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Cold Water Riding Guide

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Toby
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Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Toby » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:50 pm

Cold Water Riding Guide from Ocean Rodeo

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photo by Jay Wallace
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Kiting in cold conditions can seem daunting, and more risky than summer time sessions. However here in our headquarters in British Columbia, Canada we’ve always challenged ourselves and all those on Ocean Rodeo gear to make Kiteboarding a true 365 day a year sport. Our no excuses attitude has allowed us to be a kite brand that shows you can be on the water in almost any temperature pushing the limits and exceeding expectations.

So… What do some of our top ambassadors have to tell you in regards to Cold Water Riding? Some basic tips that go a long way in maximizing time on the water and making every session memorable and an opportunity to grow and learn in the sport.


PREPARATION AND LIMITING RISK:

Jean Luc Robitaille

I think a big part is to keep your extremities warm (toes, fingers, head).

After that you need to remember that if something happens on the water (you hurt yourself or brake some equipment), you need to be able to get out of the water fast before you get too cold. So it is very important to follow some of these security guidelines: stay close to shore, ride in onshore winds, ride with other partners or have other people watching you, ride in wind conditions you can handle (dont got out too overpowered). These are guidelines riders need to follow in warm conditions too, but they become even more important in cold conditions!

Make sure to have warm clothes ready when you hit the shore. I sometimes put some clothes in my kite bag.

Martin Dovic

I always make sure I ride with multiple other people in the winter time. Not just somebody on shore, other riders out there with me. Also I make sure I have a thick enough suit as well as gloves, boots and a hood.

Grant Clayton

Heating on full in the van with a hot cup of Tea on your way there always works. Get as much heat as you can before going out there. Most importantly always kitesurf with friends and look out for each other! There is not much room for error if something could go wrong when its cold out.

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Photo by Jay Wallace
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WHAT GEAR IS ABSOLUTELY NEEDED FOR YOU TO GET OUT ON COLD WEATHER DAYS?

Marty

Quality gear in good shape is mandatory. No old worn gear that may break soon. That could be life or death when the big wind hits. Also a solid wetsuit or drysuit in good shape.

Grant

Tea is absolutely needed! Priority.. Full neoprene 5/3 or the Ocean Rodeo Heat Drysuit is always a winner. Kite choice has got to be the Ocean Rodeo Razor! Perfect kite for these conditions.

Jean Luc

The Soul Drysuit is a must. Combine those with thick neoprene. Personally I use 7mm mitts and boots and thick hood as well; I prefer around 5mm.

Vovan Voronov

A fleece layer, your dry suit, and for me personally a second helmet. Thermos, hot tea and chocolate as well.


IS THERE SUCH A THING AS CONDITIONS THAT ARE TOO COLD?

Jean Luc

If you are dressed well, there is no such thing as conditions that are too cold, with exception to when the water is freezing. In this case I wouldn’t recommend kiting in those cold conditions. Ice can possibly jam the safety systems on your bar! The ice can also make your bar very slippery so when you’re out on the water take notice of temperature changes throughout your session.

Grant

When you see the leading edge of your kite freeze that’s when you know it is going to be a cold one. I find it difficult to unhook and enjoy my style when there is a super cold wind chill; If you’re not well protected your hands will start to lose feeling followed by a numbing pain. Ensure that you have the correct gear to keep you warm during these colder days! Full neoprene (gloves, hood and boots) is your best way to stay out there longer. When it is cold I try not to unhook as much and hope that the wind is strong so i can get the smaller kites out the bag!

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IS THERE SUCH A THING AS BEING TOO WARM?

Marty D

Too warm is not fun. This has happened to me in a drysuit. Once you get out of the wind or start doing some cardio then it can be nasty. The drysuit can turn into a sweat bag and become very cumbersome if you’ve layered up too much underneath. Don’t over layer and between sessions for the day make use of Standby mode! It’s there to help you vent out all that warmth so you’re not too hot, nor too cold.

Jean Luc Robataille

My trick is to wear the least amount of clothes under your drysuit to be comfortable, but to make sure I have my toes, fingers and head very well covered.

On cold days, I will also take breaks when I’m on the water to let my body temperature come down so that I don’t start sweating too much in my drysuit.

Vovan Voronov

My fleece layer can become hot, but if you slow down a little and allow the fleece to breathe the temperature quickly drops back to a comfortable level.


WHAT IS THE PERFECT COLD WEATHER DAY?

Grant

The perfect cold weather day would be a strong north westerly wind at my local! 30 knots on my 8m razor!

Marty

For me cold weather riding is all about the about the conditions. Big waves and big wind make me brave the cold. As long as it is nuking then I am happy. The cold wind is denser than warm wind. You get a more power for the same amount of wind in very cold conditions

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Photo by Trevor Hartland
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FAVORITE COLD WATER SESSION?

My favorite cold weather session was a couple of years ago in december on Lake Ontario at Sandbanks Provincial Park. I had 2 consecutive days of 25-35 knots, side on-shore winds in huge waves and about 2-3 celsius. Since I was dressed well, I was able to ride a good 3 hours per day. Only 2 other riders showed up, but they only lasted about 1 hour before being too cold in their neoprene suits.

