Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Charles Carrol » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 02:46:19


Dear all,

In the past we've had a lot of discussion about proper clothing for rowing
in cold weather. Nevertheless there may be someone who hasn't read all the
old posts and might possibly find the following helpful.

http://www.usrowing.org/Safety/SafetyFeatures/coldclothe.aspx

Cordially,

Charles

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Mike Sulliva » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 04:04:38


Quote:
> Dear all,

> In the past we've had a lot of discussion about proper clothing for rowing
> in cold weather. Nevertheless there may be someone who hasn't read all the
> old posts and might possibly find the following helpful.

> http://www.usrowing.org/Safety/SafetyFeatures/coldclothe.aspx

Charles

the title of your post is a bit misleading.   There's nothing in the
clothing tips about
cold water, I know that wasn't intended and it's no big deal.

For the environments you and I row in,  the clothing tips are very helpful,
it can
make for a more comfortable row where an accidental immersion isn't going
to be any more than an uncomfortable inconvenience.

I worry about the tone of the message, that cold weather rowing is somehow
inevitable, and the implied tone is that as long as you bundle up with the
right gear,
you're going to be ok.

Sully

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Carl Dougla » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 05:54:21

Quote:



>> Dear all,

>> In the past we've had a lot of discussion about proper clothing for rowing
>> in cold weather. Nevertheless there may be someone who hasn't read all the
>> old posts and might possibly find the following helpful.

>> http://www.usrowing.org/Safety/SafetyFeatures/coldclothe.aspx

> Charles

> the title of your post is a bit misleading.   There's nothing in the
> clothing tips about
> cold water, I know that wasn't intended and it's no big deal.

> For the environments you and I row in,  the clothing tips are very helpful,
> it can
> make for a more comfortable row where an accidental immersion isn't going
> to be any more than an uncomfortable inconvenience.

> I worry about the tone of the message, that cold weather rowing is somehow
> inevitable, and the implied tone is that as long as you bundle up with the
> right gear,
> you're going to be ok.

> Sully

I worry too about advice like this:
"Layer Three: Protection From Wind and Water
This layer can be lightweight, but should be water and windproof, and be
breathable to allow the sweat to escape. Sweating can exceed this
layer s breathability, however, so getting a garment with zippers in the
armpit area and other venting is a good idea. This layer need only be
worn when it s raining or rough water (or if you and your boatmates
create a lot of backsplash)."

That last sentence could kill.

Who gave them the idea that cold weather clothing is only about wind,
rain & spray?  If you're in your boat & able to row, then you have a
very low chance of death from exposure.  If, OTOH, you swamp or fall in
& spend any time in the water (which might just be seconds), & you are
not wearing the full multilayer kit, then your chance of death rises
dramatically.

Far more important than "keeping you cosy when someone else has messy
catches", to paraphrase that comment, is that your multilayer clothing's
low water-permeability layer will a) minimise water influx & circulation
when immersed & b) trap air, & the water that does get into your
clothing, keeping it against your body to insulate you from the air &
water circulating outside that barrier layer.

IMO this article is so flawed as to be dangerous.

You will not die through sweating in your kit on a freezing cold outing,
although it might be a tad unpleasant unless your clothing has a proper
semi-permeable layer (e.g. Goretex).  But you may easily die, or become
severely hypothermic, if, having discarded (as the article advises) that
vital semi-permeable layer just so you don't sweat unattractively, you
then get immersed through capsize or swamping.

Safe clothing is all about preparing properly for what might happen.  It
is _not_ about style, or sweatiness, or personal sensitivity.

Such erroneous advice is the result of a safety job being handed to
someone who lacks the necessary experience & knowledge.

Carl

--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells        -
     Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write:   Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
Find:    http://tinyurl.com/2tqujf

URLs:  www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Mike Sulliva » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 06:34:41


Quote:



>>> Dear all,

>>> In the past we've had a lot of discussion about proper clothing for
>>> rowing in cold weather. Nevertheless there may be someone who hasn't
>>> read all the old posts and might possibly find the following helpful.

>>> http://www.usrowing.org/Safety/SafetyFeatures/coldclothe.aspx

>> Charles

>> the title of your post is a bit misleading.   There's nothing in the
>> clothing tips about
>> cold water, I know that wasn't intended and it's no big deal.

