SoT Kayak Winter wear inquiry

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Eyejuggler, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Its the wind chill that gets you if you are wet on a cold windy day.
    Sometimes I go surfing on cold Winter days when the surf isn't too big and brisk offshore winds are grooming the swells. The thermometer might read 32 F, and the sea-surface temp might be in the high 40's. That sounds cold enough already, but the wind chill factor makes it much worse. I usually get cold after about an hour of surfing in those conditions, even though I'm trying to stay moving all of the time, alert and concentrating so that I do not have to sit and wait very long for a wave.
    Making the post-session sprint back up the beach to my rig, the wind chill just sucks any remaining body heat away, right through 5mm of neoprene.
    That's why I don't like to be out on my Tarpon in a wetsuit on a cold Winter's day.
     
  2. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Brrr, that sounds cold Jim! You are a tougher man than me, well, if I weren't a girl, lol!

    That wind chill cooling effect is why I love my drysuit and semi-dry paddling suit in the colder months, especially when there is wind chill. In the heat of the summer, I prefer to wear my neoprene. Huh? Most people do the opposite but I try to use the advantages of each fabric to their fullest potential. My Goretex often gets too hot when I am working hard and the air is warm. Unzipping it to cool off while on the water is a no-no in my personal safety book. However, WET neoprene is great at evaporative cooling so when the air is hot, I wear neoprene and just be sure to keep it wet. It acts as insulation against the heat and keeps me cool (when wet). My companions are sweltering in their drysuits and they're sure I am going to die of heat exhaustion in neoprene, until I peel back my sleeve and show them the goose bumps, lol. However, it is this same reason that I do not paddle in neoprene when the air temps are cool and especially, windy. Then, I prefer a drysuit/paddling suit with appropriate layers. Both will protect me from immersion and yet allow me to dress comfortably for the air temps.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    That's some good info regarding the performance of a neoprene wetsuit vs a breathable drysuit in various conditions.

    As far as surviving the cold water and air when surfing here, we now have newly constructed facility at Westhaven State Park with radiant heating built into the slab, and pay showers! Construction just finished, and it should be open any day now. The outdoor showers (cold water only) for rinsing off the sand and salt are already operating and in use.
    I usually "bring my own shower" consisting of 5 2-liter plastic jugs full of hot tap water, carried in the large Rubbermaid container that I stand in when I strip off my wetsuit.
    Sometimes when I'm surfing locally on freezing cold days, I just have my driver's seat already lined with beach towels, and an old bath mat over a plastic sheet on the floor, so I can just run from the water's edge to my rig, hop in, and drive the short distance home to my own shower. No toughness involved! Ha! Ha! I've even been known to grab a beer from my fridge on my way to the shower!
     
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  4. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Thanks Jim! Like you, I've been around the water a long time so have figured out what works for me.

    Here I am whitewater canoeing in the late winter of '79 decked out in full neoprene from the hood to the 3 fingered mitts to the a full diving farmer john wetsuit with the old fashioned long sleeve zip up jacket with that crotch piece with the two metal twist closure thingies. I could barely move, LOL. You can't tell from the photo but I had the windbreaker over the neoprene as while I didn't understand about evaporative cooling back then, I'd figured out it kept me warmer.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Cool! You looked kinda hot in that getup!

    I wore one of those diving suits (one that I borrowed..it sort of fit me) the time I surfed at Short Sands back in the Spring of 69. Lucky thing we were riding longboards back then, so we could knee paddle. Those twist locks for securing the "beaver tail" were a bummer for sure.
    I squirm into my new Winter suit thru the stretchy neck hole. Then pull the hood over my head and zip it down. Having just one small zipper across the chest allows for unbelievable stretchiness all throughout the rest of the suit. The neoprene on the new suits is so much better than it was on the ones from 20 years ago. Lighter, warmer, stretchier, and better in every way. Better designs, too.
     
  6. Krusty

    Krusty Krusty Old Effer

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    Correct, as long as you remember to wear a cinched waistbelt to keep out whatever cold water makes it through the dry top / chestwader interface.
     
