Wetsuits vs Dry suitsDon’t get me wrong, its nice to be comfortable and warm while kayaking; it will enhance your over-all experience and you will lose less energy by staying warm. I started out kayaking using a long-john wetsuit, polypropylene thermal top, and a splash jacket. At that time I was studying and didn’t have the money to buy expensive gear – like a dry suit.
- Wetsuits are generally cheaper and easier to swim in. Wetsuits work best once they are wet, because they trap a warm layer of water in-between your skin and the neoprene. Although this isn’t always very comfortable, it does keep you warm. Wetsuits can get pretty stuffy and uncomfortable, especially if it’s hot, or you wear them for long periods of time. If you wear a wet suit I would recommend at least getting a splash jacket or dry top to keep the wind off.
- Dry suits on the other hand will keep you dry, but don’t have that same insulation effect like the wetsuit. Basically, you wont get that same snug warm feeling like you’re a blubbery artic walrus. This isn’t such a problem as you can wear thermal clothes under the suit. Dry suits are harder to swim in and even more so if you forget to let all the air out – you will float around like a big telly tubby. This does not mean it’s impossible to swim, not at all actually – it just requires a bit of practice. Dry suits are great for keeping the wind off as they are made of wind and waterproof material.
Information on throw bags (Rescue Rope)I use a 20m, 8ml thick, light polypropylene throw bag. It’s not as strong as other rope materials, but in my opinion, and from personal experience – it’s the best boat bag. When kayaking, the main use for your bag is throw-bagging someone. It really helps if the rope floats well and is easy to hold on to! Thin ropes are really hard to hold (especially with cold hands) and it can be a pretty painful experience. I know that “HF” has really good throw bags; they provide a really good mix between strength, weight and thickness. If you’re going to abseil, or pull a boat off a rock, then ideally, you want a “static rope” (not so stretchy and stronger). So yea, different ropes work best in different scenarios.
Fixing your own gearI recommend learning how to fix your own latex gaskets! Its super easy and will save you a lot of time and money. All you need is some aqua seal, a pot, and some masking tape. For now, I will leave a link on how to do it yourself; but when I break one of mine this season, I will write and post (including video and photos) on how to replace them.
Kayaking Gear list (in the video)
- One piece – Palm Equipment
- Warm Socks (not cotton) – Woollen, thermal or neoprene are good!
- Drysuit – Artistic Sports Wear
- Shoes – Astral
- Sprayskirt – Snapdragon EXP Amourtex
- Life jacket – Astral green
- Hot hat – Hiko sport
- Helmet – Sweet Wanderer
- Gloves – Artistic Sports Wear
- Towline – Hiko Sport
- Watch – Casio (waterproof)
- Whistle – Fox 40
- Throwbag – Artistic Sports Wear
- Semi-dry/short sleeve paddle top – Artistic Sports Wear
- Neoprene Top – Artistic Sports Wear
- Neoprene – Artistic Sports Wear
- Prussic rope – Buy at any climbing store
- Gear Bag – NRS
- Drybags – Hiko
- Water Shed camera bag
- Throwbag – Artistic Sports Wear
- River Knife
- Aqua seal and gaskets – I will write a post on how to replace a gasket next time one of mine breaks.
- Nose plug and ear plugs – smileys nose clip and macks ear seals