Author- Danny Mongno of NRS
A note from the author: "So many “educational” reads end up really being an opinion piece. So, I wanted to be up front, yes… this is another opinion piece. Many paddlers have a system that works for them and they are entitled to their opinion as well. There is no FACT that one method works better than another. This piece will draw from my lengthy, 30 year experience in the paddle sports industry and as a paddler. So, I feel there is some good stuff in here to make you a more informed paddler, on this topic."
Cold water paddling, Safety first. What to know before we go
So, to start this piece, we must first identify the primary purpose. Staying alive when you are exposed to cold water. Certainly, discussions roll on about performance wear and sun wear and they are also important. But at the end of the day hypothermia can set in within 5 minutes in the water temps we see in the Northeast in Spring, Fall and Winter. Along with the medical challenges of hypothermia alone, its biggest threat is that it greatly increases your chance of drowning. We realize who the audience of this piece will be, good natured, outdoors people who want to enjoy the quiet of nature in the offseason or perhaps to stretch their training season. So yes, there are points on how different clothing options perform. But as a community, we must address the very serious risks that we face paddling in cold temps. So, before we get too deep into apparel options, let’s look at some easy things we can add to our cold weather paddling routine to decrease the likely hood of getting in danger.