Do you have a kiteboarding drysuit? Well, if not then you're missing out on some of the most important gear for your sport. A kiteboarding suit is more than just functional; it's also what will keep you safe and comfortable during your time on the water.
Kiteboarders are often exposed to rough waves and unpredictable weather conditions which necessitates a proper rainwear layer that won't let any moisture in.
This is why we've compiled this list of different types of suits along with their respective benefits so that you can make an educated decision when it comes time to purchase one!
What is a drysuit and what does it do for me
It is a suit that keeps you dry, simple as. When your on the water, chances are there's going to be some sort of precipitation (rain/snow) and if it can get inside your kiteboarding wetsuit then chances are body warmth will follow. A drysuit keeps you drier for longer in comparison to a kiteboarding wetsuit, they can also keep you warmer too as they're designed to trap a layer of air next to your skin… now that's exciting stuff!
So yeah, drysuits will save you money in the long run & keep you happier.
How to choose the right suit for you
I'm guessing you've ditched riding in a kiteboarding wetsuit and are looking for a more suitable replacement; which is what i would advise all kiteboarders to do, drysuits are awesome! When choosing the right drysuit there's various things that will come into consideration, regardless of whether you're using it for racing or recreational kiting it's a big investment so you want to be happy with your choice and not regret it later on!
I've come up with a list of things to consider when choosing your new drysuit…
- Size should be the first thing you think about, if it doesn't fit then chances are you won't use it as much as you would like or plan too! I can't stress this enough but before purchasing anything take the time to read the size guide provided by the manufacture (generally found on the website) and understand how they fit so you can make an educated decision prior to buying.
- Another important point is the visor. You can buy drysuits with a full face mask or others that don't have one at all, choose the one you prefer; it's worth mentioning though that some people will find a full face mask claustrophobic and breath harder than usual due to the increased effort required to breath (your lungs need to work harder to get the same amount of air).
- The style, I always prefer a zip neck rather than a collar when it comes to wetsuits or drysuits for that matter as they stay up better and don't irritate your chin/neck as much if you decide to wear one of those beanies/berets!
- 4.The underarm zip is another great feature to look out for as it speeds up the process of getting in and out of your suit, but if you've got long arms then trying to pull something over your head with the zip at the front can be harder than doing it with a lower zip… so consider where you want your zip to be located when making your purchase.
- The leg zip, if you get a drysuit with a lower leg zip then it makes getting in & out of the wetsuit that much easier as there's nothing stopping you from pulling the legs on and off which then allows more freedom but can sometimes look quite "messy" if not pulled up correctly (again this another personal preference).
- The material is very important, if you're going to be using your drysuit in cold water then consider what's underneath your suit as it might keep you warmer… cotton will soak up a lot of water & doesn't insulate well but something like neoprene will insulate your body much better!
Types of suits on the market
There are a few different types of drysuits available… and each one has their own unique "selling" points as follows:
- Full suits - these are the more traditional drysuits, they generally look like a wetsuit except you've got a collar and the zip goes right up to your chin. They are worn as the name suggests… they keep you really dry! There's various types of neck zips on them but personally i find them all pretty comfortable (after wearing one that is!).
- Shorty suits - they generally have a zip at the chest and then your legs go into it, this seems to be a popular choice with beginners or those looking for something more affordable but these types of suits don't keep you as warm as full wetsuits & drysuits!
- Vest/zipper backs - these are great if you want to get into the water quickly or if you're specifically looking for something that will keep your chest & core warm but your arms and legs will remain dry.
- Underwear Dry suits - these are great for keeping you warm under a wetsuit or even a full suit, they do tend to be thicker than a vest/back zip so if you're only looking for something to wear under wetsuit then you might want to look for a vest (undergarment) instead.
- Neoprene vests- these are heavier than underwear drysuits as they're thicker and better insulating, I wouldn't recommend them over a comfort vest though because like I said earlier, neoprene takes up more space/volume!
Hopefully this has given you some good insight into the process of choosing your perfect drysuit, as with most things in life there's no right or wrong it's about personal preference so just take into account the information I've provided and then make an informed decision!
Thanks for reading, your comments & questions are welcome!