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Any kayakers?

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posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 03:48 AM
Just picked up a decent recreational sit on top to play out the rest of the warm weather, but am looking to pick up a touring kayak for winter.

Question time, when do I need to wear a wetsuit? I'd rather be somewhat uncomfortable and sweaty than suffer hypothermia. I'm all for dressing for the water temps, people die all the time because they go out dressed for the sunny weather and don't think they'll tip.

I'm going to generally be on lakes around Seattle, but would like to go out in the Sound too after I get back in the swing of things.

The information seems surprisingly hard to get. I've read that water temp + air temp has to equal 100 degrees or you need a wetsuit.

There's no way I'm buying a dry suit, too expensive and frankly think I would somehow manage to destroy it.

I plan on taking a refresher course or two from one of the local outfitters, and also trying to join up with a group around here. There seems to be a fairly active one. I kayaked through the San Juans when I was younger and had a blast. Been in kayaks a number of other times, and recently went out and rented one. Forgot how much I loved it and that feeling of being part of the water instead of just on it.

Obviously going to practice self rescue, Eskimo rolls and not take something out in rougher weather/water unless it has bulkheads.

Any advice appreciated!

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 04:04 AM
"I've read that water temp + air temp has to equal 100 degrees or you need a wetsuit."

Never heard of that, that makes no sense at all. It could be 80 outside with below freezing water temps, probably just misinterpreted the info.

You can get hypothermia in 60 degree water. It's probably a safe bet that being in the NW, your gonna need a wet-suit. If not only the lower diaphragm designed for kayaks.

edit on 14-8-2017 by rexsblues because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 04:21 AM
a reply to: rexsblues

Never heard of that, that makes no sense at all. It could be 80 outside with below freezing water temps, probably just misinterpreted the info.

I believe it's actually 120 degrees, I mistyped. I hadn't heard of it before either, but I've been looking at this for a few days and this has come up in a number of places.

It's probably a safe bet that being in the NW, your gonna need a wet-suit.

K, when? Puget Sound's temperature is pretty much always the same. Same with the lake I frequent. You wouldn't be able to stand wearing a wetsuit when it's 85 on the lake. So at what air temperature should I wear a wetsuit since the Sound and lakes I frequent barely change temperature? That's why I'm asking.

You can get hypothermia in 60 degree water.

Understood, but air temperature plays a big part in that. I was in the water for hours last week floating and swimming and the lake was cooler than 60.

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 04:28 AM
I'm not sure on the water temp info vs wet suit issue for your area....maybe ask a local guide or some of the local sports pro shops may know ? ....otherwise, have you kayaked or canoed a lot before ?...... if you don't know the different types of strokes , I suggest you learn them. When I was a child, my parents sent me to a summer camp . That camp was huge on canoe and kayak etiquette . We had to pass several exams, and one of them was the different strokes for maneuvering of the best things I ever learned . Years later when I got back into kayaking, I used all my strokes to maneuver around down trees, and all kinds of things, I teach all my friends too. I highly suggest learning that if you don't know them ...may be a bit old school, but it's worth it.....and maybe seek out a knowledgable camp counselor for info on wet suits ?

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 04:57 AM
a reply to: Meldionne1

I went to a camp like that when I was a teenager. I've had more seat time in kayaks and boats since, but I learned a TON there.

Made us do Eskimo rolls in a pool before we could go on the trip, learned self rescue, and different strokes. It's been awhile, but it comes back fast, not unlike driving a stick shift or riding a bike.

Plan on taking some classes and asking, just sort of want a head start on what to expect budget-wise and how often I can actually utilize one since it's Seattle and we don't always have the greatest weather.

The first time I kayaked was on Lake Union (pretty big lake near Seattle) and I'm still amazed they let me go out in my own ( I was probably 8) while my parents had a tandem. I ended up flipping over, getting spooked and instead of ripping off the spray skirt I kicked the thing as hard as I could. I always took swim lessons, both private and my school (private school) shipped us down to the YMCA in downtown Seattle once a week to swim so I wasn't scared of the water, just being trapped. We flipped the boat though it was a pain in the A, and paddled back with the thing full of water. Different times I guess. Weird how if anything it made me feel better about kayaking, already been upside down in one, so when I went to that camp and everyone was freaking out about getting dunked I was thinking, 'shoot, I've done it before, and now I know what to do'.

How long have you been kayaking? I freaking love it. I can't believe I've been away from it for so long! It's such a good feeling gliding along under your own power, I get this deep sense of peace and feel more connected to the world.

