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Cold Water Riding; Quick Guide

Cold Water Riding; Quick Guide

Cold Water Riding Guide

photo by Jay Wallace

Kiting in cold conditions can seem daunting, and more risky than summer time sessions. However here in our headquarters in British Columbia, Canada we’ve always challenged ourselves and all those on Ocean Rodeo gear to make Kiteboarding a true 365 day a year sport. Our no excuses attitude has allowed us to be a kite brand that shows you can be on the water in almost any temperature pushing the limits and exceeding expectations.

So… What do some of our top ambassadors have to tell you in regards to Cold Water Riding? Some basic tips that go a long way in maximizing time on the water and making every session memorable and an opportunity to grow and learn in the sport.

Preparation and Limiting Risk:

Photo by Jay Wallace

Jean Luc Robitaille

I think a big part is to keep your extremities warm (toes, fingers, head).

After that you need to remember that if something happens on the water (you hurt yourself or brake some equipment), you need to be able to get out of the water fast before you get too cold. So it is very important to follow some of these security guidelines: stay close to shore, ride in onshore winds, ride with other partners or have other people watching you, ride in wind conditions you can handle (dont got out too overpowered). These are guidelines riders need to follow in warm conditions too, but they become even more important in cold conditions!

Make sure to have warm clothes ready when you hit the shore. I sometimes put some clothes in my kite bag.

Martin Dovic

I always make sure I ride with multiple other people in the winter time. Not just somebody on shore, other riders out there with me. Also I make sure I have a thick enough suit as well as gloves, boots and a hood.

Grant Clayton

Heating on full in the van with a hot cup of Tea on your way there always works. Get as much heat as you can before going out there. Most importantly always kitesurf with friends and look out for each other! There is not much room for error if something could go wrong when its cold out.

What gear is absolutely needed for you to get out on cold weather days?

Photo by Jay Wallace

Marty

Quality gear in good shape is mandatory. No old worn gear that may break soon. That could be life or death when the big wind hits. Also a solid wetsuit or drysuit in good shape.

Grant

Tea is absolutely needed! Priority.. Full neoprene 5/3 or the Ocean Rodeo Heat Drysuit is always a winner. Kite choice has got to be the Ocean Rodeo Razor! Perfect kite for these conditions.

Jean Luc

The Soul Drysuit is a must. Combine those with thick neoprene. Personally I use 7mm mitts and boots and thick hood as well; I prefer around 5mm.

Vovan Voronov

A fleece layer, your dry suit, and for me personally a second helmet. Thermos, hot tea and chocolate as well. 

Is there such a thing as conditions that are too cold?

Photo by Vovan Voronov

Jean Luc

If you are dressed well, there is no such thing as conditions that are too cold, with exception to when the water is freezing. In this case I wouldn’t recommend kiting in those cold conditions. Ice can possibly jam the safety systems on your bar! The ice can also make your bar very slippery so when you’re out on the water take notice of temperature changes throughout your session.

Grant 

When you see the leading edge of your kite freeze that’s when you know it is going to be a cold one. I find it difficult to unhook and enjoy my style when there is a super cold wind chill; If you’re not well protected your hands will start to lose feeling followed by a numbing pain. Ensure that you have the correct gear to keep you warm during these colder days! Full neoprene (gloves, hood and boots) is your best way to stay out there longer. When it is cold I try not to unhook as much and hope that the wind is strong so i can get the smaller kites out the bag!

Is there such a thing as being too warm?

 

Marty D

Too warm is not fun. This has happened to me in a drysuit. Once you get out of the wind or start doing some cardio then it can be nasty. The drysuit can turn into a sweat bag and become very cumbersome if you’ve layered up too much underneath. Don’t over layer and between sessions for the day make use of Standby mode! It’s there to help you vent out all that warmth so you’re not too hot, nor too cold.

Jean Luc Robataille

My trick is to wear the least amount of clothes under your drysuit to be comfortable, but to make sure I have my toes, fingers and head very well covered.

