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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Wetsuits....safety vs comfort  (Read 1712 times)

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Widgeon

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Hello all, I'm looking to buy my first wetsuit/farmer John and have received a lot of conflicting advice. I plan to fish mostly on the north coast and the bay, and originally thought a 5 mil farmer John style would be ok. I've seen other members recommend against the FJ. Was going to pick up my wetsuit today, any advice would be appreciated.  :smt001
3rd--- 2017 Albion Open


Widgeon

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Just saw the sticky....now I feel like an idiot.  :smt003
3rd--- 2017 Albion Open


AlsHobieOutback

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Not sure what your refering too, but i see nothing wrong with a FJ myself.  Even though I have a drysuit, I still use my FJ wetsuit (NRS), especially when it's hot out, because I can dress up in layers (no cotton).


Da Bruddah

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Me too😎
Da Bruddah
Enjoy this slide show that were taken today:
Link to Point San Pablo Yacht Harbor-7/15/17 NCKA Fishing Tournament:

Link to 7-15-17 Striper?Hali Tournament Slideshow:

http://play.smilebox.com/SpreadMoreHappy/4e4455314d6a51344e7a5a384d5441304f4445324e7a63780d0a

Link to sign up for Striper/Hali Tournament: http://www.jacksdiving.com/



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I dont know about the farm john but I use a regular full wetsuit and it works great. No chaffing or anything


Chinclan

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I've been using a Farmer John for kayaking for about a year without problems. 

I have a 7mm full wetsuit that I use for abalone diving, but haven't tried it for kayaking.


Chinclan

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I've been using a Farmer John for kayaking for about a year without problems. 

I have a 7mm full wetsuit that I use for abalone diving, but haven't tried it for kayaking.

I should add that I use synthetic layers with a splash jacket on top.


Tinker

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I used a 5mm farmer john up here in Oregon, where we're probably talking similar water temperatures.  If your question was only about how thick the wetsuit needs to be, 5mm is enough.  Look at the surfers - they're using 5-4 or 5-4-3 wetsuits, and they're floating around out there all day, without the extra layers we can add.

I might suggest looking at surfing wetsuits, too.  When doing self-recovery drills, I learned that there's enough of me that's not covered in a farmer john to feel cold shock when I first hit the water - and that's the worst time for cold shock.  Just an opinion.
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Dale L

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After seeing another member with one, I added a 2mm top (long sleeve, snug neck) to help slow down hypothermia should I ever find myself in the water, stretchy enough that it doesn't restrict movement, and zippered so it comes off easy even on the water.


AlexB

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Unless you like to marinate in your own pee, get a suit with a "relief zipper". Surf wetsuits don't have relief zippers, but you can have one sewn in.

If you can afford it, I would highly recommend a dry suit over a wetsuit. This is especially true if you plan on doing a lot of trolling, which can cause some wicked wetsuit chaffing...




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Tinker

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If you can afford it, I would highly recommend a dry suit over a wetsuit. This is especially true if you plan on doing a lot of trolling, which can cause some wicked wetsuit chaffing...

I didn't want to fly in the face of the safety sticky, but I agree.  I replaced my neoprene with a dry suit and they are better.  By a lot.  I use the neoprene only in small freshwater, to save wear and tear on the dry suit...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 03:16:12 AM by Tinker »
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AnnieAreYouOk

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I think it is worth having a farmer john with the wetsuit jacket AND a full surf wetsuit. Hell the more wetsuits you have the better and the best part is they are totally affordable! It's also nice to have a paddling jacket to throw on over the suit on rainy or thick-foggy days. If you get a wetsuit that fits you right there shouldn't be chaffing problems. Try them on. The technology in wetsuits these days is incredible and they are making the inside more and more comfortable they are practically lined with fur. I recommend a 4/3 full wetsuit. I've been wearing a wetsuit kayak fishing for 4 years now and surfing and SUPing for a few years prior to that so naturally I don't feel right being in the ocean without one.

For the most part no one plans to fall in the water when kayak fishing. When you fall in unexpectedly cold shock is the real deal, and the more of your body that is exposed to our cold water the more likely you'll experience that initial cold shock. Your body then takes the actions it needs to protect your vital organs etc. Having your arms covered with the 2mm+ wetsuit will make all the difference in the time you will last in the water. The amount of water that will be let in to your core area with a farmer john will be much more threatening than if you were wearing a full wetsuit which would just let a little bit of water in (assuming its properly fitted), and then the wetsuit will then act like insulation and your body heat will warm that water inside up. You get warm sitting high and dry in the kayak, but it's so nice to just take a quick dip to cool  down. On wet days I stay warm by moving, or I'll wear a paddling jacket/ goretex rain jacket shell.

The downside of the wetsuit is that they are not really breathable so what I say is- hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and take advantage of jumping in the water to cool off. Plus getting on and off your kayak is good practice for self rescue. A cool thing about the wetsuit is if you get a hole in it the overall performance will be barely affected. They get hot, but so do drysuits. A lot of people I see just keep their drysuit unzipped or wear it half way to cool down, but what good will that do when they fall in?

Drysuits are a huge investment, require much more care, and there are so many more things that can fail.  When the drysuit fails the consequences can literally be life threatening. You need to wax the zippers, take care of the latex or whatever the gaskets are made of, lube this and that, wash it after each use, be dressed properly underneath so you'll actually be warm when you fall in, actually wear the drysuit all the way even on warm days, store it carefully, be careful around knives, hooks, and pointy fish, and thats on top of spending all that money on one. With all that said I just bought a drysuit lol… BUT I don't trust it like I do my wetsuit. It is for calmer days for me, and when it's rough, I'll happily put on my wetsuit before I go out.

I probably put way too much thought into it, but I also almost died in a car accident when I turned 18. I think of how do I want to go out? Do I want to die in the ocean from hypothermia because I didn't properly dress for immersion? Nope. That's just the way I see it. Safety should always win over comfort in my opinion. But that's based off my experience and a ton of people will disagree with me.  You and I may never ever fall in the water in our whole kayak fishing careers, but the risk if we do (around here) is too high to be testy. That's just my two cents!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 03:10:06 PM by AnnieAreYouOk »


Eric B

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ljparton

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Annie, awesome advice. Planning to get a fullsuit to compliment my FJ this year.

Last time I was at Ocean Cove I had my FJ on (September).

Nothing on top, and while I was warm paddling once it got a bit foggy I was feeling cold when I wasn't paddling.

Ended up calling it quits early that day and didn't go out the next morning as planned.

I knew I should have had something warmer on, call it intuition I guess..


Widgeon

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Thanks for all the advice guys and gals. Still haven't purchased the wetsuit (or maybe dry suit) yet....but have a lot of food for thought now. I'm leaning toward 5 mm farmer John plus a top. I'd love a dry suit, but could totally see myself doing something dumb and hooking/tearing it....
3rd--- 2017 Albion Open