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Kayak Wetsuits

Kayak Wetsuit

A neoprene kayak wetsuit is a garment, usually made of foamed neoprene, which is worn by kayakers, rafters, canoeists, and others engaged in water sports. A kayaking wetsuit provide thermal insulation, abrasion resistance and buoyancy. Different types of neoprene kayak wetsuits are made for different uses and for different temperatures. Neoprene wetsuits range from a thin (2 mm or less), covering just the torso, to a full semi-dry, usually complemented by neoprene boots, gloves and hood.

A kayak wetsuit uses neoprene to trap and hold a thin layer of water near the body. The body heats up this layer, which keeps the paddler warm. The thicker the neoprene the warmer and less flexible it is. If a kayak wetsuit is too loose, the water you warm up will flow out making room for new cold water to take its place. In that case the wet suit won’t do you much good. In order to minimize the amount of water that leaks in initially and to prevent water from circulating in and out of the suit, a kayaking wetsuit needs to be skin tight. Generally, kayak wetsuits come without arms, such as the NRS Ultra John. The advantage is that the neoprene doesn’t restrict arm movement when kayaking. The disadvantage is that they’re not as warm and cold fresh water can easily penetrate the arm holes. A full wetsuit, such keeps more water out and stays warmer at the expense of more restricted arm movements. Kayak wet suits are best for those in between temperatures where a dry suit may be too hot to paddle in, but the water is cool enough that you still need better protection than mere clothing in case of immersion.

Most Popular Kayak Wetsuits:

Kokatat and NRS make some of the most popular kayak wetsuits.