On cold days, I will also take breaks when I’m on the water to let my body temperature come down so that I don’t start sweating too much in my drysuit.

Vovan Voronov

My fleece layer can become hot, but if you slow down a little and allow the fleece to breathe the temperature quickly drops back to a comfortable level.

What is the perfect cold weather day?

Photo by Trevor Hartland

Grant

The perfect cold weather day would be a strong north westerly wind at my local! 30 knots on my 8m razor!

Marty

For me cold weather riding is all about the about the conditions. Big waves and big wind make me brave the cold. As long as it is nuking then I am happy. The cold wind is denser than warm wind. You get a more power for the same amount of wind in very cold conditions

Favorite cold water session? 

Jean Luc

My favorite cold weather session was a couple of years ago in december on Lake Ontario at Sandbanks Provincial Park. I had 2 consecutive days of 25-35 knots, side on-shore winds in huge waves and about 2-3 celsius. Since I was dressed well, I was able to ride a good 3 hours per day. Only 2 other riders showed up, but they only lasted about 1 hour before being too cold in their neoprene suits.

I was still learning to send big kiteloops and those were great conditions to practice in. I am so glad that I made the trip and scored some epic conditions. I improved a lot, and certainly learned a lot about riding in cold weather!

Grant Clayton

Tiree Scotland around March time 2017. Crystal clear water, blue skies and a solid 25 -30 knots and scoring a healthy 3 degrees with minus wind chill most days.. Looked like a tropical kiting location but was felt the exact opposite!

Photo by Vovan Voronov

Cold Water Riding; Quick Guide

Cold Water Riding Guide

photo by Jay Wallace

Kiting in cold conditions can seem daunting, and more risky than summer time sessions. However here in our headquarters in British Columbia, Canada we’ve always challenged ourselves and all those on Ocean Rodeo gear to make Kiteboarding a true 365 day a year sport. Our no excuses attitude has allowed us to be a kite brand that shows you can be on the water in almost any temperature pushing the limits and exceeding expectations.

So… What do some of our top ambassadors have to tell you in regards to Cold Water Riding? Some basic tips that go a long way in maximizing time on the water and making every session memorable and an opportunity to grow and learn in the sport.

Preparation and Limiting Risk:

Photo by Jay Wallace

Jean Luc Robitaille

I think a big part is to keep your extremities warm (toes, fingers, head).

After that you need to remember that if something happens on the water (you hurt yourself or brake some equipment), you need to be able to get out of the water fast before you get too cold. So it is very important to follow some of these security guidelines: stay close to shore, ride in onshore winds, ride with other partners or have other people watching you, ride in wind conditions you can handle (dont got out too overpowered). These are guidelines riders need to follow in warm conditions too, but they become even more important in cold conditions!

Make sure to have warm clothes ready when you hit the shore. I sometimes put some clothes in my kite bag.

Martin Dovic

I always make sure I ride with multiple other people in the winter time. Not just somebody on shore, other riders out there with me. Also I make sure I have a thick enough suit as well as gloves, boots and a hood.

Grant Clayton

Heating on full in the van with a hot cup of Tea on your way there always works. Get as much heat as you can before going out there. Most importantly always kitesurf with friends and look out for each other! There is not much room for error if something could go wrong when its cold out.

What gear is absolutely needed for you to get out on cold weather days?

Photo by Jay Wallace

Marty

Quality gear in good shape is mandatory. No old worn gear that may break soon. That could be life or death when the big wind hits. Also a solid wetsuit or drysuit in good shape.

Grant

Tea is absolutely needed! Priority.. Full neoprene 5/3 or the Ocean Rodeo Heat Drysuit is always a winner. Kite choice has got to be the Ocean Rodeo Razor! Perfect kite for these conditions.

Jean Luc

The Soul Drysuit is a must. Combine those with thick neoprene. Personally I use 7mm mitts and boots and thick hood as well; I prefer around 5mm.

