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Going out in the cold

In 2009 I went out in such cold weather that ice formed on my sail - up at the chalet. Since it was a 7-oh, I was able to squeeze it into the chalet and let it thaw out. Last Monday I was at OKA and there was no place to thaw the sail out at La CrĂȘte. And so I rolled it up as best as i could with the ice breaking up as i rolled it up. Yvente of quebecwind confirmed to me via PM that is the thing to do ...

Before going out on Monday I read up on all the cold weather tricks. Since 2009 I had put my limit at about 5 degrees Celsius and I have read about others setting the same limit. On Monday it was colder and I went out in the afternoon anyway, butt was sunny. This alone is supposed to make a BIG difference. I poured warm water on my boots and that seemed to help. I was unable to wear socks inside my boots since they just became too tight. Since then I have read that has some boots that are like semi-dry and are not much more money than the regular 5 mm neoprene boots that i currently have.

My wetsuit is a good Niel Pryde and keeps me warm - there is already a post about that below. I keep my underwear on, but am unable to keep a T-shirt or undershirt on - too difficult to peel on the suit.

My gloves are Chinook and have thinner palms. I keep the tie-up fairly loose ie minimal and come in to warm the hands up after the first initial cold. This circulation trick seems to work for everyone.
A fellow has invented a system where you blow warm air over your hands: and another fellow liked the idea and made his own version:

Around my neck i wear the hoodie and a helmet on my head. I like to be able to hear and do not feel like cutting hearing holes into the hoodie.

For the face people suggest Vaseline, Nivea or any kind of fat to cut the wind and cold.

Even after all the hassles - I am already looking forward to a potential session on Saturday :)
The last one and next one are and will be with a FreeFormula of 94 cm width and a 10-oh race sail :)
I find sailing in the cold both exhilarating and invigorating :)

I almost forgot - one is NOT supposed to sail alone... and so I carry a cell phone inside a water proof pouch. Also, even though tempted - I do NOT go across the entire lake like usual. I try to stay within swimming distance of the shore. My problem is : I can swim quite far with equipment under my arm and so often am tempted to go further. The importance is SAFE FUN !!! and that is why i am doing this post. These are things NOT to be taken lightly !!!! The danger factor has increased exponentially :-(
I should probably even bring something to blaze a trail through the ice - since i could slip and fall otherwise !!!
I also kept my session much shorter than usual - about an hour or so ...

My friends at work want me to note that i urinated in my wetsuit. I usually avoid this, but this time there was no time, it was cold, attached in back, etc. In seems some people do this to warm up as well. Strange people [:)]

Anders, who is a speed windsurfer takes windsurfing in the cold really seriously - for me he overdoes it for 3 degree weather...

And local windsurfer Yvente ALWAYS takes it to the extreme - he windsurfs year round near Montreal on Lac Champlain.

Check it out !!! In those conditions - the kitewing makes more sense, non ??


  1. 5mm boots, are the gloves and hoodie also 5mm? What is water temperature around this time if air is 5 degrees.

    1. they have 1.5, 3 and 5 mm gloves. hoodies seem standard with no thickness given. in spring we go from cold to warm and water is COLD. in fall from warm to cold and water is more tolerable. in montreal water temps can be checked @


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