Excellent cold water paddling articles..

Just read a few great cold water paddling articles. You can find them at the CT Kayaking Association website (www.connyak.org). Some of the authors include Jay Babina, Dean Bertoldi and Brian Nystrom. If interested…go to the site and download the January pdf edition.

Keep warm out there…


January newsletter section
nice article Brian!

That was actually just a blurb…

– Last Updated: Dec-26-04 8:46 AM EST –

...that I posted here and on the NSPN site a couple of years ago. Jay deserves all the credit for making it look good and putting it in print.

Jay did a nice job on his article. I have a slightly different perspective, based on spending a fair amount of time swimming and practicing rescues in 40 degree water with you and other NSPN knuckleheads during cold water workshops in the winter and trip leader training in the spring. It IS possible to dress comfortably enough to paddle and still be well enough insulated to handle 15-20 minutes of immersion without becoming dangerously hypothermic. We do this repeatedly during rescue training with no ill effects. It requires dressing just a bit too warm for the air temp, with the intention of cooling off by sculling on the surface or rolling occasionally. I do this year round, so it's pretty much second nature to me. Of course, it mandates that you have the ability to scull and roll, skills which I consider mandatory for winter paddling anyway.

It's important to know with certainty that you can handle extended and repeated immersion in cold water, and I encourage people to try their immersion gear out in the coldest conditions they paddle in to discover their limits. Obviously, this should be done under controlled circumstances rather than being a "trial by fire" experience.

I may be stating the obvious here, but cold water isn’t a safe place for a beginning paddler.

I’m going to risk a New Year’s Paddle that is short, near the shore, with a large group, and in benign conditions. I still think it’s a risk because I’ve capsized in this same cold water before, and the gasp reflex prevented me from starting an assisted rescue for about a minute or so, which is a long time to wait in cold water. Nevertheless, I think that my skills are now beyond a capsize in calm water.


Cold-Water Kayaking

What do ya think

Lots of good information. What is your opinion about the author in the photos chance of cold shock from not wearing anything on head neck and cold water infiltrating his torso upon immersion? It does not look like a drysuit to me, you?

This not meant to be picky, real question.

What he says is:
“The outer layer is as simple as a pair of neoprene, or better yet, breathable waders and a good waterresistant jacket.”

That looks to be what he has on.VERY bad idea!

He later states:

“Drysuits or waterproof pants and jackets for an outer layer are best to keep you dry and warm.”

But he apparently doesn’t think enough of them to take his own advice. Then again, from this statement, he doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a dry suit and “waterproof pants and jackets”.