Sit-On-Tops, Can You Paddle in Autumn/Winter?

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  • Heck ya! Bundle up good though. It is one of my favorite times to kayak!

Kayaking can be enjoyed year-round in most locations. The only limitation that I can think of would be places where the water has frozen over.

But most bodies of water are constantly moving. When you get moving water, it is hard for it to freeze up.

Some lakes and mostly ponds are the ones that freeze up. So look for nice rivers that flow all year around.

Wet Suit May Be Required

For those times when the water is uncomfortably cold, make sure to pack your favorite wetsuit.

I talk about the BEST WETSUITS in this article.

I also have a complete post on Winter Kayaking Gear.

A fellow paddler up in Maine says she wears her wetsuit from mid September to May due to potential hypothermia.

Drysuits offer protection as well. This article will help you decide between the two.

Is It Easy to Flip a Sit-on-Top Kayak?

But some kayaks are harder to flip over than others. The Vibe sit-on-top kayak is reported to be very hard to flip.

Make sure the scupper plugs are in to keep the cold water from getting you wet during the cold season.

And keep an extra drain plug too. I just noticed mine was missing the other day while launching off the docks.

If you do flip, and you are in deep waters, here’s a handy guide I’ve written to help you out.

If you are considering white water kayaking, check this out.

Kayaks Make Great Snow Sleds!

Sure enough, the sit-on-top kayaks make a great snow sled. So if you can’t go kayaking due to inclement weather, head to the slopes.

Just be sure to take some EXTRA PADDING for your backside…

Change Out Your Seat

My friend had a sit-on-top but the seat was low and had a molded on backrest. He said the functionality was nice but his backside gets wet a lot.

He ended up buying another one with a raised seat for cooler weather and to help stay dry.

Look into options you may have for changing or modifying your kayak seat.

Be Prepared to Go Swimming

No matter how prepared you are, there’s always a chance you’ll end up in the water. So be prepared to take a dip by:

  1. wear the right clothing (life jacket, shoes, wet/drysuit, etc)
  2. tie down your gear so it doesn’t float away
  3. waterproof your electronics, if you carry any
  4. take extra clothes

Recommended Winter Paddle Trips

Milwaukee River

Hudson River

Lake Michigan

Texas Gulf Coast

Virginia Beach

Florida winters…FTW!