Kite surfing in Winter months is becoming increasingly common in the Netherlands, but this is not entirely without danger. Hypothermia during kite surfing in winter is lurking. Here you can read what hypothermia is, how do you recognize it, what can you do to prevent it.
What is hypothermia during kite surfing
Subcooling occurs when the central body temperature falls below 35 ° C. Subcooling, also known as hypothermia, occurs when your body cools down due to cold wind or cold water. When you go kite surfing in the Winter you run the risk of getting chilled. Especially if you have been in the water for too long. For example if you have lost your board and have to boddydragg to get back to your board.
Hypothermia during kite surfing does not only occur in Winter. In Summer it can also happen that you have been in the water for so long that your body cools down too much and your core temperature falls below 35 ° C. For a kite surfer it is therefore always important to pay attentention.
How do you recognize hypothermia?
If your body temp drops below 35 ° C you will be bothered by a number of things. Always useful to know what to look for when someone is in the water for a long time to what extent he or she suffers from hypothermia.
- shivering ( happens already at 36 ° C)
- lowered heart rate
When your body falls below 33 ° C, muscle stiffness occurs and cramps. If the temperature drops even further, there is a chance that you will become unconscious due to lack of oxygen. If you are still in the water, it is far from ideal. A reason to never go alone on the water.
What should you do in the event of hypothermia?
Do you recognize someone with symptoms of hypothermia? Then call 112 first. (or 911 U.S) Bring the person in, take off wet clothing and cover him or her with dry clothing and / or blankets. You can also warm someone up with your own body heat by lying down in a sleeping bag. If there is a bath nearby, put someone in lukewarm water.
How do you prevent hypothermia during kite surfing?
If you go kite surfing in winter, a number of things are important to take with you. Safety always comes first!
- Don’t just go on the water alone by yourself
- Do not kite too far away at the coast or land, so that you can swim back in an emergency
- If you cannot relaunch the kite immediately, swim back, do not stay in the water too long
- This also applies if you have lost your board, swim back!
- Schedule short kite sessions
- Wear a PLB
What clothing do you wear during a winter kite surfing session?
To protect yourself against the cold it is important to purchase good protective neoprene gear. In addition to a minimum wetsuit of 5.4 or dry suit, it is important to protect your head with a cap. it is not really charming, but it is super necessary not to get the first splash of water on your forehead with a brainfreeze. Gloves and neoprene shoes is also recommended. Possibly a windstopper.
If you get off the water, don’t stay on the beach in your wetsuit for too long, because especially in Winter, there is still a danger of hypothermia. Just quickly wrap your things and order a hot chocolate with rum and whipped cream in the first one beach bar!
Surf lekker verder op 35 Knots
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