...How...long...on...a....ski.. Brrrrrr.

-- Last Updated: Aug-17-06 10:50 PM EST --


I am wondering if I should keep a SIK just for the colder months (NJ)

I now have a surf ski, a tour boat and three more SOT.

I want to bail on the tour boat in favor of a squirrelly ski(just for racing).

Will I regret not having a SIK for the cold?

Any one here paddle a ski in the winter? (if so, what do ya wear?)

Can a SOT be used in (relative) comfort in the winter (using the proper clothing)

I want to train/fitness paddle all winter long and do not want to regret trading off my tour boat for another ski..............

Thanx in advance...........

cold is cold
not knowing your skill level, all I can think is that in a SINK, your lower half MIGHT be maybe 5-10 deg warmer than your upper half. opposed to the SOT, both upper and lower will be about the same.

if you flip a SINK, do you have a good roll at all? good enough to still do it after being flipped in 50 deg (or colder) water? and 30’s (or colder) air?

I would think the SOT would be better for a couple reasons…

normally wider beam of a SOT makes less likely to dump it.

if you DO dump, it’s pretty quick and easy to get out of the water. Not the case with a SINK and have to wet exit.

whichever you decide on, you obviously should be dressing for immersion. I just think having a SOT would make post-immersion easier to deal with.

No reason not to use a SOT in winter
but Tarpon 160s also make great sleds http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tsunamichuck/album?.dir=74c6 http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tsunamichuck/album?.dir=8c0b

skis in winter

– Last Updated: Aug-18-06 6:28 AM EST –

I've paddled my ski quite a few times when it was in the 30's, and a couple of times when it was a bit below freezing. It was fine for a couple of hours- I'm not sure I'd want to spend the whole day out there like that, but a usual type of exercise paddle was fine. I use a Kokotat drysuit with booties, with just some water shoes on over the booties. My feet got a little cold, but nothing major- I think that I will probably take off my foot straps this year so that I can use my wetsuit booties over the drysuit ones. this should give me a few more degrees of happiness. Under the drysuit I wear Capilene top and bottom, usually a mightweight over a silkweight, and this keeps me warm, with a polypro watch cap (essential). Hands are the biggest pain- I've tried most everything, and currently have settled on Nordic Blues over heavyweight Capilene liners. I sort of miss having the paddle in my hand though, so I might try again this year with some thicker pogies.

Anyway, I find that I'm just fine in this getup in the winter on a ski, paddling at a brisk exercise pace. Where I get cold is when I get out of the boat, since I'm pretty wet underneath (Goretex only breathes so much...). I keep a warm set of clothes in the car and change into them right away, before I put the boat up, etc.

The previous poster made an excellent point about cold weather self rescue. i can get back in the ski in about 10 seconds, usually without getting my hair wet, and I'm toasty warm in the drysuit even in cold water. For me at least, this is better than relying on my so-so roll, and I feel a lot safer in winter on my ski than I do in a SINK. Others will feel differently.

What are you paddling? I've been using a Mark 1 and have a Mako 6 on the way. Definitely looking forward to getting the 6 in and paddling until ice over.

Feel free to email for cold weather paddling questions. I can also put you in touch with a guy in Montreal who paddles a ski in the winter.


Thanks Andrew for the info.

Right now I’m paddling the Futura II ( your Futura II !!!)

It is super stable, but as you once said, I am looking to move up already! I have my eye on another (tippy) ski.

I may just hold onto the F II for winter paddles.


well, how 'bout that
glad you are enjoying the f2- it’s a good boat. how did you deal with the rudder issue? cut off the back and re-glass it, or something more exotic?

you’ll probably want to jump to a v10, a mako 6, or a huki s1x next. the v10 is a great boat, but epic seems to be having huge problems getting them to people. i got fed up with waiting and ordered a mako 6. supposed to be very similar, better in some ways perhaps for a slightly smaller person. i’ve paddled an s1x as well- very, very nice boat. check out huki.com for any used boats- a great option there.

we will be expecting you next summer at the two harbors kayak festival races- 18 gorgeous miles on lake superior. we had 10 or 11 skis this year to go with 40 odd kayaks, and i expect more skis next year.


Andrew- the rudder fix was so simple I am surprised Mark didn’t recommend it himself (with his boat building prowess)

I stood the ski on end and poured about 2 inches of 2-part epoxy thought he drain hole. Done- finished- perfect!!!

Now the stern has a solid structure to tap the screws into.

I will mail you some pictures this weekend.

I did paddle a v10 last week. Big move up from the FII but I was able to stay upright.

The racing bug has bit me hard… I will look into Huki…I am looking used…!


I have a new S1-X on the way and I will say even though they are expensive I think they are worth the money, everyboat jude builds is a work of art IMHO.

last winter

– Last Updated: Aug-18-06 8:23 PM EST –

I paddled through last winter on a Mako. Water temp was at 40F, and I woudn't go out if air was below freezing or the wind was really howling. Wore NRS hydroskin pants (with 'dry' pants if windy), 2mm neoprene socks with neoprene shoes over them, nothing special up top - maybe a few poly layers and possibly a jacket if windy. Never went out without a warm cap. McNie fleece lined pogies kept my hands warm for the most part, but leaked a bit of water over a 2 hour paddle.

I stayed toasty every workout except for my toes would get cold if I didn't bring warm water to fill my socks up with before heading out..if the sun was out and no wind it would get downright hot.

edit: I should add that this is a lake and I stay close to shore. I would probably use my K1 in the winter but the water level is down and there's a 100% chance you'll hit random rocks if you're within 30 yards of shore. Be safe.

Dress For Immersion
I really don’t do cold water, but the conventional SOT wisdom is that if you are truly dressed for immersion, it doesn’t really make much difference.

what I do
I don’t paddle my surfski in the winter. The reason I don’t is because I like to take the surfski out into the wind away from shore and if things went wrong out in the cold it could be tragic. I usually have to paddle in the dark and there is slao nobody else out thereThe other problem I have is paddling in wind is that I tend to overheat and sweat and then if I get tired or have to turn into wind I get cold. I have mad myself hypothermic on more than one occasion doing this and don’t think it is a good idea. This is fitness paddling I think cruising around would be a different thing where you can paddle slower to not overheat.

My cold water wear is a goretex drysuit. My solution is to stay in creeks close to shore in icf k1. The risk of capsize is much greater and the only option is to swim to shore. This keeps me from going out far and is obviuosly very twisted logic.

However this is what I do, and I am aware of people in Canada that paddle skis all year long and it is super cold there.

You can definatley paddle fast boats all year long as long as the ice does not get in your way, then if your are a truly an addict you get an ergometer.

My recomendation is we all need a sea kayak(for camping/family), a better ski, and a flatwater racer (either icf, nelo razor, kayakpro vampire, westside, sisson,etc…) Start prepping the wife/partner about saftey need for another boat and look at classifieds on pnet for used boat.