What an incredibly mild December we have had so far! This unusually warm weather has allowed many of my regular SUP students to enjoy the quiet beauty Jordan Lake offers us during the "off-season" without winter gear. But as the weather turns cooler again (and it will), do you have to ditch your SUP for the gym? Nope! Here are my essentials for "winterizing" your SUP:
DON'T: WEAR A WETSUIT. A wetsuit is designed for water sports where you are IN the water most of the time. Wetsuits allow a layer of water into the suit which your body heat then warms up. Now, if you are NEW to paddling and suspect you will fall in, I do recommend one. But if you're going to stay out of the water (like me), not in it, then don't wear a wetsuit. It will stifle your paddling.
DO: WEAR WARM SYNTHETICS (NO COTTON!). I don't have anything fancy. I'm not a gear hound (although I wouldn't object to having more choices at this time!), so you likely have these necessities in your wardrobe already. I typically will layer a long sleeved rash guard, long sleeved poly turtle neck, a fleece top and a warm wind breaker. I also have an insulated vest I often wear over all of that. On the bottom, I wear thick lycra leggings (think winter running tights or moisture wicking long johns) under fleece pants (often used for snow sports). I wear fleece lined water resistant gloves and booties (try Vibram Fivefingers shoes). A fleece beanie is a must too, to keep my head warm. Now, I don't have anything from this company YET, but if you want to invest a little or would like to add it to your holiday wish list, this looks like great winter paddling gear:
With the right gear and protection you can keep paddling all year long! Happy HOLIDAYS and see you on the water!