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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

What kind of gear "must" I have for cold water kayaking? I went out this weekend for an easy paddle but couldn't shake the thought of flipping the thing and trying to swim in that water. I have a pair of stoking foot chest waders that fit very nice; Can I put something over my chest to kind of seal them? I like to kayak but just don't want to end up dead doing something stupid so any advice you guys have for clothing, equipment and such would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help
 

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You have the right idea,
You need a semi-dry top, it'll seal tightly around the waist, neck and wrist cuffs, preventing water from getting in. Of course you should also have a wading belt over the waders but under the top as well.

I use breathable stocking foot waders, the wading belt and the semi- dry top. Also some extremely excellent base layer materials and of course a comfortable PFD. I have purposly dunked outta my boat just to test everything out...no problems getting back in and I was dry as a bone, except for my face :D We'll be doing some winter paddles outta Absecon Creek, your welcome to join us.
 

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Joe, Please be carefull this is not the time of year to be learning how to yak in deep cold water. I suggest you go to a shallow lake (like lake fred at stockton college) That way if you flip you can walk the yak back to shore. Wet,cold,and embarressed but alive.The best cold water safety gear is common sense. Know your kayaking skill level and dont put yourself in a situation that is beyond your skill.
barrell
 

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joe, wear a wetsuit with booties, and some type of windbreaker. If you fall in, the wetsuit won't fill up with water. The windbreaker is for obvious reasons becuase the wind will get through the wetsuit, however if you fall in the water you'll be toasty. I have a 4/3, and a 5/3. I feel snug as a bug in the 5/3 in the middle of february surfing. It doesnt get any colder than that. Be safe, know your limits, use your instincts.
 

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A wetsuit or dry suit is your best bet. I used to Jet Ski when the water was in the high 30s low 40s. I had a 5mm ripcurl with bootys and a hood. Those were the days...snowboarding one weekend...jetskiing the next.

You guys that wear waders...if they ever take on water you can float on your back with your feet up. Trapped air will keep you afloat. Heard that at a safety course and saw it on TV as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gents,

Thanks for the advice. I have been kayaking for a bit now but it has always been in the summer or early fall. Never worried about flipping as the water is warm, I can swim and I have a pfd. The snug fitting wetsuit top over the waders sounds like a good course of action, that and the shallow lake should be good. By the way Josh please drop me a line when you guys are heading out, I would love to tag along. My email address is [email protected]

Thanks,
Joe
 

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A winter paddle would be nice. I still need to purchase a dry top to put over my waders, but let me know the date.
I got my kayak in late August, and Im tired of looking at it in the garage. I need to get out on the water.
 

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Heading out tommorow afternoon. Temps in the mid 40's, sun's out, winds calm. :D If you guys cant make this one, no problem, I go a bunch. They'll be another time. My cell is 856-264-5706, call if you'd like to come out.
 

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JoeFish2live I believe keyskid said semi dry top not a snug fitting wet suit top. The problem with the wet suit top is if its snug it will restrict your paddling and if its not snug it will let in to much cold water and defeat its purpose.Most kyakers use a farmer john type wet suit so your arms are free for paddling. A semi dry top will keep your upper body dry long enough for you to get back in your kayak and will work with either a farmer john or the waders. He also mentioned a base layer which is extremely important with the wader set up.I've used the breatable stocking foot waders for 3 years now without any problems,I use a NRS Blackrock semi dry top with the heavy wasteband and for a base I use the mysterioso top and bottom and socks that I got from kyakfishingstuff.com .I suggest you take a look at keyskids setup some time when he is going out before you buy( a picture is worth a thousand word ) also I recommend a little research on cold weather kayaking. Kayakfishingstuff web site and more local Paddleshack.com have some worthwhile info.Also Barrel is right about practiceing in shallow water.Getting quickly back into your kayak when in cold water is critical and not all that easy when you have a ton of gear on. One other thing, gloves, you'll be surprised at how fast you lose mobility in your fingers and hands in freezing water. Good luck and take your time getting geared up.
 

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Originally posted by KeysKid:
Heading out tommorow afternoon. Temps in the mid 40's, sun's out, winds calm. :D If you guys cant make this one, no problem, I go a bunch. They'll be another time. My cell is 856-264-5706, call if you'd like to come out.
kid, i have a broken nose, a brother's bday partay to attend to, and a giants game to watch. otherwise i would make it. rock on man, have fun, stay warm.
 

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I know a lot of you guys like wearing the waders but there is a serious safty issue in certain situations. Here's and example, its cold, your 100 yards off the beach, wind out of the west 10mph, you fall out. wind is blowing your kayak away from you at 5mph but you can only swim 3mph because your waders are to clunky to let you swim efficiently. the only way back to shore is a 100 yard swim against the wind in waders. I know most of us have the common sense not to put ourselfs in a situation like this and most of the guys wearing waders are in calm water conditions. but paddling in anything but perfect conditions reqires a good wetsuit or drysuit. for an experiment try doing a couple of laps in the pool wearing waders and you'll quickly see what I mean.
 

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Lew'N...
Essentially with the breathable stocking foot wader and dry top set up you are creating a dry suit...when it is worn correctly there is no water entry. It behaves in the water much like a dry suit. The base layers/underlayers keep you insulated, you stay warm and dry.
The other thing about the situation you just described. I have a leash attached from the kayak to the paddle. The boats not going anywhere with out me.
The bottom line is before any kayaker attempts any type of cold water paddling whether it be calm back bay conditions or surf lanches, all these things should be practiced over and over again (in the warm, summer water) till it becomes second nature.
 

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Your right Keys, thats a perfect setup, just that I've seen guys out there in all sorts of waders. They're probably fine for certain conditions, I just wanted to illustrate that just throwing on any pair waders isn't necesarily safe for winter conditions. All the info in this thread is good stuff, just wanted to be sure no one gets the wrong idea about whats safe. My personal sense of safty hinges on the question; if things go really bad, can I swim for it? so I don't put anything on tht may hinder that option.
 

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Lew'n aint easy, even with a wet or a dry suit you better have a leash connected to you and the kayak, a PFD will inhibit your swimming ability as much as anything else. Don't forget the paddle leash also you don't want to be up the creek without your paddle. With that said I would also not recomend paddling by yourself except under the best conditions in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Gents,

Thank you for the information. I am going to look into a dry top. Do you guys know who sells them and what brands are good. Again thanks for your help and I look forward to paddling with you guys.

Joe
 
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