Just picked up a 2MM full wetsuit cause it was $40 brand new with tags still on. I live in MN & mostly run WW rivers. So, I've read about what water temp you can handle with different thickness wetsuits, But those guides are for extended exposure. When I do swim, I can usually get to shore in under 5 minutes. So the question is, could I handle colder water temps with a 2MM suit since I can get out of the water fast?? Or is the problem getting cold AFTER I'm out of the water. In other words is air temp the issue & not water temp with a quick swim ?
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A Wet Wetsuit and Cold Wind...|
Posted by: VK1NF on Jan-10-13 4:20 PM (EST)
...is BIG trouble. I'd want to be really, really close to shelter, warmth and dry clothes before I'd trust my life to that setup.
Posted by: celia on Jan-10-13 6:11 PM (EST)
Getting hypothermic in a wet wetsuit standing on shore is why I went dry. Lucky I wasn't alone.
You lose heat 25 times faster|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-10-13 4:42 PM (EST)
in water than air with the same temperature. But you won't be toasty in a wet wetsuit in the wind on shore. You have to have a layer that blocks wind.
Posted by: nickjc on Jan-10-13 5:43 PM (EST)
go and float for 10 mins in a local pond and see how your arms work after that. It's sounds dumb but it's a good way to test what you need to wear.
function as well as float|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Jan-10-13 5:55 PM (EST)
testing is great. Make sure you can function too such as grasp, swim and have a clear mind to look at your surroundings and make good decisions.
+1 on the last two...|
Posted by: t.george on Jan-10-13 6:38 PM (EST)
I often wear a 3/2mm farmer with a fleece shirt and dry top surfing and rock gardening. This is toasty to the point I need to roll to cool off even on cool Ca. days, but taking a break on the beach I freeze my butt. It's not so much about staying dry as getting the right heat exchange for paddling and swimming.
Posted by: nickjc on Jan-11-13 1:18 PM (EST)
a kokatat storm cagoule is a great option for windy days. they are big enough to go over a pfd and everything and make taking a beach break in the wind much warmer.
Yup, that's what I do, just jump in. |
Posted by: suntan on Jan-10-13 9:41 PM (EST)
I wear a 3mm Farmer John with a 2mm neo jacket. I can function in icy water for a few minutes. The hardest parts are the beginning and the end. I use extra long safety lines which I grab soon as I hit the water, then head for a place to stand. Pull the boat in and take it from there.
2 mm not a lot of protection|
Posted by: seadart on Jan-10-13 6:35 PM (EST)
I use a 2 mm long sleeve top and 2 mm short bottoms for waveski surfing where I am constantly in the water exposed. It works well down to 60 F water temps. I have a friend from South Africa who uses this set up all winter long here but that just means water temps in the low 50s. I think he is nuts. It will protect you for a brief swim in water down to about 50 F, but I would not use it for anything colder, and you would be pushing your luck in low 50 F water. A wet suit will keep you warmer than people are claiming in wind, but it's not something you are going to use much except in late spring, early fall in Minnesota or for summer on the Great Lakes.
I was given a formula |
Posted by: trvlrerik on Jan-10-13 7:08 PM (EST)
by a friend that has worked for me in personal expenience ( after controlled exposure experiments)
Formulas are nearly useless|
Posted by: Bnystrom on Jan-12-13 11:49 AM (EST)
In the spring around her, the water can be 40 degrees or less on days when the air temp is in 70 or more. Using that formula, you'd be dangerously under-dressed in the event of a swim. That's why I consider spring to be the most dangerous time of the year for paddlers; warm air lulls them into thinking that they can paddle in T-shirts and shorts, but the water is cold enough to kill.
Posted by: jerrysmith on Jan-10-13 10:25 PM (EST)
You are apt to do $10,000 worth of shivering in the $40 wetsuit.
5 minutes is quite possibly eternity|
Posted by: daggermat on Jan-11-13 4:48 AM (EST)
in winter water.
Evaporative Cooling and Material|
Posted by: gibsonra on Jan-11-13 6:45 AM (EST)
If the outside of your suit is slick rubber you will stay much warmer in the air. A suit with an outer skin of fabric will hold moisture and will freeze you in the air. The fabric is for abrasive resistance and that is why it is on the inside of the suit. Without it you would not be able to get it on. Fabric on the outside helps the suit slide over objects without the rubber grabbing. Most dive wetsuit have fabric on both sides because they are not exposed to the air. Windsurf suits have a slick rubber outer to shed water. It makes a tremendous difference.
Once upon a time ...|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jan-11-13 1:01 PM (EST)
... there was no such thing as drysuits for paddlers. Yet tens of thousands of paddlers in northern climes successfully paddled in wetsuits plus additional clothing, even in the toughest whitewater.
Posted by: Celia on Jan-11-13 6:39 PM (EST)
I have worked with, as in at a job and saw all the photos and heard the stories, of people who did WW before dry suits. This is when the WW boats were two-piece fiberglass bullets that some guy made up from molds in their garage and tended to be held together with a lot of duct tape. The guys wore what they could find in wet suits but it wasn't much, but every one of them I know of used a layer of wool. Not the synthetic stuff you see now.
Posted by: ppine on Jan-11-13 2:59 PM (EST)
A 2mm suit is way ahead of no suit. A 3mm would probably be a little better. What months do you paddle in and what is the water temp? We used to raft the Truckee R a lot with water temps in the 40s. Even a quick swim in a full wetsuit of 3mm made people pretty cold. Usually the air temp in say April was not that warm maybe 45-50 degrees F. Maybe you could add a vest or shorts over the 2mm suit.
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-13-13 6:46 PM (EST)
is a bit thin for really cold water, but as someone said, it's better than nothing. One thing about wetsuits is that they work well when wet. When dry in wind, they are surprisingly not all that wonderful unless you have some kind of wind-proof outer layer.
Posted by: krusty on Jan-11-13 7:44 PM (EST)
I have a 2mm shirt and pants|
Posted by: FrankNC on Jan-11-13 9:29 PM (EST)
If I wear dry pants or even a splash top over it while surfing or paddling hard I get over heated. If I take a break onshore I cool down quickly and need to break out the splash gear.