Cold weather problems

Went out on Tahoe today. The air temp was in the high teens- low 20s. I stayed out for 4 hours and paddled about 14 miles. I had a little ice on my deck when I got back but found some potentially serious problems… My bungees were frozen and would not retract; I could not undo the fastex buckle on my paddle float; Also, I was unable to inflate the float until I had the tubes in my mouth for about a minute as ice formed on the valves. The joint on my spare paddle was frozen and I would not have been able to get it together. I had trouble undoing the buckle and zipper on my PFD and ended up jumping in the lake (39deg) to allow them to open. On these cold days, I will use a GP as a spare and may consider a solid paddle float, or keep the float in the cockpit. My skirt was frozen but I had no problems getting it off. The Nordic Blue dry gloves worked well, as did my 2 piece drysuit. I did a few rolls wearing a polypro hat under a fuzzy rubber balaclava and after two consecutive rolls had major ice cream headache. Time for a 5-7mm neo dive hood.

OK … I’ll go first …
I’m up late tonight and have made enough postings that some of you may be excused for thinking I might be a troll, but each time I see this post a song just keeps running through my head:

“For everything there is a season …”

Dude. Like maybe you should build a roaring fire in the old wood stove, open a bottle of wine, (or something stronger), and forgettabout paddling until things warm up a bit?

And this is the season to paddle
I would hate to miss days like these

Or a great New Year’s paddle in Baja Oregon

Carry Salt Water?
What if you carried a 2 liter squeeze bottle with concentrated NaCl salt solution? Should be able to use it to free up small amounts of frozen gear. Should work down to 0 F. Just don’t forget and drink it.

( I keep a bottle of hot tap water in my car on the coldest mornings when I go surfing and pour it over me when I take the wet suit off doing the towel change at the car, Mini-shower to get cleaned up for work with out freezing at the beach. Not going to work in the temps you are doing.)

use deck lines with toggles, a la Greenland boats. Use foam paddlefloat instead of blow up (that doll has got to got!). Use a GP as a spare and you can still use your Euro as primary.


PS. Now I know why I was having such a problem getting my drysuit zipper open the other day. It was probably frozen. :slight_smile: I keep bottles of hot water, wrapped in towels for insulation, to rinse off afterwards though. That helped.

Might look a bit odd, but you could try condoms, or equivalent, over the joint ends of your spare paddle. Purchase when the wife is with you. On the paddle float - a solid foam type might be better for cold weather paddling. Still there’s a plastic part on mine that a drawstring passes through that could possibly freeze.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Some Beautiful
places to paddle. I paddled to Emerald Cove and back from the marina two years ago, but I did that in August. I got cold just looking at those pictures. What is the disk-like red thing on the rear deck of the QCC?

Happy Paddling,


A Seda Viking not QCC
and that is a hatch cover. It covers a neoprene cover.

Good Grief
Guess I need to get my glasses cleaned. Obviously, I did not look closely enough.

I can’t imagine paddling in water or air that cold.

Happy Paddling,


It really is nice
because no crowds. It was pretty cool having a sheet of ice on my drytop, hood and skirt.

Come Down to The Coast!
It was sunny and about 70 all last week!

It has turned cold again, but a lot warmer than Tahoe!

Seda Viking?
When did you get that? The Revenge is a SOT Viking so it should make a good matched pair!

Not mine, my friend’s

Planning on Tomales/Bodega
first weekend in March

How would a folding kayak be for cold weather paddling? Cold enough for ice …?

I’ve heard plastic is the best material for cold weather. A lot of the polar expeditions used plastic yaks.

Work well and the seasock keeps it warm

I make a regular effort to knock ice off my front deck bungees to keep the spare paddle free. I also keep my paddle float rolled up behind the seat. Why have it on the front deck anyway?

Learn to roll up with only 1/2 a paddle. It’s faster & easier than putting both halves together underwater. The ice build up on the furrule can be a sure problem. A once-piece storm paddle would be better if your boat will hold one properly.

The grab loop on the spray skirt is also a good thing to try to keep clear of ice. Even with up to an inch of ice build-up on the deck of my spray skirt, it still comes off with no trouble. You have to be able to grab the loop though.

Winter paddling rocks!

Dawns On Me…
Tahoe is fresh water. Contributes to more ice built up. I really don’t experience ice built up problems in the teens and 20’s. Could be salt water doesn’t pose as much of a problem until you go sub 10. It could also be that I am upside down a 1/3 of the time anyway.


"forgettabout paddling "
You just don’t get it…do you.

A few pics

Rolling really helped keep the ice off.