Winter, whilst being chilly out on the water, offers some of the best paddling conditions in Queensland. Gentle breezes, cooler days and lack of biting insects make for happy days out on the bay, river or estuary.
To help ensure you make the most of your paddling experience this winter, here are a couple of must haves for your gear list.
A Cag is simply a waterproof smock type overcoat worn by paddlers to keep their under layers dry, and therefore warm. Usually made form a breathable water resistant fabric they allow the wearer to remain dry and warm without becoming sweaty and damp as the exertion level increases.
Cags are available in a variety of fabric weights with different collar and cuff sealing options to keep even the coldest waters out.
For the canoeists amongst us, there are also a wide variety of waterproof trousers available to keep you dry when you don't have the option of installing a spray deck.
Whilst usually worn to prevent blistering, gloves are also very effective in keeping the sun off the backs of hands and keeping your hands warm in colder waters. Similar to Cags, gloves come in a variety of fabric weights and with options for full fingered, fingerless or even mitten styles for extreme cold conditions.
A spray deck is a neoprene cover that stretches over the cockpit combing of a kayak providing a waterproof membrane to keep water out of the interior of a kayak. There is typically a tube in the centre into which the paddler inserts themselves. The tube can be made form neoprene or water resistant nylon for warmer climates.
Whilst not as common in Australia, spray decks are also commonly fitted to open top canoes in North America and Europe or to Outrigger Canoes for open ocean racing. These tend to be made from water resistant canvas with a neoprene tube into which the paddlers fit. MORE INFO...
Developed by Paddling.net it lists canoe and kayak launch sites around the world (including Australia!) www.paddling.net/launches
Originally developed by PaddleNSW it is intended to spread Australia wide. Provides information of river levels, entry and exit points and other useful paddling data www.waterwaysguide.org.au/paddlesafeapp