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Dillon Reservoir Wetsuit/Drysuit Requirement Review

Discussion started by Jonette Albers 2 years ago
Dillon Reservoir is a large, beautiful body of water located at 9017 feet elevation in the mountains west of Denver. Body contact with the water is prohibited and a full wet or dry suit is required to SUP. This rule is currently under review.

A study is being done on the impacts of cold water safety and they are looking for any hard data or other information that will help them make an informed decision. If you have information to share on SUP and cold water safety please message me. They are particularly interested in learning about possible overheating issues from wearing a wet or dry suit in hot air temperatures, so if you have any information on that please send it my way.

They would also love to hear from those who are involved the recreational management of Lake Tahoe and other lakes that may have similar conditions. If you have these contacts I would appreciate if you could pass their information on to me.

Thanks for your help!
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Josh
Josh
Unfortunately I have no expertise here, just some real life experience paddling both in and out of wetsuits. The few times I have tried to paddle on Dillon Reservoir I have had to unzip my full suit and paddle with the top folded down for fear that my body was going to overheat. I could barely breathe! I understand that the lake can be cold, but for a few months every year the water is a great temperature. I was just out there last week and made sure I "fell off" my board multiple times just so I could get some relief and help my body cool off. Paddling flatwater is really no different than being in a kayak or a canoe on flatwater. Why do we need wetsuits on boards? I never enter the water unless I do so on purpose (which I know is not allowed, but I'm not about to die from heat exhaustion out there). I vote to let people decide for themselves which layers to wear when paddling. In the colder months, by all means a wetsuit would be nice just for the fact that the air is cold, not the water. Once you've actually learned to paddleboard (which generally takes minutes, not hours), you realize the water temperature is irrelevant because you're not going to fall in, and it's the air temperature that makes all the difference. The air temperature in a full wetsuit just makes the reservoir unpaddleable (I just made up a new word there) in the summer months, when the lake should be bustling with people!
2 years ago

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