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Paddling Gear

Various paddlers will have their own personal preferences for their gear but here are a few suggestions for newer paddlers who may be unsure as to what they may require.

 

PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

Regardless of the season, all young paddlers (under age 16) are required to wear a PFD (personal flotation device or life jacket).   There are many styles and brands available but at the minimum, a paddling PFD is recommended.  These PFD’s have cut-away armholes allowing more freedom of movement while on the water.   They are available at many sporting goods stores such as MEC, Sojourn and Sail.  Occasionally they can even be found at a discounted price at Costco.  Some examples are shown below.

 

Mountain Equipment Co-Op

 

Stohlquist Wedge E PFD (Unisex)

Stohlquist Wedge‑E PFD (Unisex)

$95.00 CAD

Product Number: 4017-580

 

 

Sail

 

NRS Vapor ULC $89.99

NRS Vapor ULC $89.99

 

 



Cold Weather Gear

In the early spring and late fall, paddling can still be lots of fun but cold! There are several items that can make it more comfortable.


Paddling Socks

Due to the delicacy of the hulls of racing kayaks and canoes, regular running shoes or even water shoes, should not be worn in the boats as they may damage the finish.  In warm weather bare feet are the best but that can be very uncomfortable on colder days. Neoprene paddling socks are a great alternative and in a pinch, even a pair of wool hiking socks will do.  Please no cotton, as it has no insulating properties. 

 

Mountain Equipment Co-Op

MEC Neo Paddling Socks (Unisex)
MEC Neo Paddling Socks (Unisex)

$15.00 CAD

Product Number: 4013-787

 

Pogies

Pogies are special mitts designed to Velcro onto a paddle that allow the user to slip their hands inside and be able to still grip the paddle directly, unlike gloves that create a layer of fabric between the user and the paddler and decrease the effectiveness of the grip.  These are usually neoprene as well which when wet, can still keep the hands warm.

 

Mountain Equipment Co-op

MEC Pacific Pogies (Unisex)
MEC Pacific Pogies (Unisex)

$30.00 CAD

Product Number: 5023-623

 

 

 

Spray Skirt

When the water is cold or on windy days, a spray skirt is great to keep any water off the paddler’s lower body. At RHCC, we are able to order terrific spray skirts through Carole Tessier in Trois Rivieres. She charges $30 for custom colours.  To contact Carole directly: tescasport@live.ca

 

 

Spray Skirt

 

Clothing

Again, many paddlers will have a lot of personal preferences regarding the clothing they like to wear but here are a few suggestions.   Whatever clothing you choose, be sure to stay away from cotton as once it is wet, it takes along time to dry and it has no insulating value.  Remember the old Scout saying “cotton is rotten”!

 Generally speaking, any synthetic training gear used for running or other fitness activities will work for paddling as well. Many paddlers recommend compression clothing, at least as a base layer.  Popular brands are Under Armor and Nike. Several lightweight layers are more effective in cold weather than 1 or 2 heavy layers.

 Good choices for bottoms are running tights, in the spring & fall thermal tights work well.  There are many manufacturers of running tights including Nike & the Running Room but MEC has a great line up which are very reasonably priced.

 

Mountain Equipment Co-Op

 

MEC Mercury Tights (Men's)

MEC Mercury Tights (Men's)

$59.00 CAD

Product Number: 5019-896

Made in Canada

 

 

MEC Elan 2 Tights (Men's)

MEC Elan 2 Tights (Men's)

$48.00 CAD

Product Number: 5025-178

 

 

Hats & Sunglasses

Finally, don’t forget to protect your head and your eyes.  In the summer, a good quality synthetic ball cap with a long bill is good for sun protection. In the spring & fall, a lightweight synthetic running tuque or other similar hat work well to keep you warm.  And most important are high-quality sunglasses that provide UVB and UVA protection.  The sun’s rays are amplified while on the water and can damage your eyes very quickly. A safety strap is an option as well, to help keep your sunglasses on in the event that you tip.

 

 

baseball-cap