OMG! What am I going to wear? Most girls know this panic before going on holiday. Especially, when wearing the outfit for 5 weeks, do you go for functional or fashionable? So let me take you around my kayak wardrobe and the thoughts behind it.
Well, let me start with fashionable. Of course, we are on prime beach fronts, but the deserted island we like are inhabited by two and a half sheep. So a fancy suit is maybe not high on my priority list. I am more looking for functionality.
So do we have options? Yes of course. For the non-kayakers, some regular outdoor clothing and a pair of green English wellies might sound like a good option. However, cold water and weather combined with sea spray and incidental capsizes should be taken into consideration. So to add some safety to our endeavours, the only valid options are dry-suits or wetsuits.
The drysuits keep the water out and seem to be the more fashionable statement at the moment. This fashion comes at a cost of about 600 euro and up. A wetsuit is made from neoprene and comes at a cost of approximately 65 euro. But costs aren’t everything, there are more things to consider….
A drysuit keeps me perfectly dry. Water can’t come in, and it can’t go out. Excellent in cold weather, not so nice in hot weather. Imagine a wearable sauna. Getting in and out of a drysuit is like a rebirthing experience, the narrow cuffs around the neck, wrists and ankles are really very tight.
A tight-fitting wetsuit stretches with all my movements. But it doesn’t dry very fast, on cold day’s I got to wiggle into a cold and wet suit. Luckily my body heat warms it up pretty fast.
More suit comfort
A drysuit is a nightmare if you need to pee while kayaking. The zipper sits not anatomically in the right position in the suit. A wetsuit can be altered to have a zipper on the right spot and thus making peeing easy.
I can throw my wetsuit over barbwire and there won’t be any holes in it. I don’t recommend doing this with a drysuit. One hole in a drysuit and the suit has to be fixed by a specialist. I can sew my wetsuit with a sewing machine and alter the suit myself.
A drysuit is great, it dries very easily even when it’s a bit salty. A wetsuit doesn’t really get dry when using it on the sea. It is the salt in the water, you see, it doesn’t get dry. And there is not enough Scottish sunshine to dry the suit.
A drysuit is very safe, it keeps me warmer when I’m lying in the cold Atlantic for an hour. But kayaking a sport where I supposed to be in a kayak…. So it is very good against hyperthermia but not so good when overheating by kayaking in 30 degrees.
A wetsuit is sufficient when I’m planning to stay in the kayak and not too much in the water. I can make the suit wet when the weather is hot and not too wet when the weather is cold.
I look so much better is a slinky black wetsuit instead of a bulky loos fitting drysuit.