It’s no secret that in the world of paddling, females are the minority. Therefore it is very hard for us to find comfort in most paddling kits, as they are generally tailored to a male figure. I’m sure many ladies will agree with me that finding a snug fitting yet practical drysuit is probably one of the most challenging parts of being a paddler. But as the female paddling community continues to grow, the increase in women’s kit means a huge improvement in the overall experience for us all.
When I first began kayaking, I was 13 years-old and strongly against cold weather paddling. It only took a couple of winter club trips to persuade my Dad that a wetsuit just didn’t cut it. When choosing my first suit, I felt DamX was the best option, as their suits are made to measure. I loved my suit, but as I progressed, I found it to be restricting, mainly due to its weight.
Another great edit from the guys at Palm Equipment. This time Jake Holland looks at simple ways to look after your drysuit.
We’ve been running the newest Sweet Protection Intergalactic drysuit for a year after running version 1 for just over a year. It’s now time for some feedback.
First and foremost this is an expensive suit at around £900. It must therefore function at the very highest level to payback some of those pennies.
“Ooh I love the colour”, “Such a pretty drysuit!”, “It matches your boat!”
These are comments that I’ve had about my Immersion Research Shawty drysuit which I’ve been using for the past couple of months. Don’t get me wrong, I love the colour but I also think it’s a great bit of kit and am disappointed that no one’s asked me why I actually bought it rather than assuming I got it because it’s purple!
Here’s my tuppence worth:
I’m 5ft 3, size 10/12 with short (T-Rex!) arms and I have a medium Shawty. I use my drysuit for coaching (when it’s cold), WW Kayaking, “freestyle” (being upside down a lot!), SUPing and bizarrely, rescuing sheep!
The Arch Rival drysuit gets an upgrade and it’s looking pretty good. We are hoping to get one in for review.
The Arch Rival Rear Zip Dry Suit is one of Immersion Research’s hardest working garments and certainly one of the best values. Maybe it isn’t as flashy as the 7Figure, or brooding and mysterious like the Devil’s Club but that is about to change. Introducing the Arch Rival Rear Zip Limited Edition!
We employed the Devil’s Club and Arch Rival Rear Zip pattern, which is well articulated for better paddling performance while eliminating extra fabric. Then we utilized our 7figure fabric in the body of the suit which offers excellent waterproofness and breathability. Finally, we included Devil’s Club Fabric Feet for increased durability. This is the culmination of our best dry suit qualities in one spectacular looking package.
We are big fans of Sweet Protection gear at Unsponsored HQ. We have bought a few bits over the last few years!
For 2016 Sweet have updated a number of products with new colours. However the dry gear has had more significant changes.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit the guys at Palm Equipment.
Palm have been around since 1979 and not only do they manufacture a wide range of watersports softwear they are also the brains and organisation behind Dagger Europe along with a number of other Confluence brands in Europe.
Andy Knight started the company, Palm Glass Fibre Mouldings Ltd as it was known then, in 1979 and as the name suggests the company focussed on composite kayaks. The first range of paddle clothing was launched fives years later at the Crystal Palace canoe show (London).
I received an invite from Paul Robertson (Cheesy) to travel down to Palm HQ for a tour and an opportunity to talk about forthcoming developments. How could I possibly turn that down? So a suitable date and time was arranged and I travelled the hundreds of miles south with my camera gear in tow.
Hot for 2016 is the new Palm Atom Drysuit. We saw one of these at Paddle Expo back in September 2015 so are very pleased to get hold of one for review on Unsponsored.
It’s been a few years since we last tried a Palm suit here at Unsponsored HQ which gives us the opportunity to take a fresh look at what Palm Equipment have been doing to develop their suits.
Yak are part of the Survitec Group, who provide high quality rescue and safety gear for the marine, offshore, defence and aviation sectors. As a result they have a huge wealth of knowledge on how to design and create highly effective gear.
I spent a fair bit of time with the guys from Yak at Paddle Expo this year. The number of well executed designs blew me away. If you still associate Yak with the lower end of the market or canoe clubs then you need to take another look.
Hiko Sport are a company based in the Czech Republic. They had a fairly large stand at Paddle Expo and seemed to be constantly busy.
They seem to produce just about everything you could possibly need to spend a day or two on the water.
Palm have significantly updated their line of drysuits for 2016. Fabric is tougher and the velcro flaps used to cover zips have been completely removed.
The cut has been improved with less panels and as a result less seams.
The PeakUK guys have released a couple of new dry suits. They have retained the zipped leg system within the range but have also introduced a pair of Dry Suits with a rear shoulder entry zip. This one being the Deluxe One Piece Drysuit.