Wherever there is a body of water, there is a path for the kayak. When we spend more time in proximity to nature, we get relieved from all the tensions of our hectic lives. Adventurers have started indulging in extreme water sports for the sheer fun and challenge they offer. Kayaks are small boats with decks and covered cockpits. Kayaks house one to three paddlers facing in the forward direction and paddling with a double bladed paddle. When embarking on a kayaking expedition, it is very necessary to prepare protective apparel and accessories.
Wetsuits are used in kayaking to protect the kayaker from cold water and air temperatures. These are suits that are specifically designed to endure the cold and wet. Wetsuits are typically made of neoprene, which is a flexible material and not only protects the kayaker from the temperature but are still flexible enough to allow them to be able to maneuver about.
The neoprene insulates a paddler’s body from splashing water or from immersion and allows the body to warm up after the first shock of cold. Wetsuits come in various thicknesses. Thicker neoprene will provide more insulation, but will be stiffer. Wetsuits are also available in materials such as Polartec, Hydroskin, Aquashell, and more. Aquashell is nylon lined with fleece which makes it more flexible than neoprene but can also be more expensive than neoprene.
There are different types of wetsuits available in the market. Spring or shorty wetsuits are thin, short sleeved and short legged. Kayaking wetsuits sometimes include grippy material which helps maintain friction with kayak seats. Farmer John wetsuits are the most popular among kayakers.
With the Farmer John wetsuit the kayaker’s arms are left uncovered as the suit’s design is reminiscent of a pair of overalls. Kayakers also often wear a wetsuit jacket. Full wetsuits are long armed and long legged suits that cover the whole body.
Like in all other clothing accessories, there are certain factors to be considered while choosing the most suitable wetsuit for your kayaking expedition.
These factors are the fit, durability, dryness and versatility. Wetsuits need to fit you perfectly and should not be too loose or too tight. When it is loose you will feel cold, but if it is too tight it can restrict movement and will not be comfortable. When you buy a wetsuit you should try many pieces and choose the one with best fit. When the wetsuits are stretchier, it becomes easier to put on.
The drier your wetsuit, the more expensive it becomes. Rubbery neoprene around the neck arms and legs seals the skin and prevents leaking, improving the insulating ability of the wetsuit. Kayakers also wear wetsuits over or under other pieces of clothing, such as rash guards or paddle jackets, for more protection and added warmth.
Whatever be the make, material or type of wetsuit, it is essential to have quality wetsuits in good condition before you set out on your kayaking expedition. Pack your bags and hit the roads!