| 1st SUP day 2014...

The weather has been finally genial in the past few days, Spring is here despite another snow storm menace in the horizon. I decided to take the Sub-Vector 10 out and check the water temperature. It would be a good test for both my new Xcel Drylock neoprene boots and the Ocean Rodeo Soul drysuit.
So it all started well and putting on the drysuit was pretty straightforward, it has a very interesting unique design which makes it look like a 2-pieces snowboard suit and separates it from the horrible kayak/river usual drysuit type.
I ordered mine all black and grey and it's an amazing piece of equipment, waterproof/breathable, very comfortable and well adjusted, you can tell it's been designed by surfers (kite surfers and SUP aficionados alike). The service and advice at Ocean Rodeo were really good and the size (MK) is perfect, i am 1.78m (5.8) tall.
The UltraStretch booties by Xcel are 7mm thick and supposed to withstand even the worst winter surfing conditions, i was really curious about how they would protect my sensitive toes from the cold. It's definitely easy to put them on as the neoprene stretches a lot, they also have a thin sole too and overall the boot has a comfy snug fit.
Then, i took my PFD, neoprene gloves, my paddle, a GoPro and en route to the river which is about 4mn walk distance from our apartment.

The grass is starting to grow green again and the river is almost entirely free of ice in this area, it's reassuring but you can still see some floating translucent plates here and there, especially close to the shore in the shadows. I filmed my shaky entry in the cold water (12°C), the boots are working surprisingly well and the drysuit is really waterproof but you can feel the fresh walls on the legs, my hands were freezing in no time without the gloves. It was the 1st time in a while on my C4 and i forgot how small it is, hence very unstable for my weight, i should have taken the inflatable because it was windy and there were a lot of waves. It always feel a bit awkward to start over after so many months away from the water, my balance was way off, the paddle was slippery with the neoprene gloves and it felt funny but what a good ride anyway.
It was so windy in fact that when idle, the board was moving upstream and after 5mn of paddling i came across a large floating ice block and decided to take some photos, even though it was difficult to stand still. I took the camera in my jacket's pocket and try to take photos while keeping my balance ;-) of course the inevitable happened and a larger wave almost made me fall, the camera escaped my grip, in a classic slow-motion scene and... plouf... the GoPro Hero 3 disappears under the brown water without a bubble, it dove straight down as i laughed hysterically at my distorted reflection, no way i just couldn't believe it!
I do hate myself when doing stupid things like that, it was sooOooo predictable, how dumb! Now the experience tells me that next time i'll buy a floating pad or use a leash. This summer i'll try to dive to locate the camera, hopefully, if it doesn't move too much with the current or won't be hidden under a thick layer of mud. At least it was a nice day, i fell only once and was well protected, it's good to live so close to the water!

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