So what is the well dressed paddler wearing this fall?

Title is mostly a joke. I am trying to get back into paddling and my paddling clothes so far consist of swimming trunks and polypro shirts (sun protection). Somewhere in the bowels of the closet (or garage) is my old cold weather gear - sized for someone about 80lbs thinner and mostly falling apart with age anyway. I need to replace my splashtop and get a few more layers of polypro. Not sure if sharkskin is the new fuzzy rubber (loved Rapidstyle’s fuzzy rubber - RIP), but considering a shorty and a top might not be a bad idea either. Other confusing is while I am still hoping to get a sea kayak for winter paddling - right now I am paddling a convertible (aka - canoe with a 2 bladed paddle). No real reason to replace my drysuit yet - I can stay inside the few days a year in S. Texas that actually warrant it (it was nice for paddling when wind chill was below 32).

Any suggestions on decent gear and brands would be appreciated. Both for Canoe and Sea Kayak. It is fairly depressing that there are literally no kayak shops I know of in Texas that stock stuff like this anymore. Sit on Tops killed all other kinds of paddle sports - and they hide when it gets below 80.

What’s the water temperature in a S. Texas winter?

We get about 1 week of winter (mornings below freezing), so those are completely avoidable. A dozen days with mornings in the 40’s (likewise avoidable, but otherwise tolerable), leaving the bulk of the next 5 months with morning lows above 50 (many in the 60’s) and most days warming up as the day progresses.

Water temp varies - but since I am not planning on paddling hydro releases (which can be in 50’s), I would bet the water temps will rarely be below 70.

Anyway. I expect wind chill is as issue. Don’t even know what materials to look for now. I know I used to dream about getting a Gortex spray jacket (but those were $$$). I enjoyed the fuzzy rubber becaused it breathed

@Mousehunter said:

Water temp varies - but since I am not planning on paddling hydro releases (which can be in 50’s), I would bet the water temps will rarely be below 70.

Any way you can find out from historical data? You dress for the water temp, not air temp, so it’s a major factor in your purchasing decisions. Or should be.

You need a Texan. I’d go to American Canoe Association, (ACA) , and search paddle clubs. There is a good sea kayak club in Houston. You may find others near you, wherever that is. Then ask them. Houston gets about the same weather, more or less, than Jacksonville Fl. So winters where you are might be kind of mild.

Hmm, I paddled in the Padre Island and Rockport area. At least a few of the paddles were in water that felt like it was in the high 50s. That was in a February.

2mm full wetsuit was just adequate.

I saw ice on the bay once in Rockport, but that was probably a once in 100 year storm (fishermen were out it with dip nets-huge fish kill). Paddled a “blue” norther there as well, by the time I was dressed for the windchill, the bay water temp was irrelevant.

Paddled lower Guad and the Lake formerly known as Town Lake several winters (2 workouts a week in Austin (kayak polo), slalom ever other weekend on Guad). Water temps were always secondary to wind chill.

I don’t know what is left of the Texas paddle clubs. Sea Kayak paddlers tend to just get older. Corpus Christi has not done a paddle fest the last few years. Houston Canoe Club gave up Randevou years ago. San Antonio Rivermen still has a somewhat active website-but their newsletter is long gone (pretty sure their freeze float is still happening). Can always call AKC. They don’t have much clothing in their stores, but probably have stuff in their warehouse (they must focus mostly on internet sales).

While I am ranting, TG has about the only composite boats in the state-but that is like 5 sea kayaks (I do not recall splashtops there-will look harder next visit). At least they can order boats. Getting frustrated trying to deal with Stellar dealers. They are focused on surf ski’s (they probably have a few demo ski’s). Almost feel like I need to beg to order a boat sight unseen from them. If my wife would not kill me, half just want to get in the car and drive till I can find a shop that has floor stock. But that might be a 3000 mile round trip, hell maybe more. Been a long time since I was at a store like NOC, abet the shop in Annapolis had tons of glass.

If you get blue northern…you’d better dress for that. I’ve known a bn to freeze concrete in a slip form silo before it could set. 85 degrees to REAL cold in minutes.

Paddling the norther was not a desire, just a necessity. It was the final class of the 1st ACA sea kayak instructor trailing class in Texas. Our instructor trainer was down from Michigan, he recognized the limitation of us poor Texans, but did not think it was too cold to get out on the water. IIRC it was the only day I actually ever used all my cold weather gear-including paddling gloves and a fuzzy rubber skull cap. Might have even had a face mask on.

I drove from the Denver area to Whitefish, MT to buy a sea kayak, about a thousand miles each way. For the next purchase from that dealer, her partner was coming to West Yellowstone, so he saved us half the drive.