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IrishStripes

when to start

12 posts in this topic

I really haven't stopped, but that's only because I bought a dry suit this winter. Any day over 45 and I'm on the water (if at all possible). If I didn't have the suit I'd be waiting for the water to warm up. With a sit on top you're going to get wet, and with a water temperature in the forties you're not going to survive long out there.

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With no experience you should stick to very calm waters where you can stand up and walk back to shore. Shallow freshwater ponds are ideal. Every year about this time we post a report on someone who just got their kayak and dies because they put themselves in rough, dangerous, deep ,cold water and fall in. I hope there are none of those incidents this year but that probably wont be the case. When I did a lot of demos on paddle kayaks before everyone bought Hobies I noticed that everyone who flipped on me did it on a windy day and used the paddle to pull themselves overboard. Paddling takes years to master. You will get better at it everytime you go out but the first six months is a big learning period.

I wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt and start going out when the bass start to bite at around 48-49 degree water temp but I don't flip and always wear a life jacket this time of year.

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I think we tend to go overboard with this "cotton kills" stuff. For moderate weather kayaking, cotton is just fine, and there is nothing more comfortable. It's only disadvantage is, it absorbs water easily and takes longer to dry. If you're looking for high-quality warmth or quick dry-times, then it does suck. I do love sitting around a campfire in jeans and a t-shirt, since a spark from the fire won't melt a quarter-sized hole in your cotton clothes.

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Absorbs water easily and takes a long time to dry could make all the difference in the world. Wear what you want, when you want, but wet and cold can be more than uncomfortable. It's moderate weather right now (but it hit low 30s last night)... I wouldn't want to have to spend the night on some sedge island in wet jeans and a sweatshirt after dumping a kayak and watching it blow away at sunset.

 

It may never happen to you. But there are guys on here that bought kayaks last week - they will be fishing before they even learn how to get back into a dumped boat. They don't have your skills. But they certainly can read, and will say, "if this guy does it in jeans and a sweatshirt, no reason that I can't." My comments were intended for those guys.

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I get it, Slacker. My personal preference in any boat is usually not cotton, and I'm a drysuit advocate. But when you say "never a good choice" that's over the edge. I've learned that you shoud never say never, because it is often wrong.

 

Plus, I don't consider lows in the 30s as "moderate". I'm thinking like late June. ;)

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When you're properly prepared is when you're ready to head out. This time of year is no joke, you need the right clothing and the proper experience. Don't take the air temps for granted, the water temps WILL killl you when you're just dieing to get out.

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Cotton is never a good choice. Utterly useless fabric for anything other than sitting on the couch and watching TV.

I wear 100%polyester fleece sweats that will not hold a moisture. I also don't paddle anymore. When I did I wore gor tex rain pants over my poly fleece. I also stressed that location,location,location has to be considered at all times .A two foot deep freshwater pond is not the same as a ocean launch.

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I wear 100%polyester fleece sweats that will not hold a moisture. I also don't paddle anymore. When I did I wore gor tex rain pants over my poly fleece. I also stressed that location,location,location has to be considered at all times .A two foot deep freshwater pond is not the same as a ocean launch.

 

No need to explain to me. I'm just telling you how most folks read things. When they read "sweats", they think Carhartt hoodie and sweat pants... they aren't thinking fleece... they also aren't thinking fleece inside goretex.

 

With regard to the pond, that was good advice. I personally, though, don't know of any 2' deep bodies of water. Even my shallowest fresh water pond runs 10' in spots.

 

This is a message board. Anyone can say whatever they want. I'm just saying that when a clear newbie asks a question, we should try to be as crystal clear as we can be regarding our recommendations. Just this weekend, yet another guy dumped and drowned in Round Valley... guy was 56 Y/O, so not just a "dumb kid". Up in the freshwater forum, a guy had to pull a kayaker into his boat after he dumped and went hypothermic. April is a dangerous time of year in the NE... air feels like Spring, but the water is still Winter... something we all know, but a newbie might ignore due to enthusiasm.

 

Right now, getting in a kayak could put you in a life or death situation. Especially if you lack skills and proper gear. Personally, I would tell any guy that just bought a kayak this year in NJ to leave it in the garage for another 6 weeks... unless you can find that 2'... or even 5'... deep pond.

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Slacker (and everyone else) thank you very much for the words of wisdom and treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves. I probably won't have a kayak anytime soon, but being able to reference threads like this will save my life and other kayak newbies as well. Thank you all.

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