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 Post subject: What to wear on hands, feet and head?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 9:23 am 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 10:16 am
Posts: 26
To the guys that sail as soon as the ice is off. What do you wear on your hands, feet, and head. Dry or wet? I have sailed with neoprene gloves and my forearms fatigued really fast. Does anyone use wet boots, wet gloves and a dry hood?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 9:40 pm
Posts: 896
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Gloves effectively increase the grip size of your booms, causing the forearm fatigue. We used to wear those yellow dish gloves because they were nice and thin, and you'd be surprised how warm they keep your hands.

Hoods and gloves are all about preference. I hate hoods - but when you are bald, you don't have a lot of options. :-)


-Coach


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 12:02 am
Posts: 187
A Bare hood is all I've ever needed to keep my head and ears warm. 5mm wet high-top booties work great for your feet. Your hands are the real problem. I've tried neoprene gloves, formed mittens and wet leather gloves as well as thin exam gloves. The thin gloves didn't hold up. The gloves and mittens make the cold tolerable but forearm fatigue limits your sailing time. Sometimes I just take off the gloves, sail til my hands are numb, take a break til they warm up, then sail again. Strange what addiction will make you do!

Terry


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 12:23 pm
Posts: 276
Location: apple valley
Once the temps. are in the 50s I can usually get by without anything on my head. I do have a nsi foam helmet with a neoprene liner that I wear when the conditions get really good and big. The DaKine mitts that only have a thin fabric in the palm have never made my arms pump up but like anything else, limit your dexterity. Again, if you can limit your swim time, the temps we are haveing now can be enough to leave your hands uncovered. Use som energy pumping the sail and if your hands freeze up, go in and get them warm again and they should be good the rest of the session.

This is from a guy who, until last fall only wore a 3/2 wet suit ice off to ice on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2002 2:42 pm
Posts: 958
Location: MN, USA, Earth
I don't have as much experince as the other guys that have posted but here's what I using with success:

Head: Neo hat: God I hate this thing but only have used it for a few sessions. What I put on my head now, if possible, is a big fleece hat with chinstrap option. This is OK for swiming back in on local lakes but if you had to do the BIG SWIM the waves that break on your head will take alot out of you. If your head is underwater with Neo you are better off that if you have fleece on.

Hands. the big problem. I've had good luck with the DaKine Cold Water Mitts. The thing I hate most about them is dextarity. But, in cold weather, I always think about being in the harness as much as possible rather than manipulating the boom. There are some other solutions that have open palms that I've heard are nice.

Feet:
I think someone said this here. I don't seem to have a problem with my feet. I use booties all year so I just up them to like a Maji Magic cold weather boot. I feel the cold when im dropping in but after I start sailing I never really think of my feet.

Body:
Ahh.. The REALLY big problem. One school says you shouldn't go out if the water hurts your little toe when you dip it (Thanks Prof) and the other side is that you can do boardshorts in November.

First, I'll let you know where I'm comming from. I hate to have anything but boadshorts and a waist harness on when windsurfing. The wierd thing is that I still use booties, but I think that a protection matter.

My first time sailing in COLD water I needed a suit. I opted for a Bare Polar Dry. The suit was awesome. It got me into water that was freezing. The think I didn't like about it was that it was hard to get into (compared to boardshorts). Also it seemed like my legs were restricted a bit from the heavey neo. but hey, you are on the water!

Next transition was to Kokatat GoreTex suit. It's a bag and you fleece up underneeth but it has so much more of a freedom feel. I'm stuck on it now and you might see me on cold days in my "Purple and Yellow". I got it on a close out so the colours weren't my choice but if I had to get another item to get me out faster into the water.. It will be a Kokatat.

Hope that helps...

Eric


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:32 am
Posts: 517
Location: Plymouth, MN
Good advice all around.

Boots a definate must. No objections. Hood and gloves/mitts also a must in cold conditions, but they somewhat degrade the sailing experience.

I've taken to customizing my neo my hood and gloves to be a bit less objectional out there.

A neoprene hood keeps your head toasty, but want I really don't like is the way it shuts out so much sound. It's too surreal, like I'm sailing by remote. So I've cut little 1/2" holes in the sides of mine to let the sound through to my ears. It's a tiny compromise in warmth, but it still plenty warm for my needs. When you get dunked the amount of water that leaks in is hardly noticable, and then just drains out at the neck anyhow.

