Summer Vs Winter Riding - Versus w/Rygo Ep 15
In this blog I’m going to break down:
- The prerequisites
- A few rules
- The gear you need
Before you gear up and venture out into the cold I would say there are some absolute prerequisites here.Start by asking yourself a few questions.
- What’s my ability level?
- Do I know how to recognize the warning signs of hypothermia?
- Am I able to stay situationally aware?
Winter riding is reserved for experienced riders only.
You need to know how to handle yourself in various situations and on top of that if you’re new, chances are you'll spend a lot more time in the water than out of it.
You should realize there are certain risks to going out in the cold.
You must know the warning signs of hypothermia so you can get out of the water the moment you experience any of these.
Everyone reacts differently, even under the same conditions but to name a few it starts with
- Dull feeling or numb limbs
- Slurred speech
- Slower breathing
- Fatigue physically and mentally
- Cold pale skin
- Eventually loss of consciousness.
Not to put the fear in you but you need to have a certain respect when pushing the boundaries.
This is where situational awareness comes into play.
- Make sure circumstances are right
- Asses everything
- Have a plan to get warm fast
- Never ride alone
- Don’t ride out far
What kind of gear does it take?
So first off you’ll need a thicker wetsuit. Something in the range of 5.4 to 6 mil and a built in hood is nice! If you don’t have a built in hood, you can get one to pair with your suit.
On top of that, I prefer to wear a thermal layer underneath. Thermalite is a good option and it’s not a far cry from thermal underwear except it’s meant for the water. It really does make a difference on those colder days!
There’s a lot of options. From 5 finger gloves to mittens. I prefer the 3 finger claws. Mits tend to be warmer than gloves but I like to have a liberated finger while setting up. It’s just a good balance of functionality and warmth.
Depedning on how cold the water is, you could opt for thinner glove too on those spring days where it’s not super cold.
I would recommend a minimum of three mill Ideally 5 mill for those cold days. But there are a lot of options here as well. You can see most will have some padding on the bottom for durability and walking on shells or rocks. If you wear foot straps, these are ideal.
Riders who wear boots might want to check out some neoprene socks that don’t have the padding so they will actually fit.
The takeaway here is that kiteboarding in the summer is fun but kiteboarding in the winter is an adventure.