Any Kayakers/SOT kayakers/surfers in da house?

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  • Any Kayakers/SOT kayakers/surfers in da house?
  • willard

    I wear a wetsuit when I go out in my sit-in kayak, but I know that a lot of people doing the whitewater thang prefer drysuits and drycags over wetsuits.

    I surf rather than use a sit on top kayak but would expect the kit requirements to be roughly similar. Proper kayaking is another matter entirely with specialist stuff like spray decks etc.

    I’d go for a wetsuit as a minimum. If you’re intending to keep it up over the winter then go for a 5/3 (5mm body, 3mm arms) with boots and gloves, but you could probably get away with a 3/2 between say May and late October, if necessary layering up with a thermal rash vest on colder days.

    I really rate C-Skins stuff – pretty good quality, comfy and not too dear.

    Fit is everything with wetsuits though so make sure you go to a shop where they know what they’re doing and try everything on.

    For guidance, water temps are generally at their warmest around now, but as the colder nights draw in they will then get progressively colder until bottoming out in April time.

    Premier Icon 2orangey4crows

    Dry cag and dry trousers for me – but then I’m a whitewater kayaker and freshwater gets seriously cold in winter. I don’t wear gloves (ruins the ‘feel’ of the paddles), but wear wetsuit socks and Teva shoes.

    I also surf a bit (badly), and ‘get by’ with a 3mm wetsuit, gloves, boots and (if it’s windy) a wetsuit hat. I say get away with a 3mm suit because I wear a thick rash vest. Next time I’d probably get something like this to go under the wetsuit – mmmm warm

    Premier Icon postierich

    Only got an inflatable but great fun for exploring the lakes looking @ buying a proper kayak for myself and a wet suit that fits!!

    P5270957 by Richard Munro, on Flickr


    Whitewater paddler…probably a different set of needs and wants to you.

    Sit on tops are a nice safe way of getting into paddling though. Enjoy it.

    Premier Icon kayak23

    Wetsuits are for being wet…If you want to stay dry, get a drytop and trousers.
    If you are quite often to be found swimming from the boat/SOT, then maybe a wetsuit is a better idea. Perhaps pair it up with a good splash top to keep the worst off until you swim.

    Personally, I use a drytop with shorts in the warm, a drytop with dry troosers in the cold, but then thats also with a spraydeck as I have a regular closed-cockpit kayak.


    +1 for C skins stuff my boots, hood and gloves are great if you go down the wetsuit route my current Alder 5/4/3 EVO suit is great for around £200/£250 ish. But would be too hot for summer if not getting dunked regularly.

    These are used for surfing btw, the full kit is good enough for sub zero surfing in January for an hour or so before I start getting a touch chilly.

    Premier Icon StefMcDef

    Does anyone on here do a bit of paddling as well as peddling?

    I recently acquired a sit-on-top kayak for exploring the coast of the Isle of Wight, where I live. Have been out on it a couple of times on sunny summer afternoons in calm weather, while I learn the ropes of how to do it. Swimming shorts and a T-shirt has been fine for this, but:

    With the nights fair drawing in and the days getting shorter and colder, I was wondering what you wear while out on the water at other times of the year. Wetsuits? Drysuits? Gloves? Bootees? A whole world of buying new stuff that I don’t have the first clue about.


    look at cagtops, and note that a lot of wetsuits aren’t designed for arm movement (*that’s a bit black/white/untrue but I’m try to say you don’t want any chafing/resistance on arms, also there is a massive warmth difference between a well fitting, seam sealed, dry zip wetsuit and one that isn’t any of those- but poss not so much of an issue when you’re mainly out of the water….. and not getting flushed)

    I used a Tank top wetsuit (no arms atall) and a cag top for canoeing, I’ve also got a drysuit but I don’t like that as I’m used to a good wetsuit (I surf) however mates have worn fleeces etc under drysuits and they’ve been fine, I also use wetsuit boots (suggesting side zipped ones as the sock fit are an absolute aarse when you’re frozen)

    not being funny but marigolds can help (remembers 10 windsurfers mobbing a Cornwall corner shop – what you’ve no blue left!!!) they’re thin enough that your hands work properly.



    I kayak surf, playboat and river run. This time of year I will still be in a shorty cag and shorts but soon enough I will be in my drysuit toasty

    I surf and live on the island.

    I’ll wear a 3/2 full suit until October and then a 5/4 with boots, gloves and often a hood until May. 🙂

    I don’t know if it’s still the case, but C Skins suits were very good for the more well-built gentleman. The owner left Gul to set-up and was a stockier fellow, so his suits followed suit. So to speak.

    (great suits, nonetheless)

    And if it is really cold, merino socks under yer booties are the business.

    Ive not long bought a sit on top kayak …used it a couple of times recently with shorts and t-shirt …….bloody cold after 30 mins ……will try my wetsuit next time ..

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