Vovan Voronov

A fleece layer, your dry suit, and for me personally a second helmet. Thermos, hot tea and chocolate as well. 

Is there such a thing as conditions that are too cold?

Photo by Vovan Voronov

Jean Luc

If you are dressed well, there is no such thing as conditions that are too cold, with exception to when the water is freezing. In this case I wouldn’t recommend kiting in those cold conditions. Ice can possibly jam the safety systems on your bar! The ice can also make your bar very slippery so when you’re out on the water take notice of temperature changes throughout your session.

Grant 

When you see the leading edge of your kite freeze that’s when you know it is going to be a cold one. I find it difficult to unhook and enjoy my style when there is a super cold wind chill; If you’re not well protected your hands will start to lose feeling followed by a numbing pain. Ensure that you have the correct gear to keep you warm during these colder days! Full neoprene (gloves, hood and boots) is your best way to stay out there longer. When it is cold I try not to unhook as much and hope that the wind is strong so i can get the smaller kites out the bag!

Is there such a thing as being too warm?

 

Marty D

Too warm is not fun. This has happened to me in a drysuit. Once you get out of the wind or start doing some cardio then it can be nasty. The drysuit can turn into a sweat bag and become very cumbersome if you’ve layered up too much underneath. Don’t over layer and between sessions for the day make use of Standby mode! It’s there to help you vent out all that warmth so you’re not too hot, nor too cold.

Jean Luc Robataille

My trick is to wear the least amount of clothes under your drysuit to be comfortable, but to make sure I have my toes, fingers and head very well covered.

On cold days, I will also take breaks when I’m on the water to let my body temperature come down so that I don’t start sweating too much in my drysuit.

Vovan Voronov

My fleece layer can become hot, but if you slow down a little and allow the fleece to breathe the temperature quickly drops back to a comfortable level.

What is the perfect cold weather day?

Photo by Trevor Hartland

Grant

The perfect cold weather day would be a strong north westerly wind at my local! 30 knots on my 8m razor!

Marty

For me cold weather riding is all about the about the conditions. Big waves and big wind make me brave the cold. As long as it is nuking then I am happy. The cold wind is denser than warm wind. You get a more power for the same amount of wind in very cold conditions

Favorite cold water session? 

Jean Luc

My favorite cold weather session was a couple of years ago in december on Lake Ontario at Sandbanks Provincial Park. I had 2 consecutive days of 25-35 knots, side on-shore winds in huge waves and about 2-3 celsius. Since I was dressed well, I was able to ride a good 3 hours per day. Only 2 other riders showed up, but they only lasted about 1 hour before being too cold in their neoprene suits.

I was still learning to send big kiteloops and those were great conditions to practice in. I am so glad that I made the trip and scored some epic conditions. I improved a lot, and certainly learned a lot about riding in cold weather!

Grant Clayton

Tiree Scotland around March time 2017. Crystal clear water, blue skies and a solid 25 -30 knots and scoring a healthy 3 degrees with minus wind chill most days.. Looked like a tropical kiting location but was felt the exact opposite!

Photo by Vovan Voronov

The Race to Alaska is Upon us

The Race to Alaska is Upon us

The Race To Alaska is Live!

 

Leaving at the crack of dawn this morning, the Race to Alaska began it’s trial run from Port Townsend, Washington to Victoria, BC, Canada. The next leg of the race? a grueling 750 mile cold water race all the way to Ketchikat, Alaska. Such a long and daunting task requires a true No Excuses attitude which is exactly why Ocean Rodeo is a sponsor of the race and all its graceful chaos.

Follow The Race From Home

 

For all you Tracker Junkies, R2AK has an active tracker for you to follow the action no matter where you are. See who is topping each division, who is defying the odds and who is crazy enough to attempt this race with nothing more than a stand up paddle board.

A suit that will be able to keep you dry in the conditions set before these racers. It’s almost become synonymous with the race itself. Ocean Rodeo is proud to be the drywear of choice on the R2AK. Built to be adaptive to varying conditions the Ignite ensures the R2AK racers won’t overheat in calmer conditions, and will stay dry when they turn for the worst.

