Hot & cold

NZL1NZL1 AucklandNew Member

Is it possible to feel colder when the water gets warmer?


  • LakeBaggerLakeBagger Central OregonSenior Member

    @NZL1 totally!

    Most of your cold sensors are in your skin, so if the water is cold enough to make your skin numb (for me around 10-13C, low-mid 50sF or less), you actually don’t feel that cold, especially during shorter swims.

    When the water is cool, but not numbingly cold (14-16C; high 50s-low 60sF), the sensors in your skin aren’t numb and you feel subjectively colder.

  • NZL1NZL1 AucklandNew Member

    That’s what I was wondering.

    After months of ocean swimming through the winter (wearing just swimmers, no hat or goggles even), I was feeling fully cold-adapted. The low of the sea temp around Auckland was 11.5C (52F) and I was happily swimming for 30-45 mins every day.

    But now it’s spring and the sea temp has already hit 18C (64F) and I’m feeling chilly after only 20-30 mins.

    I’m wondering what’s going on and what will happen in summer when it can get to 22-24C (71-75F)!

  • LakeBaggerLakeBagger Central OregonSenior Member
    edited November 2023

    @NZL1 that totally makes sense! When it’s in the low 60s, I find that right around an hour I suddenly feel much more comfortable than earlier in the swim. I always think this is when my blood vessels finally constrict enough and let my skin cool down. But it could also just be that I’ve finally gotten used to it and no longer care about the cool sensation on my skin.

    Either way, it only takes a few minutes when the water is colder, versus an hour or more when it’s warmer.

    Let us know how the 70s feel! I’ve got friends who get cold even in the 80F pool, so anything is possible!

  • NZL1NZL1 AucklandNew Member

    It’s now 19-20C (66-68F) and things are feeling a bit better again. I swam for 1hr 20 a few days ago (4km) and I wasn’t cold at the end of it.

    So I think there’s a zone in the 15-20C (59-68F) range where I personally feel most chilly.

Sign In or Register to comment.