Wetsuits for paddling

Grumps

Adventurist
Founding Member
#1
I am planning on getting a wetsuit for kayaking and want to know what people are using for paddle sports. Are the full wetsuits what is needed or will the overall (sleeveless) style be sufficient?

Any advice or experience would be appreciated.

-Andy
 

rvdb

Adventurist
#2
My two cents, it really depends on the temperature of the water. No sleeves = no paddle rash, however if you go over in the sleeveless type wetsuit you will get flushed with fresh water which can get chilly. They have some great surf type wetsuits now that minimize the "hot spots" and have tons of flex. I surf and stand up paddle BTW. Good luck
 

Grumps

Adventurist
Founding Member
#3
Thanks for the information. The majority of rivers here are around 40-60 degrees during paddling season. I am leaning towards a full length suit, just looking for one that zips down the front. I'll check out the surf suits too.

-Andy
 

Grumps

Adventurist
Founding Member
#5
I noticed that James and Elizabeth use dry suits. It is hard to pay more than my kayak was for a paddling suit. On the other hand, it would be nice to be dry at the end of trip.

-Andy
 

rvdb

Adventurist
#6
A dry suit might be great for that water temp. Dry suits are great when its cold & you can wear clothes underneath (fleece works great), they dry off fast, lightweight verses a wet wetsuit. The one thing that drove me nuts when wake boarding in one is feeling claustrophobic after my run, I would pull the neck open to "air it out". The Oneil suit I had was zipped across the back shoulders so worst case you can crack it a bit to cool down if needed.
 

rvdb

Adventurist
#8
Good article on layering and necessary with a drysuit. The only downfall of the drysuit in my time with one was it doesn't breath like a wetsuit so when the sun is out it starts the green house effect + your body heat from paddling & it could get uncomfortable, this is personal preference. Questions to ask yourself, how much heat do you generate when paddling? do you go with the flow or are you in attack mode? Paying for things twice stinks, do what your doing (homework) & if you can pull off borrowing a good wetsuit or drysuit give it a run.
Maybe this is a good read, wetsuit-vs-drysuit-for-paddling , also kayakacademy.com/pages/dry-suit-faq-frequently-asked-questions.
 

Grumps

Adventurist
Founding Member
#9
Thanks for those articles, great information. I am startling to get a good idea of the direction I will go based on layering and the temps of the water/air I typically will paddle.

Thanks again for the information!

-Andy
 

Grumps

Adventurist
Founding Member
#10
Eastern Mountain Sports has 20% off NRS wetsuits and paddle clothing 5/19 through 5/29. I picked up a few items.

-Andy
 
#11
Check out Zhik. Specifically, their dinghy wetsuits. (OK, they list the same ones for kayaking, also.)

I have one from when I was racing sailboats - great products, and hold up well to abrasion. Keep you warm, too! ;)

Be careful with a drysuit. If it was to rip, and fill with water, you have nothing to keep you warm...
 

Grumps

Adventurist
Founding Member
#12
Thanks Scott, that was my concern about dry suits. I got a 3/2 Farmer John suit and a paddling jacket. That should cover my needs for spring and fall paddling. I also picked up a 1.0 hydroskin long sleeve shirt for warmer air temps and paddling in cold water.

-Andy
 
#13
Thanks Scott, that was my concern about dry suits. I got a 3/2 Farmer John suit and a paddling jacket. That should cover my needs for spring and fall paddling. I also picked up a 1.0 hydroskin long sleeve shirt for warmer air temps and paddling in cold water.

-Andy
Or, you could just paddle in Georgia, where it is warm... ;)
 
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