Before I get to the most important thing, lets look at why, oh why, would you kite/wing/windsurf in the winter water anyways? There’s plenty of reasons, no crowds, no tourists, excellent wind, no planes, trains, or Montezuma’s revenge! And for us the winter wind is endless, and the lakes do not freeze over (but as you see some ice can form)
I learned to foil in January and February at Skaha Lake in Penticton, BC, some 10 years ago. It was just me all alone at Sudbury beach… Bliss. My personal limits are 2°C water and anything over 3°C air temperature. Currently I’ve got 24 months in a row going…so it is really a 12 month season here in the Okanagan. The numbers of winter kiters/wingers/windsurfers has increased up into, 10 or so regulars. Yup, still Bliss.
Now, I love dry suits, so I can do multiple sessions, but a good wetsuit does work (especially with the neoprene windproof jacket on top). Some of the key considerations are: your head, hands and feet must have appropriate neoprene. 5/7 mm round toe booties are good, 5/7 mm pre-curved mits (not gloves), and a neoprene hood with a neoprene beany underneath can be toasty for some.
The most important thing? You must start hot, and I mean warm to cooking is perfect. I generally come out of the truck trying my best to get as close to sweating as possible but not quite. Okay now you’re ready, your core temperature is up and warm, and your head, hands, and feet are comfortable. Time for a long awesome and toasty session!
Here is Mike with a hybrid system of drysuit/wetsuit, he is a mad innovator!
My final recommendation is the Soul 3 drysuit, or GO drysuit...in stock now!