I was still learning to send big kiteloops and those were great conditions to practice in. I am so glad that I made the trip and scored some epic conditions. I improved a lot, and certainly learned a lot about riding in cold weather!

Grant Clayton

Tiree Scotland around March time 2017. Crystal clear water, blue skies and a solid 25 -30 knots and scoring a healthy 3 degrees with minus wind chill most days.. Looked like a tropical kiting location but was felt the exact opposite!

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby JakeFarley » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:32 pm

I use the 100 degree (F) rule. If the air and water temp added up is below 100, I sit it out as I only have a 3/2 wetsuit.

The advice of changing into dry, warm clothing immediately after a session is invaluable in preventing hypothermia. Had it happen once when I was distracted by a bystander asking a lot of questions. Was not pleasant. I could barely get out of my wetsuit as I was shaking so badly.

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Nesan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:14 pm

JakeFarley wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:32 pm
I use the 100 degree (F) rule. If the air and water temp added up is below 100, I sit it out as I only have a 3/2 wetsuit.

The advice of changing into dry, warm clothing immediately after a session is invaluable in preventing hypothermia. Had it happen once when I was distracted by a bystander asking a lot of questions. Was not pleasant. I could barely get out of my wetsuit as I was shaking so badly.
Nesan here with the OR team.

Couldn't agree more with both of those comments! Had a brand ambassador also mention quickly the 100 degree rule, and if you're not in a drysuit or insulated to compensate is a great way to limit risk on sessions.

Double that up with being able to stay dry and retain heat in drywear is why we recommend drysuits over wetsuits in extreme cold situations, thicker wetsuits (as long as they're not too bulky and movement prohibiting) do the job in the water... but once you're out of the water the cold comes in real fast.

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby matth » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:03 pm

Nesan wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:14 pm
JakeFarley wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:32 pm
I use the 100 degree (F) rule. If the air and water temp added up is below 100, I sit it out as I only have a 3/2 wetsuit.

The advice of changing into dry, warm clothing immediately after a session is invaluable in preventing hypothermia. Had it happen once when I was distracted by a bystander asking a lot of questions. Was not pleasant. I could barely get out of my wetsuit as I was shaking so badly.
Nesan here with the OR team.

Couldn't agree more with both of those comments! Had a brand ambassador also mention quickly the 100 degree rule, and if you're not in a drysuit or insulated to compensate is a great way to limit risk on sessions.

Double that up with being able to stay dry and retain heat in drywear is why we recommend drysuits over wetsuits in extreme cold situations, thicker wetsuits (as long as they're not too bulky and movement prohibiting) do the job in the water... but once you're out of the water the cold comes in real fast.


I'm thinking of upgrading to an Ignite. Does your suit have goretex socks?? I have heard mixed reviews as fas as bulkieness in the booties..I can see a lot of upside to goretex.....any thoughts?

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Foil » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:14 pm

Some people just don't know when it's cold,
I took this picture.
I was in my dry suit,
It was winter
It was very cold.
And this guy just did not notice us shivering on the beach in North Wales.
Nutter!😕

Image

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Foil » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:18 pm

Same beach.
My dry suit in view.
And yes that's ice forming on my lines.
Image

Nesan
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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Nesan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:20 pm

matth wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:03 pm
I'm thinking of upgrading to an Ignite. Does your suit have goretex socks?? I have heard mixed reviews as fas as bulkieness in the booties..I can see a lot of upside to goretex.....any thoughts?
Our suit carries our own breathable material that is proven to be completely water sealed and breathable. The Ignite does have the booties on them but you are right on the bulkiness. Personally I prefer the booties with a suit that has ankle seals as this provides a much more direct feeling between feet and the board. For kiting I would go with the Soul or the Heat, but have heard of people who love using the ignite.

My not so great answer is that it really depends on personal preference.

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby joriws » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:25 pm


Foil
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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Foil » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:10 pm

Time and time again I notice guys shivering in their thick wet-suits after they come out of the water, the longer they hang around the colder they get.
you simply don't get this dramatic cooling effect when wearing a fabric dry-suit with one piece close fitting under-suit' designed for the surface sports sailor,
some of the diver style ones can really get far too warm. and feel bulky which is not a good feeling.
when used for diving the suit material compresses against the skin so a thick under-suit does a good job or preventing heat transfer, but this is not needed for many above the surface water sports,
I find a really thin stretchy under suit works best, fluffy on the inside smooth on the outside, single front zip right up to a short neck closure.
the newer sewn in jacket style suits are fantastic, however many have just too many extras added on around the neck.wrist and ankles, even the pee zip can feel bulky and awkward, I have removed these hoods and extra materials which have been part of some suits, they feel awful, and in practice suit hoods don't work, when you look sideways when blasting along the hood acts like a set of eye blinkers, it stays still which blocks your view.

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Re: Cold Water Riding Guide

Postby Onda » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:54 pm

"breathable" material is relative in winter conditions on the water...
As soon as the outside temperature is way below inside temperature (inside the drysuit), no water vapor can diffuse from inside to outside = zero breathability
This is thermodynamics. And I experienced exactly this with my drysuit.
Still better than any wetsuit in freezing conditions, however.


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