If you enjoy water sports all year long, you’ll need to outfit yourself with the appropriate clothing and equipment to keep your body warm in the cooler months.
You don’t have to put away your canoe, your surfboard, or give up open-water swimming until spring just because winter is approaching. Although a well-known author once observed, “If you tiptoe into cold water, you’re losing out on the exhilaration of plunging in headfirst,” the icy depths can really cause major health risks because they can cause the body to cool 25 times more quickly than air temperatures. Or just drain your vitality from participating at all. The proper watersports attire will keep the kayak moving, the waves surfed, and the navigational course taken.
Keeping Warm in Cold Water
Wearing the proper protective layers and keeping the wind and splashes off your skin are the two most important factors in maintaining your body temperature in freezing weather.
It’s also true that if you swim outside regularly and progressively increase the length of time you spend in the water, you may train your body and mind to get used to the sensation of being submerged in cool water. It helps to get used to the water’s temperature over time. The body instantly produces a cold shock response when you plunge into a chilly pool, lake, or ocean. The first gasp, as well as the ensuing rise in breathing, blood pressure, and pulse rate. Regular dippers can adjust to this rather easily.
But the most crucial step is to choose the appropriate clothing for the watersports you want to participate in.
Wetsuit or Drysuit?
The cold shock reaction that occurs when you enter the water is not eliminated by wetsuits. The benefit starts when the suit is filled with cold water. Warmth builds up in the water-filled space between the wetsuit and the skin.
When selecting a wetsuit, material and depth of thickness are the most crucial considerations. Neoprene wetsuits should ideally have a thickness of at least 5 mm, albeit they will allow for less movement the thicker they are. Purchase the best you can. It will be rewarding.
If you are naturally cold-blooded, a heated wetsuit is an option as well as a good warm lining and liquid-sealed seams. Choosing a drysuit ensures that you are fully protected from the cold. A drysuit uses a layer of air to completely seal the covering, preventing water from entering.
But drysuits typically cost more than wetsuits do. Additionally, wetsuits will typically improve performance. In the dead of winter, drysuits are typically preferred by divers, dinghy sailors, kayakers, and stand-up paddleboarders. They require more time to put on properly than wetsuits.
Heads Up – Cover Your Crown
Anyone who ventures into the rapids is aware that a reliable helmet is necessary to safeguard the head from blows and scrapes.
However, a skull cap or headcase for paddlers or sailors will stop the loss of heat from a part of the body that can lose a lot of heat, adding to warmth and comfort.
A swim hat made of silicone or neoprene will boost your comfort if you’re swimming in cold weather.
Don’t Forget the Lower Parts
For anyone who is going to be in the water, compression shorts are a no-brainer. Compression shorts can be worn underneath a variety of tops without impairing mobility. They can help lessen water-induced friction if you’re swimming.
And cold feet result from moist feet. We actually lose more heat through our tootsies and our hands than we do from our scalps. You will be aware that putting your toes out from under the sheets has a rapid cooling impact if you are hot in bed at night. This is due to the type of blood arteries that exist in our feet and the considerable surface area that they occupy. The extremities can be kept warm with the use of neoprene boots, gloves, and socks.
And When the Fun Is Done, Rewarm
Depending on how long you were really submerged, your body will continue to cool after you leave the water or return to dry land for up to 30 minutes.
As soon as you can, take off your wet clothes, dry off, put on warm clothing, and have a hot beverage. To ensure everyone’s safety, it’s preferable to do this before you drive home.
Learn more: Top Scuba Diving Safety Tips