If you could have one of these three?

drahcir

Paddler
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
616
Location
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
You may be aware of this, but there is a significant difference between leaning and edging. If properly edging the kayak for a turn, there is essentially no probability of capsize.

Think of sitting in your kayak on flat water, not even moving forward. When leaning, your center of gravity goes beyond the pivot point and making a capsize likely. On the other hand consider edging ... let's say onto the right edge. So you tilt the kayak to the right, BUT compensate by curving your upper torso to the left, there by keeping your center of gravity within the pivot point.

There must be good videos of this ... could someone suggest some?
 

SZihn

Paddler
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
128
Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
I expect to look toward a dry suit in my future, but I am not a wealthy man and the expense is going to make me do that later. I am also not "average" in my bodies build, so I don't expect to find one used that will fit. I could be wrong there, but even buying work cloths that fit me has become all but impossible for me so I just deal with clothing that is "close enough". I have a 38" waist (getting fat in my old age) and a 45" chest and yet from belt to shoulder line is short. I have only a 28" inseam and yet my thigh circumference is 26-1/2". I am only 5'6" tall (short) but I weigh 190 pounds and I am fatter now then at any time in my life, yet I still have no front "overhang" at the belt buckle. All that is to show that I am not likely to find a dry suit on the used market unless I can find one that was used by some other "shaved gorilla". (that was an affectionate term given to me by my old commanding officer when I was a Marine)

Do you recommenced any place or brand to buy? Can you speak to the price point I should expect to have to save up to buy one?
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,028
Location
Victoria, BC
I expect to look toward a dry suit in my future, but I am not a wealthy man and the expense is going to make me do that later. I am also not "average" in my bodies build, so I don't expect to find one used that will fit. I could be wrong there, but even buying work cloths that fit me has become all but impossible for me so I just deal with clothing that is "close enough". I have a 38" waist (getting fat in my old age) and a 45" chest and yet from belt to shoulder line is short. I have only a 28" inseam and yet my thigh circumference is 26-1/2". I am only 5'6" tall (short) but I weigh 190 pounds and I am fatter now then at any time in my life, yet I still have no front "overhang" at the belt buckle. All that is to show that I am not likely to find a dry suit on the used market unless I can find one that was used by some other "shaved gorilla". (that was an affectionate term given to me by my old commanding officer when I was a Marine)

Do you recommenced any place or brand to buy? Can you speak to the price point I should expect to have to save up to buy one?
I agree with the advice to get a drysuit when you can.It changed my attitude about getting into the ocean. It sounds like you are doing well with the wetsuit, and are aware of cold water effects, so you will be OK for now.

As far as I know, the only two paddling suit makers that offer custom sizing are Kokatat and Reeds Chillcheater (UK).

Kokatat is pretty much the 'gold standard' for drysuits here on the west coast. They are made in California, and many folks have good reports on their warranty coverage. For looking for a used suit or ordering a custom suit, I recommend George Gronseth at Kayak Academy (Issaquah, Seattle area). They sell more Kokatat drysuits than any other dealer, and really know about fitting. I'd definitely work thrugh Kayak Academy vs dealing direct with Kokatat.
My wife mail ordered a Kokatat drysuit from them years ago and got very good service. I've bought other gear from Kayak Academy, both in person and by mail. In my book Kayak Academy is what every kayak shop should be - I trust the gear they sell.

The (Reeds) Chillcheater UK paddling suit doesn't have latex gaskets, so isn't quite the same as a Kokatat drysuit. They are a lot cheaper than a Kokatat, though. You can find some info on them here, if you search.
 

Mowog73

Paddler
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
46
Location
SW Ontario
I just recently bought my first drysuit. When I started searching, I got the measurement/size information for each drysuit manufacture's website. I ended up buying one from Level Six. partly due to them being Canadian company and also because the size I thought would fit me best was one that Level Six made. The price was $800 CAD.
 

PhotoMax

Paddler
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Orcas Island, WA
A dry suit will never look fashionable. When you come down to it a well equipped kayaker looks pretty silly. But many water related deaths could have been avoided by a little inconvenience, discomfort and expense. Similar to leathers and a helmet for motorcyclists.

Experienced kayakers will often say “dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature“. Sometimes this can be difficult if the water is cold and the air is hot. A dry suit can get you out paddling earlier in the spring and later in the fall.

When I took my unexpected “swim” in the Salish Sea it was quite the surprise. I had just paddled away from a small island beach at Doe Island and was watching my two paddling partners doing the same. I was not paying attention to the water behind me and a cross wave sent me over. Once I was back in my boat I fully realized how cold the water was and how my adrenaline was pumping. The one guy I was paddling with (owner of a local kayak tour company and a certified instructor) highlighted that in cold water most people will execute the self recovery just fine. But some folks will capsize once or twice while performing the self recovery. This is where it gets dangerous. Added time in the cold water and repeated attempts will suck your strength and brain focus.

A dry suit that is too small will just not work. A suit that is too big (within reason) will work though. I find the measurement from the crotch to the neck gasket is critical. As mentioned the folks at Kayak Academy are great. I have been there several times. They have a large professional operation. They also do repairs to zippers and neck/wrist gaskets.

It is a good idea to practice different methods of self recovery. If you are practicing alone then be careful of cold water. A dry suit plus an inner layer will provide for a longer and more effective practice session with more focus on what you are doing.
 

PhotoMax

Paddler
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Orcas Island, WA
I get to see a ton of kayakers paddling around Orcas Island. The San Juan Islands offer some of the best paddling outings in the country. The water is super cold year round though. We also get huge tide swings and strong currents.

It is interesting to see the different boats and gear folks are paddling with. I have seen solo guys in brand new super expensive kayaks but with no spare paddle, no paddle float and no dry suit. Then there are experienced guys in crusty looking older boats but with all the proper safety gear properly stored on the deck...
 

SZihn

Paddler
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
128
Location
Shoshoni Wyoming
I hope to get into a dry suit sometime in the future, but more for travel to the coast or maybe some of the glacial fed mountain lakes. But here in Wyoming when we get cold it's REAL cold and the way to get to the middle of even our big lakes is often to drive out there in a pick-up . Ice fishers do it all the time, and ice from 1.5 to 5 feet deep is common. So when the cold comes you don't have much time to do any kayaking anyway.


If I go to Alaska with my Sister I would rent a dry suit for the 1st trip I believe.


But I have a 3 year long back-log on my work so I can't retire until I am 68-69 years old ----meaning I can't take many trips.


But once I do fully retire (well........moistly retire) I can start thinking about longer trips in both time and distance.
 

cougarmeat

Paddler
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
847
Location
Bend OR USA
About that floatation mentioned in the previous page. You’ll probably want to “burp” your drysuit to purge excess air. Usually this is done by walking into the water and pulling the neck gasket away so air can escape. Or, on shore, scrunching down in a squat while doing the same neck air escape move. Otherwise, that extra air might not be your friend. I had someone who didn’t believe in purging try a self rescue and when he tipped over, he had a heck of a time getting out of the boat because all that buoyancy was keeping him pushed into the seat.

The sea water and your PFD give you enough flotation.

Also, if the DrySuit has pockets - usually one on the sleeve or mid thigh - make sure they have drain holes. If you walk into the water to burp your suit and have that thigh pocket open, it can be real interesting getting the water out. Time for that yoga shoulder stand or rolling on the ground.
 

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
173
Location
BC
I've had the opposite side effect of forgetting to burp the air from my drysuit. First time I tried rolling I was so buoyant in my upper torso that it pulled me from the cockpit.
 
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