Douglas Magazine Talks About OR’s ORIGINS & SUCCESS

Douglas Magazine Talks About OR’s ORIGINS & SUCCESS

Local Company Ocean Rodeo Goes Against the Flow

 

Two champion windsurfers not only pioneered the sport of kiteboarding, they went on to create a company that is known around the world for its performance-oriented drysuits and kiteboarding equipment. And it’s all centred here in Victoria.

 

Above photo: Richard Myerscough (left) and Ross Harrington, founders of Ocean Rodeo.

 

Back in 1977, anyone watching Richard Myerscough and Ross Harrington at Elk Lake on a blustery winter day would have had no idea what the two young boys were doing. Balancing on boards and using homemade sails, the pair raced on the lake’s choppy waters. As it turns out, they were windsurfing — something practically no one else was doing on Vancouver Island. 

The pair met as kids and became friends because of their mutual love for watersports. Harrington taught Myerscough how windsurfing was done.

They loved the sport, but it was such early days for it that innovation was a necessity.

“Ross and I both grew up with a lack of equipment as youth, so we’d make and design things ourselves,” says Myerscough, who was making his own wetsuits even before he became a teenager. Harrington, meanwhile, was making his own sails, and he built his first hang-glider when he was just 10 years old.

To say Myerscough and Harrington popularized windsurfing on the Island is an understatement. In fact, they made the then-obscure sport visible to locals and put the Island on the map as a place that produced windsurfing athletes. Both went on to compete at a high level. Harrington won various Canadian and American titles, like the Canadian Lightweight Racing title and West Coast US Freestyle and Slalom titles. Myerscough represented Canada in windsurfing at the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1988 Olympic Games, where he placed 12th.

 

Exploring New Waters

When their racing days were over, Myerscough and Harrington entered the business world. But, as with their sporting interests, their business pursuits were anything but traditional. Harrington made windsurfing sails for Windsure, a Vancouver-based company, before founding his own sail brand, Venturi Designs, in the late 1980s. In 1992 Myerscough cofounded Whites Manufacturing Ltd., a local drysuit manufacturer (now owned by Aqua Lung, one of the largest watersport companies in the world).

By the late 90s, they were eyeing a brand-new sport: kiteboarding. At the time, hardly anyone else was doing it, so the pair effectively became worldwide kiteboarding pioneers. But finding the right gear to do the new sport they loved so much was an issue, and once again, necessity drove them to make their own equipment.

In 2001, the duo merged their sporting and entrepreneurial interests together and Ocean Rodeo, an offshoot of Whites, was born.

Innovation and Invention

The Ocean Rodeo HQ is decidedly nondescript, operating out of a small house in Saanich, just off the Galloping Goose Trail. Most passersby would have no idea of the innovation happening inside. Drysuits crowd a coat rack at the office’s front door, and downstairs is the design hub where the company’s cutting-edge products come to life. Both men, in their 50s, fit and with an energetic enthusiasm — and who are still athletes at heart — test these products themselves in the cold, extreme water conditions around Vancouver Island. The company isn’t afraid to do things a little differently, and this is something that has propelled its international-level success.

Myerscough says Ocean Rodeo was just the fourth company in the world to make and sell kiteboarding equipment. While it isn’t the biggest kiteboarding company in the market, it is a world leader in innovation and intellectual property (IP). According to Harrington, Ocean Rodeo has more IP than anyone else in the industry, largely because, unlike other kiteboarding companies, Ocean Rodeo is not interested in being a trendy fashion brand.

“We’re not afraid of being safety-interested,” says Harrington. “For so many of the brands out there, it’s about the cool factor. But when we started kiteboarding, there was roughly a fatality a week. As the industry has matured, people [working in the industry] are becoming a lot more aware of safety and they have to play the catch-up game to get to where we have already been.”

 

Click here to read the full article.