Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Tag: merino

Cold Weather Paddling Gear

We’ve just about hit that time of the year in the UK when it gets darker earlier and earlier, the weather has begun to turn and the water is that little bit colder. It’s a great time to start to look at your cold weather paddling gear and assess whether it is going to be up to the job.

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Cold Weather Paddling Gear

Being cold is not just uncomfortable it can also be life threatening. Having the right gear for the right conditions is key at any time of the year but the margin for error during the colder seasons is much tighter.

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Merino Base Layers For Paddling

Since buying a couple of merino tops a few years back I am completely sold on the stuff. For years I had been using Helly Hanson Lifa or Sub Zero Factor 1 thermals. All of which developed that characteristic kayaking odor.

Up until very recently my thermal base layer of choice was the Howies merino surf thermal. The merino is thin, the arms are nice and long and also include thumb loops. These are superb when your putting on your drycag or dry suit as they help prevent the sleeves rolling up. The neck is a turle neck so you get a bit of protection from latex dry cag seals. Unfortunately they stop production of these quite a few years ago and I needed to make a change simply due to wear and tear.

Merino Base Layers For Paddling

Now not all Merino is made equal. There are different weights and depending on the quality of the wool and what it is mixed makes for some good and some bad merino gear.

As merino gear has become more wide spread and popular I think the overall quality has gone down. Some of the initial big players don’t seem to producing gear that lasts as long as I think it should.

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Student Kayak Kit Buyers Guide

Although this guide is directed at students in reality it will apply to anyone thinking about taking up the sport. Over the next few weeks many students will be starting Uni and will be looking at joining a club. In most cases the Kayak/Canoe club in a university will be the best club to join.

Student Kayak Gear Buyers Guide

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The Power of the Merino

Since buying a couple of merino tops a few months back I am completely sold on the stuff. For years I had been using Helly Hanson Lifa or Sub Zero Factor 1 thermals. All of which developed that characteristic kayaking odor.

The Power of the Merino

My current kayak thermal of choice is the Howies merino surf thermal. The merino is thin, the arms are nice and long and also include thumb loops. These are superb when your putting on your drycag or dry suit as they help prevent the sleeves rolling up. The neck is a turle neck so you get a bit of protection from latex dry cag seals. I managed to pick up two of these thermals before they stopped producing them, one of which was found new on ebay. They do come up now and again. The NBL or NBL Light are probably the closest match and are in the current range (I own a couple of these as well).

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Insulation

Staying both warm and dry makes any kayaking adventure that much more pleasant. I’ve been kayaking for over 25 years now and am amazed how much the kit has moved on during that time. Way back then getting soaked to the bone was pretty much a standard feature of paddling even if you didn’t swim. Even though staying dry is much easier and therefore makes keeping warm itself so much easier it’s important to get your insulation layers right.

I tend not to feel the cold as most folk but I still pick my insulation layers really carefully to make sure that I not only stay nice and warm but that I do not over heat. I personally find overheating way worse than being too cold.

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