Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cold Water Gear Test

My NRS Farmer John wetsuit arrived in the mail from LL Bean yesterday afternoon. I put on my polypropylene union suit. Then I put on my wetsuit. Then I put on wool socks and my paddle shoes. I discovered the paddle shoes wouldn't fit over my wetsuit but the wetsuit would zip over the paddle shoes. Everything fits very snugly. I was unable to pull the NRS Rio pants over the paddle shoes, so when I'm actually on the river, I'll need to remember to put the paddle shoes on last.

I filled the tub with cold water and tested my gear by jumping in. Amazingly enough, the paddle shoes stayed dry for 10 to 15 seconds. Then the zipper let in a slow flow of very cold water. Once the water warmed up though, my feet were still toasty warm.

I lay down in the tub and the cold water seeped into the wetsuit. It was shocking how cold it felt. I lay still and waited for the water to warm up. I was very comfortable except for the most sensitive parts which remained ICE cold even after waiting 5 minutes for things to warm up. So I'll need to look for some sort of wool underwear or some other solution. All in all though, I feel the gear test was a huge success. I really like the wetsuit and it seems to fit. The whitewater class this weekend should be a lot of fun.

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