Monday, June 09, 2008

Session 8071: Squid Hood or Integrated Hood?

Day 71: Squid Hood or Integrated Hood?

Many people who are not familiar with the Eastern Pacific coasts, they would be puzzled if I tell them that the water can be coldest in the year in May and June. As it turns out that California coast side is one of more unique places in the world that upwelling can cause some havoc in late spring or early summer season.

Upwelling occurs when the wind blows hard, especially along the shore. Because our planet Earth is rotating at the same time as the wind blows in more or less N-S direction, it causes a "vortex" effect in that water swirls around and then after that it starts convectional current that moves up and down deep into the bottom of the sea floor. When 30+ knots winds blow for a week or two then the buoy water temperature reading start to go from our seasonal low 50's into even mid 40's sometime.

When we get out in this type of situation, it is like dipping my hands and head into ice water, and especially for me, I would have to think twice before I do my initial duck-dive though the water. Once I do this, no problem after that but the very first one is significantly uncomfortable, wake-up event especially on early morning sessions when I still have some afterthoughts about whether it would have been much more comfortable should I have decided to be in bed instead of in the Pacific.

At any rate, one key component of being a bit more comfortable in this situation is to wear a hood, and I have been wearing a 3-mm "Squid head" (I don't know why they call that though.) hood. This has been helpful, but last week I have noticed that my beloved hood has been showing a bit of wear and tear (though it lasted me at least 2+ seasons.) So I decided to give a try on an integrated hood with a rash guard, thinking that this might be a bit better in terms of water seeping duck dive situation. I actually hesitated getting it since I did once had a wetsuit with an integrated hood, and when I put that on I could not swing my head left to right freely, so I only used it a few times and gave up. This one is a 1.5 mm hood integrated with rash guard and it is a bit better in terms of head movement.

So here is the report from this morning.

Putting this on was a bit more awkward than the squid head model. I felt like whether which one of the holes will be the one to put my head though. But tucking the bottom of the hood was not so hard.

My first duck dive was definitely very comfortable, but I actually could not find a significant difference between the squid hood situation and with this. I would say it was noticeably more comfortable, but not super different.

While surfing, it was comfortable and I did not have problem swinging my head left and right.

So there. I think I will get a bit more hang on this and might end-up liking it a lot!

Oh by the way, I did have a good time this morning at the JTY!

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