The Overheating Myth
A lot of people say that you have to choose between dressing for the water temperature and overheating. They cite a concern about "hyperthermia" as a reason to skip thermal protection when the air temperature is high. That's because they don't understand how to use evaporation and conduction to keep cool.
Typical Example: "But in the Spring, in many areas around the world, air temperatures rise way before water temperatures do. This leaves us in a tough predicament: if we dress for the water temperature the way we do in Winter we’ll be hot, but if we dress for the air temperature alone, we could be in danger when we take a swim." - 2022 Article on Paddling.com
Key To Comfort
"Tough predicament"? That's just nonsense, written by someone who has no idea what they're talking about. When paddling on cold water in warm or hot weather, the key to comfort is to get the surface of your wetsuit or drysuit wet, wet your hair, and wear a wet hat.
If your wetsuit doesn't absorb water - no problem - wear a cotton shirt over the top of it and keep that wet. On a sit-on-top kayak or a canoe, wear the wetsuit underneath a long-sleeve shirt and long pants and keep those wet. This is a dynamic process. You have to work with it to maximize both conduction and evaporation. It takes a little practice, but the results are a dramatic improvement in safety, comfort, and athletic performance.
But what if the water is warm, the air is hot, and to make matters even worse, the sun is beating down on you? No problem: wetting your hair, hat and clothes provides immediate relief from the heat. Boaters who take advantage of this marvelous and very effective cooling technique don't have a problem with overheating.
Read This Article: Keeping Your Cool In The Heat
Watch This Video.