>> For the environments you and I row in,  the clothing tips are very
>> helpful, it can
>> make for a more comfortable row where an accidental immersion isn't going
>> to be any more than an uncomfortable inconvenience.

>> I worry about the tone of the message, that cold weather rowing is
>> somehow
>> inevitable, and the implied tone is that as long as you bundle up with
>> the right gear,
>> you're going to be ok.

>> Sully

> I worry too about advice like this:
> "Layer Three: Protection From Wind and Water
> This layer can be lightweight, but should be water and windproof, and be
> breathable to allow the sweat to escape. Sweating can exceed this layer s
> breathability, however, so getting a garment with zippers in the armpit
> area and other venting is a good idea. This layer need only be worn when
> it s raining or rough water (or if you and your boatmates create a lot of
> backsplash)."

> That last sentence could kill.

furthermore.

Rowing in cold water has been responsible for nearly all of the
in-water rowing related fatalities, the others being collisions with
other speeding craft.

Looking at the links on the right of the page, which are header/footer bar
that go with every page in the site,   There is no specific topic addressing
cold water safety.    I found it by guessing at a couple of the topics, it
turns out it's one of about 20 topics in the section Safety Features.

The urgency/seriousness isn't communicated at all, and I don't observe it
among
coaches I've seen in action.

Got a nice note on my facebook from a member who was in a double at
a local regatta.   A junior four was coming down the wrong side on a
collision
course.   She held water correctly even when her partner didn't, stopped the
boat dead immediately,  and lessened the collision which occurred only
because the junior four was never taught to hold correctly.

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Carl Dougla » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 07:27:53

Quote:






>>>> Dear all,

>>>> In the past we've had a lot of discussion about proper clothing for
>>>> rowing in cold weather. Nevertheless there may be someone who hasn't
>>>> read all the old posts and might possibly find the following helpful.

>>>> http://www.usrowing.org/Safety/SafetyFeatures/coldclothe.aspx
>>> Charles

>>> the title of your post is a bit misleading.   There's nothing in the
>>> clothing tips about
>>> cold water, I know that wasn't intended and it's no big deal.

>>> For the environments you and I row in,  the clothing tips are very
>>> helpful, it can
>>> make for a more comfortable row where an accidental immersion isn't going
>>> to be any more than an uncomfortable inconvenience.

>>> I worry about the tone of the message, that cold weather rowing is
>>> somehow
>>> inevitable, and the implied tone is that as long as you bundle up with
>>> the right gear,
>>> you're going to be ok.

>>> Sully

>> I worry too about advice like this:
>> "Layer Three: Protection From Wind and Water
>> This layer can be lightweight, but should be water and windproof, and be
>> breathable to allow the sweat to escape. Sweating can exceed this layer s
>> breathability, however, so getting a garment with zippers in the armpit
>> area and other venting is a good idea. This layer need only be worn when
>> it s raining or rough water (or if you and your boatmates create a lot of
>> backsplash)."

>> That last sentence could kill.

> furthermore.

> Rowing in cold water has been responsible for nearly all of the
> in-water rowing related fatalities, the others being collisions with
> other speeding craft.

> Looking at the links on the right of the page, which are header/footer bar
> that go with every page in the site,   There is no specific topic addressing
> cold water safety.    I found it by guessing at a couple of the topics, it
> turns out it's one of about 20 topics in the section Safety Features.

> The urgency/seriousness isn't communicated at all, and I don't observe it
> among
> coaches I've seen in action.

> Got a nice note on my facebook from a member who was in a double at
> a local regatta.   A junior four was coming down the wrong side on a
> collision
> course.   She held water correctly even when her partner didn't, stopped the
> boat dead immediately,  and lessened the collision which occurred only
> because the junior four was never taught to hold correctly.

So, as usual, the basics of rowing safety are not grasped by those at
the top, who regard safety as a minor job.  As a direct result, safe
practice is either mistaught or not taught at all, & safer equipment
never gets a moment's thought.

Who appoints those who guide rowing safety & what laughably passes in
many places for safety education?  As Christopher Anton indicated, in
another thread t'other day, UK rowing's vacant top safety job is
unlikely to draw many candidates.  That's because a good candidate will
be hamstrung by their superiors, while an inadequate one will, rightly,
get lots of flak.   What a crummy way to run a water sport!