As everyone has noted, gloves or mitts keep your hands warm and functional, but trying to grip the boom through that spongy neoprene is really tough. I've resorted to compromise here to. I cut the palms open from the base of the big knuckle and past the 1st finger joint for the middle two fingers. This open patch is right where solid boom contact helps my grip the most and the flesh at the opening is not exposed to the elements. When I take a dunk, a lot of water rushes in but I can sail as long as without gloves this way, and much longer than I can with full gloves, and I still have protection on my hands where they need it the most.

I confess though, my hands are certainly where I have the most trouble. Even without open-palm gloves and especially in the 1st 15 minutes of sailing. I find that if I can keep my hands warm through this period, or if I stop and get them back up to body temperature (stick them in your mouth or whatever it takes to warm them back up), then after this period if I've sailed hard my body core has built up enough heat that my hands will continue to easily stay warm for the rest of the session.

Now if you are really smart you can probably see that in cold conditions it might be smart to start stoking you core temps on shore even before hitting the water... push-ups, situps, whatever. If you can get your body hot enough from the inside so that the blood flow to the extremities (hands) is no longer being reduced, but instead has actually increased to start bleeding off heat, you might be able to hit the water and skip right through that initial 15 minute heat scramble. I confess that this body-wisdom can eaily get lost when the water is covered with whitecaps and every extra minute on shore feels like an hour.

See you on the water!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 9:40 pm
Posts: 896
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
dave t wrote:
Once the temps. are in the 50s I can usually get by without anything on my head...


You're not bald, are you?


-Coach


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 10:49 pm
Posts: 122
I was out yesterday on Lake Ontario, water temp 36 air 48. this is what I used.
Bare Polar heat, 3 mm neo. hood, 2mm neo socks and Okespor cold water booties, I had dakine mittens attached to my harness but didn't put them on. I pulled the hood back after 10 min of sailing (too warm!!). I was out for 3.5 hours. Hope it helps.


Diego


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:17 am 
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Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:06 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Duluth
I was out yesterday in cold water (had ice in it), 35 mph, 35 degrees. I had on an O'Neil 4/5mm dry suit, dive booties (buy them small, with minimal sole for "feel factor" on straps. Head, just a typical windsurfing neprene hood (I don't have much hair) Gloves - as everyone suggested - a big problem.. I used glacier goves which worked great but I blew them out. They typically only last two sessions. I have successfully used cross country ski gloves altough it is an expensive way to dispose of a good pair of goves. I disagree slightly with coaches argument that the fore arm thing is caused by boom diameter. I frequently sail with the dry suit and no gloves and find the problem is as much the restriction caused by the suit on the wrist and forearm..


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 Post subject: hot & cold
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 10:12 pm
Posts: 88
Location: St. Louis Park, MN
I seem to have bad circulation in my feet and hands and they are always getting cold during the shoulder seasons. So I use neopryne gloves and Oki dry(ish) booties. A key to a full day of cold weather sailing was a tip by no other than the famous Jay "Big Air" Corbett. He recommended a thermos of warm water to pour into the gloves and boots. It quickly warms up those cold digits. I use one of those 1/2 gallon pump thermoses so you can shoot the water into the glove or boot. It works great for me, makes being out there more pleasant, and extends the season.

_________________
sPk


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2002 9:40 pm
Posts: 896
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Chip - you're right about the restriction (and cold, of course), too, but there is studied proof on the effect of grip diameter.

I don't know how far back into windsurfing you go, but remember they short-lived craze of small-diameter booms? They were great, because they were much more comfortable (especially with gloves). If they could have only made them stiffer and less breakable at that size! :-D

You'll be able to hold onto a lot of things a lot longer with a smaller (not extremely small, but smaller) grip size.


-Coach


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 10:16 am
Posts: 26
All the discussion has been very helpful. Does any one have any experience with the Ocean Rodeo "Pyro" Drysuit?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:06 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Duluth
Coach - Never had the chance to try small booms when they were in vouge. Speaking of which, are skinny masts still around as well?? Brings back memories of teak booms and REAL blisters on your hands...

Chip


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