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Cold-Water Paddling Policy

Spring and Fall are great times to paddle, but the cold water temperatures can make paddling significantly more dangerous. Paddlers who are immersed in cold water are at risk for hypothermia, cold incapacitation, cold shock, and death.
Paddlers who wear their life jacket and appropriate protective clothing can decrease that risk.
Cold Water Policy
To decrease the risk of hypothermia, cold incapacitation, and cold shock, all paddlers who rent or demo boats from our rental locations are required to wear a wetsuit or drysuit when the water temperature is below 50F. If the water temperature is below 60F at a given location, that location's web page will show an alert.
Call (617) 965-5110 for details.
When the water temperature is below 60F, all paddlers are required to read Off-Season Boating, Cold Shock, and Hypothermia by Chuck Sutherland.
Cold-Water Outfitting
Charles River Canoe & Kayak carries drysuits, wetsuits, neoprene paddlewear, boots, gloves, and other cold-water paddling gear for adults and children. Be sure to read our How To Dress for Cold-Water Paddling guide for more information on available cold-weather paddling wear.
Paddlers are encouraged, but not required, to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures between 50F and 60F.
For further information, we recommend our How to Dress for Cold Water Paddling guide.
Protecting Yourself
Cold-water paddlers should wear specialized clothing that will help delay or decrease the risk of hypothermia and cold shock. For more information on choosing clothing for cold-water paddling, read our How To Dress for Cold-Water Paddling guide.
Sea kayakers should keep in mind that ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic remain low for a significant portion of the summer. Visit the National Oceanographic Data Center for average coastal water temperatures across New England throughout the year.
Don't kid yourself — cold water is no joke!
    Charles River Canoe & Kayak
160 Riverview Ave.
Waltham, MA 02453
(617) 965-5110
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