Friday, February 8, 2008

Taking the Plunge!

A bit of relevant background info: I'm from Florida. I don't like being cold.

But I gotta plane, I just GOTTA!


I bought a 5/4 wetsuit last week, the O'Neill Mutant with a detachable hood. I have no idea what kind of air/water temps will work good with this thing. The guy at the local shop told me it depends from person to person on the air and water temps they can handle... go figure.

And I still need to buy some gloves and thick booties. If any of my dear readers (hi mom!) have any suggestions on this front, it would be appreciated.


James Douglass said...

Hey Aaron,

That's a nice looking wetsuit. If I were you I would try it out as soon as the air and water temps add up to 100. If you're totally comfortable, then you could consider going out in colder conditions, as well. I wrote about gear advice for winter windsurfing on my old myspace blog:

But here's some more specific info for you-

For booties, pretty much any comfortable, high-top booties between 4 and 7 mm will work. Get ones made for windsurfing, with a strap across the top of the foot to keep your toes from jamming forward. These ones look ok.

For gloves, it's a compromise between thickness for warmth and thinness for ease of gripping the boom and not making your arms tired. Slick neoprene on the outside is nice because if the gloves stay wet they will chill your fingers by evaporation. I use DaKine winter mitts.

Let us know how the cold weather sailing goes!

Catapulting Aaron said...

James, that's a great blog on myspace, you should transfer it over to your blogspot. I've been poking around for that kind of detail for a while.

On Sundy, I went out to a spot called Mason Neck which is decent (for the potomac) on West winds. When I got there, the wind was kicking up to 35 and everyone was getting blown off the water. One guy broke the tip of his board, another guy's hand was bleeding profusely. A definite "windsurfing attrition day". The guys there were telling me I should be out on any day it's sunny and in the mid-40s with the 5/4. I didn't sail that day, mainly because I broke rule #1 about not having all your gear ready at a moment's notice (I have a hole in my board to patch up before I'm ready to get out again).

Andy said...

Aaron! Just checked out your blog, nice work! I especially like the picture allll the way at the bottom... You know the one, with the kids and dogs! ha! Awesome!

Anyway, James said it with respect to your suit. Best to try it in safer conditions, then push it a little when you learn some personal heat boundaries. That said, Cold water is not to be f@#ked around with! Have a buddy, and overdress as much as possible, even if the air is warm!!! You don't have to wear the hood, but take it with you every time (just pull it down over your neck if you're hot).

The best rule for cold weather sailing is to take really short tacks in and out, staying close to shore. It's inevitable, the one long "whale watching" tack you take is the one when your mast breaks and you're left with a long, dangerous, swim... Please be safe!! (Sorry for the rant, but it's due to almost losing a friend earlier this winter)

Anyway, keep up the good work, and see ya on the water!! Will you be coming back to Hatteras this year?!

Catapulting Aaron said...

Andy thanks for the comment. I agree safety is the utmost, some days I feel like I'm sailing like I don't have health insurance (wimpy).

I'll be on 12 south quite a bit during April and May if everything goes according to plan. For sure windfest and the week of the May 3-10. It can't get here fast enough!