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 05:42 AM
When I was a kid, the camp,I went to was mostly canoeing ...probably because you could fit 3 kids in a canoe...we learned a lot before we could go out on the lakes. We had levels we had to pass , and depending on what level you wer in would be able to go in a day trip, over night trip, weekend trip, or harder paddles....we learned all of the strokes,and everything that has to do with canoes and kayaks... I got older kayaking became my choice over a canoe.....but I was river kayaking in NH and Maine ...The stroke knowledge came in very handy for down trees and river current . I live in Florida and am kayaking in the Florida a different pace ..slower...actually more to see for nature , but more boring pace. ....I don't worry about wet suits here . It's too warm....when I was in Nh, I wore a wet suit a few times..but not much, as we were river kayaking mostly spring to fall. Not like a big lake your on where you can't get out of the water quickly or to the rivers edge .'s a great sport . Do you have kayak racks for your car yet ? ...I suggest the kind that lower and raise onto your roof you can lower the rack, load the kayak, and raise the rack....they're pricey but worth it.. .....unless you have a truck and can put kayak in back.....we have racks that don't raise and lower. They're just on top and we have to hoist the kayak on top .
edit on 14-8-2017 by Meldionne1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 05:49 AM
Also, I have a friend that kayaks a lot in the Chesapeake virgina . She wears a beacon of some sort time a squall came in and she got in some trouble...she set off her Beacon and had to be reduced by the coast guard ...that may be something for you too think about ? I'm not sure what type she used ...but I'm sure a local guide there would know what works best for there .

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 06:58 AM
a reply to: Domo1

there is another option :

weare thermal base layers [ polyprop ] and a cag and trousers :



there simples

but for serious open water use - i say - drysuit

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 06:58 AM
a reply to: rexsblues

I kayak in the ocean off the coast or maine- you don't need a wet suit if you know how to swim, and don't go too far out.

Certainly not in lakes and rivers.

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 07:41 AM
Even a thin wetsuit can make the day more enjoyable. If the the waters cold, below 80, I wear a wetsuit. I am pushing 60 and I get cold. Try it a few times on short trips and you can figure out what works for you.

A wetsuit also provides some floatation and protects your soft, wet skin from abrasions and marine animals.

Have fun!

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 08:16 AM
Well. I came to this thread to learn a little about kayakers, but now I'm questioning my own practices.......

A wet suit.....??

I've just been going down the river in pool rafts and a swim suit........ RIP

Anyways, keeping my eye on this thread for some extra info as we have been thinking about buying a kayak, my sister has been doing a lot of fishing off them lately.

edit on 8/14/2017 by NerdGoddess because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 09:42 AM
a reply to: Domo1

Hello fellow kayaker

Weather and schedule permitting, I kayak every day! It's turned into more than a hobby for me over the last couple years. It's great excercise for one, it's amazing to feel so incredibly close to nature and as you said, to feel a part of the water.

Best purchase I made this season was an anchor...for when I just want the set the paddles down, float a bit and enjoy the scenes.

I've just recently started thinking about investing in winter gear so, I'll keep an eye on this thread for advice...sorry I can't offer any good info

posted on Aug, 14 2017 @ 02:54 PM
Tagging on here cause I have some similar questions as I am doing River SUP boarding! WOO!

posted on Aug, 15 2017 @ 01:20 AM
I kayak all over the great lakes I don't wear a wet suit. During warm weather months May through Sept I just wear shorts. The only thing you need to worry about is hypothermia. The colder the water the faster you need to get out. If the water is near freezing you need to get out within a couple (2 or 3) minutes. You lose control of your limbs fast in cold water. Also in freezing water as soon as you hit the water it's like someone kicks you in the chest. It will shock you and cause you to take a deep inhail breath. It can cause people to drown. Water temps in the 50's and 60's aren't bad as long as you're not in the water for a long period of time. 32*-45* can be deadly. People use dry suits in winter type (snow and ice) situations. Dry pants and a waterproof jacket is all you need in cooler temps like fall.

edit on 15-8-2017 by wantsome because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 15 2017 @ 02:12 PM
a reply to: Domo1

I think you'll enjoy this.

posted on Aug, 15 2017 @ 04:19 PM
a reply to: Kester

That was awesome! Thanks!

posted on Aug, 15 2017 @ 05:07 PM
a reply to: Kester

That was fantastic!

posted on Aug, 19 2017 @ 12:20 AM
In case anyone is wondering, I found more information.

The loose rule is you need a wetsuit if the water is below 60, or if over 60, the combined air temp + water temp is under 120 degrees.


Water Temperature (Fahrenheit / Celsius) Wetsuit Type* Extras
52°F / 11.5°C 4/3 Sealed & Taped Warm Rashguard, booties, wetsuit gloves
56°F / 13.5°C 4/3 Sealed Neoprene Top
60°F / 15°C 3/2 Sealed Neoprene Top
65°F / 18.5°C 3/2 Flatlock


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