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Paddle Brad

OceanRodeo SOUL is the Best Dry Suit for Cold Water Paddleboarding

Thank you Ocean Rodeo for designing the SOUL dry suit. It is hands down the best dry suit for cold water paddleboarding. I just finished a 3 mile paddle in Harbor Springs, Michigan, home to the largest natural harbor in the United States. Harbor Springs is also home to some wicked cold and windy weather. Die hard surfers come from all over the world to catch some awesome waves in Northwest Michigan come the winter months. 

My SUP conditions included 20 mph winds, 40 degree air temps, and below 40 water temp. The ice from winter just left the harbor a few days ago. It rained all day and will rain into the night. I found a window to paddle and I did. I paddled downwind for the first half and against the violent gusts on the way back. I had to drop to my knees a couple times, very humbling. I still loved every second of it. I felt great out there all things considered because I geared up properly. This is so important in any sport or activity.

My SOUL dry suit is amazing. It keeps my sealed, which is step one. I was between a wet suit and dry suit because another concern I had was mobility and free range of motion. I didn’t want gear to restrict me in any way. I am conditioned to paddling in tropical weather. I loathe the cold! This dry suit doesn’t restrict me at all. In fact, I barely feel I am wearing it sometimes. My xcel booties and gloves give me more issues than the dry suit, mostly because I also have a distain for shoes and don’t prefer gloves (see statement about cold above).

I truly am impressed how much mobility I have in this air tight suit. The zipper all work great. The SOUL dry suit is the perfect combination of form and function. I have a great deal of confidence in this dry suit. That is a great feeling to have when paddling in cold windy weather. Trust me.

The only problem I have had with the SOUL dry suit is a reflection of my haste. Sometimes I am in such a hurry to get on the water so I don’t take the time to place my feet in properly with regard to the overall straps. This means I have to pull my leg back through and start over. Like I said, the problem is really me. Lol.

Not only did I head out in this wicked cold and windy weather, I paddled in open water and some protected. This means I need some more gear to consider myself properly geared up. I also wore 5mm booties and 3mm gloves both made by xcel. Great buys! I am happy with the performance and they don’t smell. I also wore an NRS waist pfd and Dakine waist camel pack. A Bullys leash attached me to a 14ft elite Red Paddle Co. inflatable race board, and a full carbon Mistral paddle weighing less than a pound.  I was definitely ready to paddle comfortably and safely.

If you are planning to paddle board in cold water conditions I stand behind the SOUL dry suit. The SOUL dry suit is the best dry suit for cold weather paddleboarding. Contact me or post a comment if you have any questions. If there is a better dry suit out there I certainly want to know about it. I am always looking for the best SUP gear. 

Paddle Brad

Paddleboarding with Ice Burgs! First SUP experience of 2015, Harbor Springs, Michigan

Wow. Paddleboarding with ice burgs is awesome! Harbor Springs, Michigan has some amazing water to paddle. My first SUP experience of 2015 includes some sweet go pro footage of me paddle boarding to the point in Harbor Springs. I am personally escorting the ice out of the harbor on this 70 degree day in May. I am so stoked to SUP in Harbor Springs this spring and summer. The water is more crystal clear than the tropical waters of the Florida Keys where I learned paddle boarding. There was a good breeze today and yet the harbor waters remain unaffected, the perfect water for SUP.

The last time I paddled was November 21, 2015. I remember deflating my board after an 11 mile paddle admiring mega yachts up the ICW in Fort Lauderdale. Picked up my Red Paddle Co. inflatable SUP and walked across the street to catch a few waves. I am not a great paddle surfer. I have only paddle surfed a few times. Wow the ocean is powerful. As I remember it. Today, however, posed a different thrill. The excitement and adventure of paddle boarding in frigid Lake Michigan as the ice burgs float away.
I admit that since I came to Michigan from Fort Lauderdale that I knew I was going to SUP with ice burgs. I just had a feeling. So today was so anticipated. I wouldn’t have ever stepped foot in the water if it wasn’t for the peace of mind my Ocean Rodeo Soul dry suit gave me. I did my research. I searched for the best dry suit for paddle boarding in cold water and weather. Thank you Ocean Rodeo for constructing an amazing dry suit, perfect for SUP in cold water. I felt sealed and protected in the dry suit. I also had excellent range of motion. The Soul dry suit is the best dry suit for SUP period.

A shout out to Red Paddle Co. for developing the best inflatable paddle board I have ever paddled. I am ridding the 14 foot Elite inflatable race board. What a paddleboard! The only 25 psi inflatable SUP on the market. The 14 foot inflatable race board handles great in the protected waters of the harbor and in the open water. This was my first paddle in nearly 6 months and I reached a high speed of 8.5 mph. The 14 Elite race SUP is a very special board to me. My first 2 SUP racing victories where on a Red Paddle Co. 14 foot SUP. This year’s board includes handles on the front of the board for race stats and a carbon fin! Honestly, the best part about my paddle board is that it is portable. I can take my paddle board anywhere because it deflates and fits into a back pack. I can fit about 7 inflatable SUP’s in my Volkswagen Jetta. No joke. The Red Paddle Co. race boards look super cool as well. My 14 ft Elite race paddle board is the perfect combination of form and function.

I am super stoked to paddle again tomorrow. I may even head out later to catch the sunset. I miss watching the sun go down on my board. Paddle boarding with ice burgs was pretty awesome. I will remember my first SUP experience of 2015. How many of us are paddleboarding with ice burgs? I am always having so much gratitude for the water and nature.

If anybody is interested in paddling with me before summer please contact me. Harbor Springs Paddle Board Club. 231-622-9084