I have a boat coming in for repair which was in a similar accident to
that you described, Mike.  Sculler slapped the brakes on properly by
applying controlled reverse feather.  Oncoming crew on wrong side hoped
that skating the backs of their blades on the water would avert an
impact - which of course it did not.  2 boats damaged & unusable.  At
least 1 person extremely lucky not to have taken the place of the
defective ball on the bow of the crew boat.

It is so easy to teach, to learn & to apply the reverse feather
emergency stop.  In a traffic emergency, would you stop slowly by
changing down through the gears, or hit the brakes & let your ABS bring
you to a safe, controlled & rapid halt.  Reverse feather is rowing's
safe, efficient equivalent of ABS braking.  It should be taught at the
very beginning of every rowing career.  Failure to do so is negligent.

Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells        -
     Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write:   Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
Find:    http://tinyurl.com/2tqujf

URLs:  www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Mike Sulliva » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 07:57:53


snip

Quote:
> I have a boat coming in for repair which was in a similar accident to that
> you described, Mike.  Sculler slapped the brakes on properly by applying
> controlled reverse feather.  Oncoming crew on wrong side hoped that
> skating the backs of their blades on the water would avert an impact -
> which of course it did not.  2 boats damaged & unusable.  At least 1
> person extremely lucky not to have taken the place of the defective ball
> on the bow of the crew boat.

> It is so easy to teach, to learn & to apply the reverse feather emergency
> stop.  In a traffic emergency, would you stop slowly by changing down
> through the gears, or hit the brakes & let your ABS bring you to a safe,
> controlled & rapid halt.  Reverse feather is rowing's safe, efficient
> equivalent of ABS braking.  It should be taught at the very beginning of
> every rowing career.  Failure to do so is negligent.

Of all the various things we teach in rowing, this is one of the few
that can be taught in one single short session and demonstrated to be
much more effective than the un-hold-water.

What I don't know very well how to teach is the 'safety priority'.   I
never understood it until several years ago myself.

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Fordmeiste » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 18:01:54

UK rowing's vacant top safety job is
unlikely to draw many candidates.  That's because a good candidate
will
be hamstrung by their superiors, while an inadequate one will,
rightly,
get lots of flak.   What a crummy way to run a water sport!

Further ...

In working in an industry surrounded by the framework of H&S I know
the fundamental principal that rowing can take place on open tidal
water used by all is flawed and would be banned should a proper risk
assesment ever be carried out. It is only through 'establishment and
tradition'  that it is allowed to take place and through luck and the
beginnings of proper H&S procedures since the Marchinoess disaster 20
years ago that we have managed to escape without further fatalities on
the river.

I applaud those who have stood up and be counted in trying to make our
sport safer both on and off the water. Its a totally thankless task
but without proper care and attention by All in the sport we will be
restricted to rowing on purpose built lakes with Hi Vis vests in lanes
marked with bouys probably with flashing beacons.

I myself live by the tideway and love it. I also want my kids to do
what I have done for 25 years and row on it.

Now ... where's my bacon sandwich

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by carolinet » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 20:10:29

If we can get back to the subject of clothing.....

I recommend silk underwear.  No, this is not a joke.  You can get long-
sleeved vests and leggings which are almost weightless but extremely
effective in providing extra warmth and wicking away sweat.  Try these
http://www.patra.com/  Just make sure you wash them by hand, as they
will not withstand a lot of machine washing.

Two pairs of socks with a layer of aluminium foil between them will
ensure cosy toes.

And don't forget your hat.

Caroline

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Phil » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 21:16:36



Quote:
> Dear all,

> In the past we've had a lot of discussion about proper clothing for rowing
> in cold weather. Nevertheless there may be someone who hasn't read all the
> old posts and might possibly find the following helpful.

> http://www.usrowing.org/Safety/SafetyFeatures/coldclothe.aspx

> Cordially,

> Charles

On the subject of clothing desgned to keep you save should you be
immersed, I'd like to remind everyone that jogging bottoms/tights
should be fastened securely at the waist. Prefereably wear a full-
length all-in-one. At least then it won't all come down around your
ankles....
(I was reminded of this as I spoke to a 2x the other day who I saw
sculling with bottoms actually around their ankles. Too lazy to remove
them completely, it had apparently got too hot during their outing!)

