Cold Water Paddling

This is the time of year when I tend to hide inside with a bowl Golden Grahams watching re-runs of House Hunters International while simultaneously looking up cheap flights to somewhere south. I must admit, Southern Ontarians have been spoiled this year with some pretty great autumn weather and this is making me dread the ball-busting, wet winter Lake Ontario winds even more than usual. Being cold is probably one of the things I hate the most, but I’ve made it my mission this year to embrace the cold weather and get outside….and on the water.

Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon
Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon

In order to get ready for some cold water paddling, I’ve invested in some key pieces of equipment. Firstly, surf booties were a must-buy. The rubber sole and neoprene (wet suit material) upper helps keep the water out and the toes dry. The second item on my to-buy list was a pair of neoprene gloves which, like the booties, help keep the hands warm and dry. For the remainder of the cold water gear, I managed to make do with some existing stuff – including a waterproof shell jacket and lightweight, full-length yoga pants.

Here are some things you should consider before heading out for an icy paddle:

  • In the winter months, the days are short so make sure you head out with plenty of time to get back before it gets dark

    Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon
    Photo by: Shannon M at PaddleWagon
  • Bring a buddy (if you must go out alone, always tell someone where you will be and when you plan to return)
  • Check wind speeds and weather conditions before heading out
  • Wear a lifejacket – it’s not only safe, but it will help keep your core warm in cooler temperatures
  • Bring a waterproof flashlight
  • Bring your cellphone in a waterproof case

I’ll keep you posted on my cold water paddles. I’m am curious to see how my inflatable stand up paddleboard will hold up in the freezing cold!

Would you try cold water paddling? Have you tried cold water paddling before? Would love to hear from you.

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4 thoughts on “Cold Water Paddling

  1. I was once told by bunch of surfers that winter’s the best time to be out on Lake Ontario as there’s fewer people to get in your way. Have fun out there … I’ll let you know what happens on House Hunters.

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  2. I’m jealous of your energy and enthusiasm told this! I’d be terrified of falling in the frigid water. “Polar bear” I am not! 😉

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