November scene from Canoe Beach, Nahant, Massachusetts
Y'all probably noticed the poll about cold weather windsurfing and kiting that I put in the left hand sidebar. (Encountering my cold weather limits here in MA got me curious about other folks' temperature thresholds.) The survey results are spread out, but most people, including me, seem to call it quits somewhere between 45 and 50 degrees F. In my experience, that's the temperature zone where it becomes critical to have all your extremities covered and your core well-insulated. Any "chink in the armor" will be painfully obvious, and you may be a bit uncomfortable even when totally swaddled. Personally I'm amazed how I can be totally cozy in 55 degrees, even with no gloves and my hood pulled back, while in 45 degrees I can barely handle it with all my gear on.
To try to extend my limit down to ~40 degrees, and extend my season by a month or so on either end, I picked up a used drysuit. It's a "bag" style suit that you wear clothes underneath. I haven't had a chance to use it yet because the week of cold wind we were having suddenly gave way to calm, sunny 60 degree weather. But I did go ahead and shave my wrists and ankles so the gaskets will seal better. Apparently if you have a hard crash a bit of water will squeeze through the gaskets, so you don't want to wear any nice clothes underneath it.
To make room for the new drysuit I'm selling an older semi-dry wetsuit that I never use anymore, cheap (see sidebar). It's 6 mm thick and very warm, but it wouldn't win any prizes for flexibility. Anyway, the price is right if somebody wants it. I'm also selling a couple fins, one for just 5 bucks, and a nice 4.25 msq sail.