So that’s it; game over; autumn’s arrived and winter’s just around the bend so it’s time to hang up our paddles for another year – isn’t it?
Cold? What cold? Many recreational kayakers, particularly those who paddle sit on tops, tend to knock it on the head when summer disappears over the horizon. And yet with an array of fantastic warmth giving apparel on offer there really is no reason to can it. Granted, sub 1C air temperatures may not be to everyone’s taste but pick your day accordingly and it’s perfectly applicable to keep kayaking through winter (see our previous article on tips for paddling during the off season Winter paddling tips for sit on kayakers). Best to be prepared, here are a few items of paddling attire that’ll keep you going through the winter months and ensure your sessions remain pleasant.
Layered up and ready for chillier weather. The Sitons.com team have been using the Palm Equipment Kaituna all through the summer months. On days when only boardshorts weren’t enough the Kaituna thermal rashvest was our go to top layer that will provide warmth and fend off wind chill. As thermometer readings drop it’s the perfect accessory to wear underneath a wetsuit or surface immersion suit (drysuit) especially when partnered with Kaituna leggings.
Kaituna long sleeve: £59.95
Your poor tootsies will freeze off if you don’t cover them with adequate rubber this winter. The hardy out there will stave off wearing booties for as long as possible but at some point you just have to say: ‘enough’s enough!’ Palm’s Nova boots are 3mm thick neoprene that compliment either wetsuits or surface immersion suits perfectly. The grippy Diamond Traction sole ensures you won’t succumb to nasty slips on wet surfaces while providing effective protection against the cold. And the upper fabric creates a further barrier to keep cold water out.
Nova boots: £89.95 – Buy from Palm Equipment
There are a couple of options when covering you fingers and hands. Some plump for gloves while others choose pogies. (What’s a pogie I hear you ask?) Pogie is the name given to a single mitt option designed to fit snuggly over your paddle shaft and allow you to remove and insert your hands at will. We particularly like Palm Equipment’s Descent which features 4mm neoprene and easy on cuff with pull tab.
Descent: £29.95 – Buy from Palm Equipment
It sounds obvious but a hot drink on a chilly day will help stoke your inner furnace – yet many people forget to pack one. If you’re heading off during winter paddling missions then a warm cuppa will be just the ticket for reigniting the fire. Tea not your thing? Fill it full of soup then!
Thermos vacuum flask: £9
Unfortunately the relenting of summer brings about shorter days and longer dark nights. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the time when you’re off having paddling fun – before you know it light fades to black. Here at Sitons we always pack a head torch on the off chance we get too carried away and arrive back at our put in as it’s going dark. You may look a little daft with a beaming light protruding from your bonce but having free hands is welcome when packing gear away. Mountain Warehouse’s 10 LED torch is a favourite and works a treat.
Mountain Warehouse 10 LED head torch: £19.99 – Buy from Mountain Warehouse
Surface Immersion Suit
Surface immersion suits are great for sit on top kayakers as they offer protection from both wind and water while allowing the paddler to wrap up with warm base layers inside. Designed specifically with paddlers in mind Palm’s Cascade and Spark were reviewed earlier in the year which you can read here Palm Drysuits. A top notch suit like either of these will set you up for a fulfilling winter of kayaking. There may be an initial outlay of cash but we think it’s worth it. If you’re thinking of carrying on your kayaking adventures as the cold months set in then sort out your paddling gear and there’s no reason you won’t enjoy this time of year, which can sometimes be the most fun.
Cascade: £499.95 – Buy from Palm Equipment