Phil.

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Carl Dougla » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 22:15:40

Quote:

> UK rowing's vacant top safety job is
> unlikely to draw many candidates.  That's because a good candidate
> will
> be hamstrung by their superiors, while an inadequate one will,
> rightly,
> get lots of flak.   What a crummy way to run a water sport!

> Further ...

> In working in an industry surrounded by the framework of H&S I know
> the fundamental principal that rowing can take place on open tidal
> water used by all is flawed and would be banned should a proper risk
> assesment ever be carried out. It is only through 'establishment and
> tradition'  that it is allowed to take place and through luck and the
> beginnings of proper H&S procedures since the Marchinoess disaster 20
> years ago that we have managed to escape without further fatalities on
> the river.

> I applaud those who have stood up and be counted in trying to make our
> sport safer both on and off the water. Its a totally thankless task
> but without proper care and attention by All in the sport we will be
> restricted to rowing on purpose built lakes with Hi Vis vests in lanes
> marked with bouys probably with flashing beacons.

> I myself live by the tideway and love it. I also want my kids to do
> what I have done for 25 years and row on it.

> Now ... where's my bacon sandwich

Maybe Caroline stole it - to save you from yourself, you understand?

We have no need to hype up the H&S aspect of rowing, provided we conduct
ourselves sensibly.

We're still entitled to take risks in sport, & that will not change.
What we are absolutely not entitled to do, any more than in industry, is
to send folk out in inadequate equipment & with inadequate safety training.

Inadequate equipment is that which can kill or maim under adverse
conditions through neglect of simple & readily available design
improvements, or has been allowed to degrade through lack of maintenance
to become dangerously defective.  With boats that would refer
particularly, but not only, to constructions with inadequate flotation
(so a crew may unwittingly end up swamped, sunk & swimming for its life)
& defective bow protection (which is more often a mere cosmetic gesture
than of any practical use).

Inadequate training would include failure to:
1. instruct & test rowers on the proper reverse-feather emergency stop
procedure
2. explain the potential of rowing & shells for swamping, projectile
crabbing or capsize
3. explain the risks following such events & the absolute right, without
subsequent prejudice to their careers within the club, of crew members
to not go afloat in boats which are not demonstrably fully-buoyant
4. explain & enforce the consequent need for swimming tests, & for
wearing (not merely carrying) effective multilayer clothing in cold
conditions (& to define what constitutes such conditions)
5. define the duties of coaches & club officers in all such situations
6. define & enforce the requirement that coaches in launches always
_wear_ functional PFDs
7. explain the necessity of & enforce pre-outing checks - including
weather, water conditions, heel restraints, hatch covers, special local
snags, etc.

We owe each other a duty of care.  We would not expect an aircraft to
crash, but we'd be pretty upset with an airline which had neglected
maintenance or ignored warnings on equipment safety.  Rowing, even in
tidal & exposed waters, is a remarkably safe sport.  There is no earthly
reason why rowers should die or be injured through equipment defect or
lack of safety training.  Furthermore, rowers who professionally execute
pre-outing checks, monitor equipment condition & demand the best in
safety function will also be those who row best & will come to win most.

Set against that prescription the lax & even obstructive ineptitude of
too many of our sport's National Governing Bodies :(

Carl

--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells        -
     Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write:   Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
Find:    http://tinyurl.com/2tqujf

URLs:  www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Carl Dougla » Fri, 04 Dec 2009 23:43:49

I should correct a 1-word omission from my penultimate paragraph, below:

Quote:
> We owe each other a duty of care.  We would not expect an aircraft to
> crash, but we'd be pretty upset with an airline which had neglected
> maintenance or ignored warnings on equipment safety.  Rowing, even in
> tidal & exposed waters, is a remarkably safe sport.  There is no earthly
> reason why rowers should die or be injured,

_except_

Quote:
> through equipment defect or
> lack of safety training.  Furthermore, rowers who professionally execute
> pre-outing checks, monitor equipment condition & demand the best in
> safety function will also be those who row best & will come to win most.

