.
A variety of hats are a good way to help temperature regulate. Put a toque on if you are cold or a rain hat if it starts to rain. Some hats are great for sun or rain! Always a good idea to have a few hats in your drybag for changing conditions.
Finding the right pair of gloves can be a challenge. Neoprene gloves in the 4-5mm range are warm when wet but can less flexible than other options. I often wear a ski glove in cold weather and bring neoprene gloves with me in case the ski gloves get wet. Finding the right gloves is a personal choice. Kind of like hats. Bring a few glove choices along and change them out when necessary.
Paddle or Rent with us
Check out what our clients are wearing. Rent some gear. And then purchase what works for you. If you are an occasional paddler gear rental may be best. Avoid buying expensive gear and rent from us instead. Did you know members receive 50% off rentals including immersion gear? https://southislandsup.com/memberships