Getting ready for the winter in W.FL, wi

-- Last Updated: Nov-18-14 5:55 PM EST --

will these layers do fine ? I just started to learn how to roll and looking to practice it as much as I can but the only thing is that it's starting to get cold.

From Now till around March, I'm looking at air temperatures of 50-75 , and water temperature of 65-75, I currently have a short sleeve rashguard, an endurance jacket, a rain jacket for an extra layer, and neoprene socks

I think the piece that I'm missing is a wetsuit for those rolling immersions and working on my edging, being short on budget should I go with a full body suit or a spring suit for this kind of water/air temperatures ?

Do I even need a wetsuit at these temperatures or am I totally getting ahead of myself ?


– Last Updated: Nov-18-14 10:57 PM EST –

showers..toughen up.

Comfort during Florida 'winter' depends on your normal environment. Are you a hospital worker from Virginia or a trucker out of Manitoba ?

Objective cold weather physiology lives in a narrower zone. Tampa, below and north experiences mainland weather, Punta Gorda south is more semi-tropical. On the east coast warm is Miami and south.

I'm equipped as an expeditionary class paddler wearing a thin short leg armless wetsuit over a long sleeve poly crew or below 70, a semi dry Kokotat suit for my comfort if I paddle into an in the water problem.

This level of clothing protection from hypothermia is infrequently scene. People die from hypothermia every winter, I can float out sea, turn on the EPIRB.

Most paddlers wear wind protection rarely a specialized paddling garment as NRS or Immersion Research tops. On sunny warm days, only.

A light wetsuit, booties, head neoprene, sun hat, dark sunglasses costs $150 equipping for almost all winter days, insures your safety. If you paddle on nice days then a capable top and booties are enough.

If you go to NOAA weather tonight, click over Florida for comparisons. Weather underground sports a difficult to find weather average history for many weather station areas.

Please don’t make me…

– Last Updated: Nov-18-14 11:09 PM EST –

come down there and cut you! ;-) (Joking, obviously) I'm up here in the Chicagoland area getting made fun of for wearing 5 layers on my feet, and I still can't keep them warm while out paddling in 20°F air temps! And it will most likely get colder than that. I envy your Florida winters!

MAYBE you could do a farmer john in a 2/3 mm thickness but to be honest I’m in San Diego and currently our water is about 68, air about the same, and a rash guard is enough for me. I paddle in a long-sleeve rash guard for a bit before and start to feel warm and then the roll actually feels good.

lol! Maybe it is time to toughen up

So that’s all you wear ?
swimsuit and a long sleeve rashguard ?

Guess you’re right, time to toughen up
thank you for the good tips !

50-75 deg.waters, balmy.
Ok I’m envious. Where in W. FL?

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Not really
If you spend a lot of time in the water… say hours…you need thermal protection even in the Caribbean… (I have seen hypothermia in the Virgin Islands).

I knew DK could spout more than just links! Well put.

I’m glad you said “in the water” and
not “on the water”

Jack L

In Buffalo NY as we dig out of 60 to 90 inches of snow iam thinking those temps sound like summer time on Lake Erie or Ontario. Must be nice.

Farmer john wetsuit if I was down there on a 50F air temp day would be my choice and a splash top to keep the cold air off me at 50F.

It really, really depends

– Last Updated: Nov-19-14 1:47 PM EST –

At the lower end of your air (50) and water temp (65) ranges, you'll need a full wetsuit, at least 3mm, if you're doing more than just a couple of rolls. Especially so if your roll isn't solid and you might wet exit. I stayed at Rainbow Springs State Park during a cold spell and paddled in a shorty 2mm wetsuit. Air temp about 50 and water temp 67 or 68. After a few rolls I felt cold. The spring suit won't be warm enough for that combo. Wet skin in 50 degrees gets cold fast even when the water is 68.

At the upper end (air and water both 75), you don't need a full wetsuit unless you're rolling many times. Since the water is still more than 20 degrees below body temp, eventually you'd get chilled even in those warm temps. It just would take longer than at lower temps. You could use a shorty 2mm in this upper range.

All the above is subject to your individual traits such as body size and % fat, and acclimation to the conditions. And how long your rolling session lasts; mine are usually 30 to 45 minutes.

Big Carlos

of the ‘polar vortex’ blow. Next week is sunny and warmer. Weather from August on was excellent hay making weather.

As for the crowding mentioned in a second Florida post: the last fresh water springs before heading south to Havana are behind a Publix supermarket. You may tie up at the golf course and walk over.

I thought a park was planned for the area but no a low cost apartment city is going in.

And shorts
Suit, rash guard, and shorts is enough for right now. Yesterday morning was around 60, water 68 and it was fine. When colder I’ll get a paddling jacket.

Extended Exposure
I have to admit that I missed the part about you just learning to roll. I try to do just two or three quick rolls every time I go out but it’s just that - quick - underwater for less than 5 seconds. That’s why I have been able to get by without a suit. If you will be practicing for a long time and potentially will be in the water for a wet exit, then absolutely a 3mm suit.

I’m a wimp when it comes to cold water and two weeks ago when we were practicing rescues and were in the water for a long time, I did feel a bit chilly.