Select Page

With more and beginners learning how to kayak, the question keeps coming up: what do I wear in the winter? It may sound like a stretch, but maximizes your time on the water and your comfort in your kayak can dramatically boost your learning curve. Typically, when this subject comes up, the requests for budget options ensue. Ultimately, it’s more important that a beginner has the right gear than an expert. Less experienced kayakers typically paddle less efficiently, paddle in bigger and slower groups, and are more likely to swim or be involved in rescues as a result. That means beginners are at much greater risk for getting cold while they’re on the river, so it’s actually more important for less experienced paddlers to have the right paddling clothes and gear in order to maximize their time on the water and to get the most out of their new Jackson Kayak.

The video that evolved contains a TON of information. Originally, I started this video for just my winter paddling recommendations, but over time I realized that I had to cover the summer layers as a part of my layering system anyway. Ultimately, a good layering system consists of a moisture wicking base layer, a mid layer for the appropriate amount of warmth, and a shell to block the wind and water. I’ll also explain why I don’t recommend wetsuits for paddling, and why I think it’s time you give it up if you’re trying to use one now.

It’s easy to think as a beginner that cheaper gear is the way to go, but there are some things a beginner should never skimp on, like a good helmet and proper winter gear.