Thanks -
Carl
--
Carl Douglas Racing Shells        -
     Fine Small-Boats/AeRoWing Low-drag Riggers/Advanced Accessories
Write:   Harris Boatyard, Laleham Reach, Chertsey KT16 8RP, UK
Find:    http://tinyurl.com/2tqujf

URLs:  www.carldouglas.co.uk (boats) & www.aerowing.co.uk (riggers)
 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by david.hender.. » Sat, 05 Dec 2009 00:04:09


Quote:
> If we can get back to the subject of clothing.....

> I recommend silk underwear. ?No, this is not a joke. ?You can get long-
> sleeved vests and leggings which are almost weightless but extremely
> effective in providing extra warmth and wicking away sweat. ?Try thesehttp://www.patra.com/?Just make sure you wash them by hand, as they
> will not withstand a lot of machine washing.

> Two pairs of socks with a layer of aluminium foil between them will
> ensure cosy toes.

> And don't forget your hat.

> Caroline

That's more like it.  Let these others talk of the politics of safety,
I'm far more comfortable with your silk underwear.  Not so sure about
the sock/tinfoil sandwich though.

My own cold-weather tip is to wear tennis-type wristbands.  Therre's a
lot of heat loss from the inside of the wrist and if you can keep this
insulated you will certainly notice the difference in your fingertips.

And it always amazes me to see people who, having warmed up, tale off
their top layer and stick it under their seat - drape it around your
feet - it won't get in the way of anything.

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by zeke_hoski » Sat, 05 Dec 2009 04:43:06



Quote:

> > If we can get back to the subject of clothing.....

> > I recommend silk underwear. ?No, this is not a joke. ?You can get long-
> > sleeved vests and leggings which are almost weightless but extremely
> > effective in providing extra warmth and wicking away sweat. ?Try thesehttp://www.patra.com/?Just make sure you wash them by hand, as they
> > will not withstand a lot of machine washing.

> > Two pairs of socks with a layer of aluminium foil between them will
> > ensure cosy toes.

> > And don't forget your hat.

Cool-Max underwear makes a huge difference after a summer dunking and
probably is as good as silk and a lot
easier to wash for winter wear.

I wear a Gore-Tex drysuit when I row in winter and early spring. One
thing I don't carry, but would if I could find one,
is a pull-on hood. Actually wearing one, combined with the dry suit,
would be too hot to enjoy the row, but if I could
find something like Gore-Tex/fleece/Cool-Max layers that I could stick
down the front of my PFD and pull on before
beginning to climb back aboard, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Of course, the biggest single safety item is a lifeline. Even more
important than a PFD. A well-dressed and
fully floated person will just live longer after watching the boat
blow away downwind. Assuming that he or
she has been silly enough to go out alone at sundown . . .//Zeke

Quote:

> > Caroline

> That's more like it. ?Let these others talk of the politics of safety,
> I'm far more comfortable with your silk underwear. ?Not so sure about
> the sock/tinfoil sandwich though.

> My own cold-weather tip is to wear tennis-type wristbands. ?Therre's a
> lot of heat loss from the inside of the wrist and if you can keep this
> insulated you will certainly notice the difference in your fingertips.

> And it always amazes me to see people who, having warmed up, tale off
> their top layer and stick it under their seat - drape it around your
> feet - it won't get in the way of anything.

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Sarah A Harbou » Sat, 05 Dec 2009 07:19:02


Quote:
> Two pairs of socks with a layer of aluminium foil between them will
> ensure cosy toes.

Ah, I do a similar thing - loosely wrapped aluminium foil over the
shoes - easily comes away/falls off if needed (so not a safety issue).
Creates all sorts of mickey-taking but I'm the one with the sweaty
feet when I return to the boathouse, rather than the frost-bitten
feet! Just wish someone would design something incorporating a foil
layer that would do the job properly!

Sarah
x

 
 
 

Cold Water Winter Clothing Tips

Post by Mike Sulliva » Sat, 05 Dec 2009 07:38:45



Quote:

>> Two pairs of socks with a layer of aluminium foil between them will
>> ensure cosy toes.

> Ah, I do a similar thing - loosely wrapped aluminium foil over the
> shoes - easily comes away/falls off if needed (so not a safety issue).
> Creates all sorts of mickey-taking but I'm the one with the sweaty
> feet when I return to the boathouse, rather than the frost-bitten
> feet! Just wish someone would design something incorporating a foil
> layer that would do the job properly!

Excellent idea.   Gives my tin foil hat a more practical use!

:^)