Mats Bengtsson kayaking and kayak techniques

More kayaking early spring 2010 around Malmoe and Oresund

Mats Bengtsson mib over the years

Two more spring trips end April and beginning of May 2010

Me and my wife has now been out on two more short trips around Malmö and Öresund. We did these trips today, 2nd of May, and last week, 24th of April. Both where nice trips, and the temperature is remarkably higher than the first spring trip, trip, which we did 3rd of April.

The water is not as clear as it was same time last year. It is clear, but last year, we were blessed with a number of days where there where in principle no wind at all. Now we have been paddling in winds of about 5 meter per second, and this last trip we started to get some breakers. Thus, the water might be clear, it is just not possible to see that until the wind stops, which is a pity because last years view of the bottom was spectacular.

Finding the right clothing in early spring weather

The two trips where enjoyable. It is still hard to dress right, buit it feels I have found a good way now. Last time I used my Kokatat dryLiner below my dry suit. I also used my NRS microlite below that. since the Kokatat is not good at transporting sweat. In spite of the microlite it felt as if it was a little too much clothing. Not very much, it was a close call. Sitting still, it was not warm, but paddling it felt a little too warm. Outside it was around 14 degrees, and the wind came from land and was thus a little warmer than usual, the water was around 6 degrees. Warm enough not to need gloves, but cold enough for the water to feel cold, specially when starting the trip back after a short break.

The NRS Wavelite XT was perfect in 8 degree water as well as above water

Today, it was a little colder in the air, but water was a little warmer (8 degrees in the water, 11 degrees in the air, sun shining). I thus decided I could do without the DryLiner and instead use the NRS Wavelite XT suite. It is not as warm as the Kokatat DryLiner. It is a little better at transporting away sweat, which makes it easier to use. I selected to use it without the NRS microlite beneath as I normally would for the Kokatat DryLiner. Probably it would have felt very similar even with the Microlite on. The Wavelite XT turned out to be the perfect clothing for the day. While paddling, it felt comfortable. Sitting still, I did not freeze, but I would have enjoyed a little more sun or warmth during the break.

I also decided to try it in the water. There is a huge difference in how I feel air temperature comparing two degrees above and below zero. Same thing seems to go for water, 2 degrees above or below 4 degrees Celcius makes a big difference. Now with water at 8 degrees, I hoped the Wavelite XT would be enough also in the water. Best way to test was to simply step in, which I did (stepping in instead of turning the kayak over so I did not have to feel it around the face and head). First contact was a no issue. There was no feeling of cold at all. After a couple of minutes, I concluded that this would be perfect for this temperature. I have earlier tried the Kokatat DryLiner at 5 degrees in the water. That felt a little colder than now. This goes well with my experience of the relatively large difference in how it feels when water temperature drops the last couple of degrees (2 degrees compared to 6 degrees). So at a temperature around 8 degrees, I guess I will become cold if being in the water for a long time, but a couple of minutes does not result in any feeling of cold at all, making it a safe dress for this kind of temperatures. It could also be noted that I still use the heavy smartwool socks. They are likely not needed any more, but I will wait a while before switching to the light smartwool socks.


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