Had a perfect Black Friday. No cash tendered, nor credit cards charged.
At 8 AM, welcomed my second granddaughter into this world. She is a healthy 7.9 lb mini replica of her 20 month older sister. I have two boys (men) and am now blessed with two granddaughters.
My 200 cm Aquabound Whiskey paddle came 3 weeks early. Perfect, as it coincided with the Thanksgiving week swells. Capped the morning news with a celebration and moving meditation on some mellow swells, under a gentle rain.
Life is good. Mahalo!
Congratulations on the new addition(s)!
Sweet! New Life is very Good!
Unlike her older sister, this baby has been a good eater and sleeper so far. Hope it holds. Her sister took well over 6-7 months to sleep 5 hours straight. Told my son that it was karma. Both he and his older brother were preemies who came in at just over 5 lbs. Both took over 6 months before they were sleeping for 5 hours or more. The initial months required feeding every 2 hours. Thought I would go psychotic from the lack of sleep.
This morning got a taste of “winter surfing”, with air temps in the low 30s, water temp at 51, and a brisk, cold westerlie wind of 13 plus knots.
Reminded me what a “pain” winter surfing with a kayak can be… Have to struggle to get a skirt on, add a semi droptop over that to minimize water intrusion down the tunnel. Than the worse of it all, getting the skirt on with bare hands (I can’t do with mitts on) that invariably get wet. Cold hands really make everything harder. Took a good 10-15 minutes to warm my hands back up in the neo mitts. With a waveski, it’s simply a wetsuit, an impact vest, and then snap on the seatbelt which can be done with mitts on… Today, may be the last of my surfing with longboat (at least until the Sterling Progression arrrives Jan/Feb. That would, of course, warrant a test ride on the first suitable wave day.)
Despite returning to work tomorrow…
Cold hands are maddening. I’ve got all the winter paddling safety gear but have yet to find a pair of gloves that keep my hands from going numb.
Being realistic about those limitations, the last of my three boats was moved to inside winter storage. For the next few months I’m trading my paddle for my snowblower…
I do reasonably well down into the teens with a single blade in a canoe. Not the best grip but it works. Three layers - liner gloves, wool mitten and then an over mitt. My problem with neoprene is that my hands don’t seem to be able to warm it once it gets wet & cold.
I have never had any luck with gloves.
Tried drygloves but like my drysuits, I sweat too much when surfing. The thermax glove liner would get soaked and then become useless. The drygloves are also a real pain to get on and to make sure the latex cuffs are flat against my wrist and not my immersion top or wetsuit.
I’ve also tried all sorts of neo gloves for NRS and others and found them not suitable in keeping all my fingers warm once air temps get below freezing.
I tried “lobster claw” style surfing gloves. These tend to be too thick (5 mm or more) and are not intended for maintaining a paddle grip. So, there is no sense of the paddle loom orientation and my fingers would cramp after a short while from “fighting” to maintain a grip against the thick neoprene.
The only hand covering that has worked for me has been neo mitts. I have gone down to air temps of 20 degrees and still be able to surf several hours before my hands get too cold. With mitts, my fingers are snuggled against each other and helps to preserve a warm “micro environment” within the mitt. The best has been the NRS mitt with a 3 mm outside face and a 2.5 mm palm. This has been my goto winter hand wear for the past 15 plus years. The thinner palm of the NRS mitt allows for a better and easier grip, but even then I need to make sure my paddles have good indexing to ensure I know blade orientation (of a Euro paddle) when rolling and/or bracing. If I wanted/needed to, I can also “reheat” the mitts and my hands with a bit of warm water poured into the each of the mitts, creating a warm soak for each my hand and fingers for 5-10 minutes. I sometimes need to do this at the car before attempting to get out of my wetsuit, but it also provides time for my car to warm up so I can blast the heater before undressing under my surf “Dry Robe”.
I have also tried Level Six mitts. They are ok in keeping my hands warm but the durability is just not up to NRS’ standard. I have the seams of two Level Six mitts blown in less than a full season of winter surfing. My NRS will generally last two years or more. I currently have about 8 pairs of NRS mitts. Three are fairly new while the other four pairs have minor split seams that I have stitched back together but are no longer leak proof. I keep these around as back ups and for use them when I am not in full winter conditions yet, saving wear and tear on my newer mitts.
Sing, congrats!!! I am a bit jealous.
Apparently so. I’m guessing you have the NRS “Veno” mitts, which are currently on backorder (for all sizes) until February on the NRS website. They also make the “Toaster” mitts which according to their description are 3.5mm all over.
I’ve been using a no-name brand of neo gloves with velcro wrist straps, but I seem to have misplaced them recently. I’m hoping to go out tomorrow, so may have to make a run to the local REI and see what they have in stock.
No, no, no… Not the Veno. This open palm model would be useless in the the heart of winter surfing. Essentially, this model has the taken the compromize between a Pogie and a full mitt. I found pogies useless for my winter surfing hand protection as I am sure the NRS Veno mitts would be as well. Too much flushthrough with the palm opening. Th
I use the NRS Toaster Mitts which full hand coverage. The specs states a 2.5 mm “rawhide” palm (NRS Toaster Mitts | NRS) . Having the fingers together help to create a “micro” warm climate in the mitt. I actually don’t like the most recent change to the Toaster Mitt where and stitched separation has been created for the index finger from the other three fingers. Thankfully, I still have three fairly new pairs of the old Toaster mitts.
But, with the fuller protection of the Toaster mitts, I have to make some adjustments to ensure a sure and correct grip orientation for the paddle that is needed for reflexive bracing and rolling. With my WW paddles by Big SPoons and ONNO, they both have pronounced idexing on both sides of the paddle shaft (loom). All I need to do here, is to make sure I occaisonally put on surfing wax on the shafts. This pretty much minimize if not eliminate accidental grip shifting of the indexed position with the mitted hands.
With my recent Aquabound paddles – which are very light and relatively less expensive than the Werner counterparts – I have to create heightened indexing on the ovalized carbon shaft by adding on strips of 1/8" weatherstripping foam and electrical taping over this. These additions didn’t create any noticeable gain in weight. Especially with the AquaBound Whiskey, which came in at 26 oz and is most about 3 oz heavier than the similar blade size Werner Cyprus.
Obviously, indexing is not an issue at all with GPs, whether wood or carbon. Paddle orientation is always sure, even with mitts, for GPs.
Ah, I missed that part of the description of the Veno that said open palm. I skimmed the page, and they state “2.5mm RawHide™ palm…” and that’s what caught my eye.