  7. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I received an e-mail from Outdoorplay notifying me that the Kokotat
    SuperNova Angler "semi-dry" suits are now on sale for 20% off regular retail. Offer is good thru tomorrow.
    After studying the Kokotat sizing chart (seems like they really should offer a Medium Tall), I was unsure of what size might be best. I emailed Outdoorplay and I inquired about size and fit, since I am on the cusp between sizes M and L (I'm a size M from the waist down, but might need a L to fit my chest and shoulders, and height).
    I am waiting to hear back if a size M will fit someone 6' and one quarter inch tall, with size 11.5 feet, and a skinny, gangly, scarecrow build. I heard that the integrated sock/feet were large enough to accommodate thick sock layering, so maybe the feet on the M will fit me.
    I hope the feet aren't too small for me. The size L suit sounds like it was designed for someone with a much larger girth than I sport. That damned sizing chart looks all wrong to me!!!
    I'm seriously considering getting the new SuperNova Angler suit, and an NRS "union suit" to wear under it.

    Although the neck opening is neoprene, the cuffs are latex, so they don't leak. Nearly all of the reviews that I've read state that the neoprene neck seal is very effective and comfortable, and barely leaks at all. I think one reviewer said she had about 3 tablespoons of water leak in when she took a dunking. Other reviewers claimed that no water leaked in when they briefly submerged. Sounds good enuff for kayak angling! I won't be running whitewater rivers, nor surfing in it, if I get one.

    Now might be the time to pick up one of those semi-dry suits. I might have to order one and try it on. I can send it back if it doesn't fit right.
     
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  8. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Jim, since you are getting it mostly for cold weather, I would get the large so you can layer up as much as you need. Like waders, you don't want to be stressing seams with extra layers or when you bend down, sit down, etc. The bottom might be a baggy you'll appreciate the extra room when sitting (wedgy-wise) as the inseam on the M is pretty short. There is a waist cinch and with your pfd on, the extra room shouldn't be a problem. No drysuit is flattering to the figure and if it is, it is too small, LOL. I have the drop seat on mine and it makes my butt look as big as Texas but the convenience is worth it.
     
  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks again, Sue. You are probably right. And nope .... I don't need too short an inseam, or anything else too small, either. I don't care about the looks if a suit is a little roomy. That's not what bothers me. I've just never liked baggy clothing. It can catch on things and hang you up. It creates more resistance in the water when wading. I like things to fit.
    In my experience, being streamlined is moah bettah in the water! Thats why you almost never see anyone wearing a drysuit when surfing. I'll be paddling my yak or wading in this thing, and hopefully not doing much swimming.

    So, I think I might be ordering the size L (that's IF I order the suit). It will have more surface area, which means more pores, and thus might even be more breathable, overall. The extra space inside should make it more comfortable.
     
  10. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Dang! Outdoorplay hasn't answered my e-mail inquiring about size and fit. The 20% off sale is ending (was only for 72 hours). Now I'm probably not in the market for a drysuit until they go on sale again. I'll probably go in somewhere and try one on, then I'll know what size fits best, and then I'll just wait for another sale. Maybe next year at this time. I can wait.I can live without it. I should really try a suit on before I order one. $500 is a huge amount of dough! And then the unisuit underwear, etc, and maybe even new booties.... it all adds up. Arrrrgh!

    For the next couple of weeks, the water and air are still warm enough to get away with using a wetsuit, with some external layering for the torso, if needed to combat the cooler air temps. If I don't get out in the next week or so (before Ling Cod season closes), I won't be kayak angling out along the Jetty until late March again at the earliest, anyway. My SOT will probably sit in the garage until then. I just bought a new 5mm wetsuit for surfing. The old 5mm full suit will be the Springtime jetty kayak fishing suit. With my splash jacket over it, it should do until the water warms up enough for my 3 mm farmer john, usually by mid-May or so.

    Where waves and whitewater are not a problem, I can get away with my waders and a splash top or wading jacket in cold wet weather for tidal creeks when paddling my Ultimate 12, which I can't hardy capsize even when trying. I'm thinking that "launch socks" or some lightweight launch boots similar to muck boots would keep my feet dry when launching on lakes during the winter, when I don't want to be wearing my waders. I've worn 15" rubber boots or even hip boots with rain pants over the top on rainy days in my U-12, although they are a bit bulky for in a yak. Its my wet cold feet that start sucking the heat from me, if I'm only wearing my leaky neoprene kayak booties. Cold fingers become a heat leak, too. Maybe I'll have to break down and get some "pogies" or paddling gloves.

    When I get new waders, I might opt for some with a fly.
     
  11. Bradley Miller

    Bradley Miller Dances with fish

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    Dave: I'm pretty happy with my whitewater drysuit setup. I think you've seen it...........the top end is neoprene and fits snugly around my chest and seems to keep water out pretty well, so I don't worry much about 'filling up' my waders. Plus it has a relief zipper. AND it was pretty cheap. I think I bought it off season for around $125.00. Just sayin'!
     
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