now that ice is out I am thinking on getting out.I have a full immersion suit but I don’t think I would be able to paddle very far(overheating)etc.I have only tried suit in opening of pool!!Has any one else had any experiences.


– Last Updated: Mar-25-05 7:31 PM EST –

What are you refering to as an immersion suit, a dry suit???
Where in Ontario are you?

Since water sucks heat away from you
MUCH more quickly than air, if you dress for protection from the water, it follows that you will probably be a bit over dressed for the air, especially while exerting.

Drysuits help with this dilemma by ensuring that you stay dry if you go in the water, thereby reducing the cooling effect of the cold water. If you know your layers will stay dry, you don’t need as many, and so, will stay cooler in the air.

Learn how to do a bow rescue
then if you are overheating you can use a freinds bow to do a bow dip. Use a hood to protect fron discomfort and gasp reflex. I did this on some trips last winter when I was less confident of my roll. Even now I will have a freind stand by with a bow in case I blow my roll, though it’s been a while since that has happend in normal conditions. You can also put your hands in the water to cool off a bit or splash some on your head and neck.

Later you can roll to cool.

It’s a really tricky problem
with no perfect solution. It can potentially be dangerous… a few years ago I used an extra layer of polypro under my drysuit for a long winter paddle on Boston Harbor. I was a bit late turning around to head for home, and pushed hard, not taking a break to roll for cooling. I suddenly felt my heart pounding very hard, and had an overwhelming desire to remove my neoprene hoods (I wear two in the winter, one on top of the other). I was light-headed and dizzy. For a few minutes I thought I was having a panic attack. Finally, I realized I had overheated, I removed one hood and static braced in the water for a few minutes, and soon felt better.

The safest solution is to dress for immersion and then immerse yourself frequently, either by rolling (“rotary cooling”) or, as Peter mentions, a bow rescue (which can also be done off a dock, tree or submerged rock). By far the best clothing (in my opinion) is the latest in wicking underwear and the latest Gore-tex. All horribly expensive even when on sale, but they truly make a difference at this time of year. After trying many brands, I’d recommend the Helly-Hansen wool/polypro combination. I can swim comfortably with it in 40 degree water, and not be too uncomfortable paddling hard in 65 degree air.

Another trick I’ve found helpful is carrying ice water. You can cool yourself quite effectively with it, from within.


and for those of us
who are still too timid to static brace in 40 degree water (but are fully prepared to swim in it), another solution is to just lightly splash your dry suit to cool off. And a periodic face splash is refreshing, and a good reality check. Lyn

coast guard issue full body suit,attached boots,has mitts,hood,etc.i call it the EXTREME suit.lol I live 60 miles south of Ottawa on the St.Lawrence River.