Hi all. Been kayak racing a few times now and need to know what is best for fall/winter. Races require wet/dry suits in cooler temps. Question is, which is better for us kayakers....wet suit or dry. Is a full coverage suit required?
Heel and Pegpads™
Canoe/Kayak Storage Racks
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Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-30-12 8:59 PM (EST)
I've got a full 3/4 wetsuit and a Goretex drysuit. The drysuit is way more versatile and comfortable -- not like a sauna in milder weather and can have insulation layers added in colder conditions. Of course it is more expensive but if you look for a good used one you can find deals. Only paid $400 for my Kokatat (new would have been $1000) and all it needed was a $15 neck gasket repair.
If you are racing and it is in the south|
Posted by: Roanguy on Oct-01-12 5:58 AM (EST)
I wouldn't wear either a wet suit or a dry suit.
Over-Loading the Material|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-01-12 10:03 AM (EST)
What are the air and water temps?|
Posted by: seadart on Oct-01-12 12:51 PM (EST)
Those are the key factors for choosing what you are going to wear.
Breathable stuff dries quick|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-01-12 1:36 PM (EST)
or better not?|
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Oct-01-12 2:10 PM (EST)
Another fallacy is...|
Posted by: jaybabina on Oct-02-12 11:21 AM (EST)
Layers keeping you dry. I've tried everything and every combination and if I sweat, my first layer is damp or wet, period. I know wicking fabrics work better than cotton but, once I start to sweat under all that clothing, nothing is going to wick it away.
hydroskin or farmer john|
Posted by: nickjc on Oct-01-12 2:46 PM (EST)
NRS hydroskin is about the right weight or a 3mm farmer john for extra cold. I paddled my surf ski in my farmer john and a hydroskin top last winter in 33F wind and snow and I was just right. I raced my SK in a farmer john and polypro top and was still sweating in below freezing temps. There was ice on the boats at the start. Another good option are the 3mm NRS rodeo pants and a hydroskin or wind breaker vest on top of a polypro top.
Posted by: radiomix on Oct-01-12 3:05 PM (EST)
Any sleeved hydroskin or wetsuit is too restrictive for racing. If you are doing a fall race, I'm assuming in the south, the water probably won't be cold enough to put you at any real risk of dying, but splash with cool air can make for an uncomfortable situation. I would suggest long sleeve poly and then another layer on backup if wind picks up or it gets cool enough to start chilling your skin.
Dry top ring for neck|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-01-12 5:02 PM (EST)
Posted by: Celia on Oct-01-12 5:20 PM (EST)
A friend actually put them together for a bunch of us. Basically a bit of wood from a dowel and plastic tubing from the plumbing/hardware store, just a little rummaging time to put together.
Helps heat get out|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Oct-01-12 8:31 PM (EST)
I remember that|
Posted by: jaybabina on Oct-02-12 8:59 AM (EST)
There is no magic solution for staying dry if you are sweating a lot. I just always assume, If I want to paddle hard with a top or drysuit on, I will get damp and will have to change into dry clothes when I stop. Breathable fabrics help a lot but for me, nothing works like a T-shirt in the summer.
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Oct-02-12 2:20 PM (EST)
...spray skirt. A long tunnel of neoprene reaching up to your chest under the PFD goes a long way in terms of protection from elements (unless you are going to take a swim).