The new stretchier soft neoprenes are way nicer than the old slick rubber diving wetsuit fabric that made you feel like you were stuffed in sausage casing.
I lucked out on Ebay and got an un-used Xcel full 3/4 surfer's wetsuit for $30 plus shipping and it is very comfortable for paddling. The neoprene is stretchy, it doesn't bind at the neck or restrict arm and shoulder movement and the back zip is easy to operate. The kneepads make it nice for canoeing too. Xcel sizing is very generous -- not so with some other brands (I think Body Glove and O'Neill are sized for anorexic elves -- don't believe the measurements on their size charts).
If you aren't squeamish about used stuff you can find some good deals on Ebay. Only problem is you have to take a chance on fit. I bought a couple suits before snagging the Xcel that did NOT fit but I got them cheaply enough I was able to resell them to smaller fellow paddlers and break even.
Also picked up a front zip Camaro surfing shortie for my BF to use kayaking (I believe it's a 2/3) and he loves it -- Camaro sizing seems true to their charts also. Got that one on Sierra Trading Post for around $50. Finding a model in a particular size on STP can be challenging, but they seem to have a regular stream of wetsuits from Camaro.
Touring Kayak Paddles
|Table of Contents|