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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: To wetsuit or, not to wetsuit?  (Read 750 times)

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M.A.S.HAT

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After reading the "A sticky for ocean newbie questions?" thread, it seems like Ill need a wetsuit to go out.  I have not used a wetsuit so far and been fine.  Im wondering a wetsuit is a must have on the water, or more of a comfort preference.

Thoughts?


traildad

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A wetsuit is worn in case you fall off your kayak. It will give you extra time to self rescue or wait to be rescued. You can also wear a dry suit with insulating clothes under it. Dress for immersion.
http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=42846.msg470404#msg470404

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M.A.S.HAT

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Will a 3mm wetsuit be sufficient?


Sailfish

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Will a 3mm wetsuit be sufficient?

Yes.  I used to wear the 3mm WS for kayak fishing before switching over to dry suit.
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

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greenthumbrian

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I used a 7/9mm diving farmer john while I went out last time and I regretted it...Should have brought my 3 or 5mm suit - I was hot as hell, and tempted to take a dip just to cool off...

Had I fallen in, I may have been singing a different story though.


Tote

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Just remember...EVERYONE swims at one time or another. Best to be prepared for it when it happens. And usually it happens without warning.
<=>


greenthumbrian

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Just remember...EVERYONE swims at one time or another. Best to be prepared for it when it happens. And usually it happens without warning.

Knowing myself, I'd be too focused on making sure I didn't lose any gear instead of trying to get back in the yak  :smt044


AlexB

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Like others said, you need to dress for immersion so you are prepared for the inevitable swim that will happen at some point.

There are basically three options.

1) Drysuit (plenty safe, most comfortable, also expensive). You also need to wear a layer of wool or synthetic insulation underneath the drysuit. (Best choice, in my opinion.)

2) 3 to 4mm wetsuits, especially "farmer john" style. You probably want a lightweight windbreaker or splash jacket to keep your arms and shoulders warm if it's cold or windy out.

3) Dry pants and dry jacket. Kinda like a drysuit, but in separate pieces. I don't see any distinct advantage to this setup for ocean kayak fishing, but it will work.

And don't forget to wear a PFD (not just bring it with you).


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Dale L

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Be sure to check out http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=38111.0

This is a subject that has been discussed at length several times, I'm not gonna suggest you use the search function, cause that might just be counter productive, or maybe you'l find one of those threads who knows.

But, ya gotta dress for immersion, it's a safety thing not a comfort thing, if it was a comfort thing then you could just pass on it.

As to what margin of safety you need is where the differences of opinion really come in.  Many members think that a 3mm suit is good, a few of us don't think that's enough. Some of the comments I've seen about going thicker tend to say you're crazy if you go thicker that 3, but those comments too are about comfort, not about safety. Thicker suits are hotter, no getting around that.

There have been instances (very few to be sure) where, for a variety of reasons, yakers have ended up being in the water for long periods of time, luckily they lived to report it here. A 3mm is great for a quick dip and remount, but would be dangerously inefficient (IMO) if you had to be in the water for an extended period.

I wear a 5mm FJ with a 2 mil front zip tight neck surf style wetsuit jacket. And I, have a new 7mm to replace the 5 but haven't used it yet, just got it back form having the relief zipper put in.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 07:58:02 AM by Dale L »


LoletaEric

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"Dress for immersion".

If you go the drysuit route, consider that it can be very difficult to keep water out of it if you go for a swim - this could make "insulating layers" wet and cold.

I wear my 7 mm FarmerJohn pulled down to my mid section, neoprene socks, rashguard and boardshorts, then my drysuit pulled down to my midsection with a paddle jacket holding the folded wetsuit and drysuit, then my PFD holding all that.  I wear big Boggs or Kamiks (boots) to finish off the ensemble.  If it gets really nasty out I can pull up the wetsuit and drysuit, and otherwise (99% of the time) I'm very comfortable while light and loose up top.

Don't forget your hat too.

The drysuit is probably the best thing I've ever worn to keep fish slime, blood and bait from saturating me more than it already does.  :smt001
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crash

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There's drysuits and there's what we call drysuits that are really semidrysuits.  Neoprene neck gaskets are just that much more comfortable than latex.  They will allow a little water in if its rough, raining, etc, so make sure you are wearing a synthetic or wool layer or two under it.  I've been extremely happy with my drysuit.  Except for that time I went to cast net for bait and forgot to close the relief zipper beforehand.  I was not happy then.


yakyakyak

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The main goal is to go back safely.  So whatever it takes for that, which includes not going or dumping everything to go back to shore.  That also means being able to get back on top of the yak after a dump.  So, dry suit and safety gears are a must. 

Don't die.


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crash

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Have you watched the USCG cold water immersion video, also stickied at the top of this forum?


AlexB

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I have the Kokotat "Angler" paddling suit, and I'm very happy with it. It does have the neoprene neck, but I have found it seals just fine. I've  body surfed in it a handful of times, and only a very small amount of water seeped in - just enough to dampen the collar of my thermal layer (Smartwool). Also, if I accidentally "dismount" from my kayak, my PFD will mostly keep the neck line above water.

DO NOT wear cotton under a drysuit. In fact, don't wear cotton during any activity that has the potential to leave you cold and wet. Stick with wool or high-quality synthetics.


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