Drysuits

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Limey Dave

Drysuits

Post by Limey Dave »

Hi,
As a relative newcomer to colder water paddling (I used to paddle but drysuits weren't an option back then!), what are your experienced thoughts as to when you should start thinking about using a drysuit ? I appreciate that air as well as water temps need to be considered as does wind. I presume also the liklihood of capsizing (or maybe not), proximity to the beach/bank (or not). I just wondered if there existed any kind of guidelines or consensus about this.
And if one is required, any recommendations at to a type and underlayers ?

Thanks all !

Dave

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krudave
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Post by krudave »

Dave,

Guidelines for this are always approximate. here are mine:

1. Less than about 50 F: dry suit or dry top/farmer john combination. FJ is 3 mm; Insulation under dry suit/ dry top to fit conditions, with insulation on head (neoprene beanie best) added last if conditions are colder than anticipated at launch.

2. 50 F - 60 F: farmer john for sure (or, dry suit, but sometimes in warm air this becomes intolerable), with perhaps dry top, depending again.

3. 60 - 70 F: shortie wet suit bottom or shorts; dry top when raining or expecting to play in rough water.

4. Above 70 F: shorts and T-shirt.

I always wear a foam PFD, which provides quite a bit of insulation.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

Dave-
Nice set of guidelines. I presume you are referring to air temperatures?
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

gregn

Post by gregn »

I was happy without a dry suit while paddling Klondike - a small double Feathercraft. The kayak felt safe enough in rough water and wind.

With my new K-I, it is a different story. I immidiately bought a Kokatat GFER custom fit dry suit.

Initially I thought that the neck gasket will intimidate and make me feel uncomfortable. Not so. It stretched somehow by now and I do not notice it while paddling. Also, it is a good piece of garnment to wear while around the water. Custom fit made it very comfortable and light.
I frequently use a neck ring with it for inside ventilation. I think that the ring helps quite a bit with moisture expelling.

With the dry suit you have to watch two things: paddling pace and under layering. Too much and you sweat. Too little and you might get cold, especially during the inmersion. I tend to dress light (a single layer of mid grade polartec) for winter paddling around pacific northwest. Just in case, I carry a hooded anorak and wear it over the top of life jacket and everything, if let say wind picks up while taking a lunch break on shore.

Hope it helps.

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krudave
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Post by krudave »

chrstjrn wrote:Nice set of guidelines. I presume you are referring to air temperatures?
No -- water temperature. Anything below 50 F is definitely a drysuit game if you are trying to protect yoursilf from hypothermia in the event of a swim.

Air temps are more or less irrelevant where I paddle.
Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.

Christov_Tenn

Post by Christov_Tenn »

You guys ever wear splash pants? I got a pair of NRS Black Rock splash pants for Christmas, but haven't tried them out yet.

Limey Dave

Thanks

Post by Limey Dave »

Dave, thanks for that very comprehensive advice. I'll have to convert from f to centigrade and i'll be sorted. Bearing in mind that i will do a lot of paddling on the North Sea coast and a few rivers, it's gonna be cold. I suppose the bottom line for me is that anything between july and sept (assuming we get a decent summer - a big if) i could go without a drysuit. Otherwise a drysuit is de rigeur. You never know when you might have to get wet.
Thanks again,
Dave

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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

50 F is about 10 C
60 is about 15.5
70 is about 21

Your baselines for quick conversion are that:
9 F change = 5 C change
32 F = 0 C
59 F = 15 C (this is "standard" temperature, if you're into meteorology, aviation, etc.; and standard pressure is 29.92 inches (760 mm) of mercury=1013.3 millibars=14.7 psi)
98.6 F = 37 C (body temp)
212 F= 100 C

(BTW: With all that standard pressure and temperature stuff, it is very useful to know if you are studying isobar charts or calculating the altitude of cloud bases. It is also handy to know that the pressure (and therefore temperature) at 18,000 feet is approximately half that of sea level, and that the air temperature lapses at 4.4 F per 1000 feet of altitude gained.)
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Limey Dave

Thanks !

Post by Limey Dave »

Thanks chrstjrn

I wish i had you around when i was living in St Genis Pouilly !! I was at CERN for 2 years from 2004 to '06.
Bon weekend a vous !!
Dave

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chrstjrn
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Post by chrstjrn »

Merci.

A la prochaine fois.

Si vous verez visiter encore des environs de Geneve, envoyez-moi un CE et nous pouvrons enjoyer le lac pendant un apres-midi.
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

Limey Dave

Salut et merci

Post by Limey Dave »

Salut et merci Chrstjn. Vous avez ete tres gentile m'inviter. Je pense que je vais visiter Geneve encore vers septembre pour un long weekend. Peut etre je pourrais prendre votre invitation un des apres midis. Cela me plais beaucoup. J'aime bien la region. Je suis ete triste quand je suis ete force de quitte le CERN.
Desole que mon francais est vraiment pauvre. Je peut parler 10 fois mieux que j'ai ecrit !! :oops:

Bon weekend.

Dave

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Re: Drysuits

Post by xeniv23 »

Got a Kokatat semi-dry suit for kayaking. I have more often used it as a powder suit while back country skiing some steep and deep. Best powder suit I have ever used. Also use it, along with a PFD, while fly fishing in surf along the Pacific Coast in Oregon.....don't have to worry about my waders being overtopped by a sneaker while I'm concentrating on something else. I was knocked down once by a wave and it was not a problem. Happened once when I was using waders and it was a problem. Sometimes use it for kayak surfing or touring in heavy rain....altogether it's been a great investment.

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