120 Degree Rule

With warmer temperatures just around the corner, the desire to paddle grows stronger.   Don’t forget about the 120 degree rule this spring.  That is if the air temperature plus water temperature don’t equal at least 120 degrees, you are at a greater risk of hypothermia.  This doesn’t mean you can’t paddle, it just means you need to dress in layers and always wear a United States Coast Guard approved lifejacket.  


Earlier this month, the air temperature rose to around 60 degrees.  While the air temperature felt nice and warm, the water temperature was still around 40 degrees.  If you do the math, the air temperature plus the water temperature that day was only about 100 degrees, which meant it was well below the 120 degree rule, and I was at a greater risk of hypothermia. Knowing this, I wore a full length 3 mil wetsuit and a lifejacket while Stand Up Paddleboarding.  This way if I fell in, I would be better protected from the 40 degree water temperature and reduce my chances of succumbing to hypothermia.


When paddling, always remember to wear non-cotton layers and to check the air and water temperatures.  Be safe and enjoy your paddle!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>