Standup Zone Forum

The Foil Zone => Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP => Topic started by: burchas on November 25, 2021, 01:52:09 PM

Title: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: burchas on November 25, 2021, 01:52:09 PM
As winter looming around these parts I'm wondering what's the convential wisdom on the topic when it comes to winging? I like wetsuits as much as next Hawaiian guy :D and I can barely make them last for one season. The fact I need to have 3-4 of those makes things even worse.

Going through the Black Friday deals I realize I can't even get the wetsuits I want, deal or no deal, no stock available. So made me think about a different option. What's your experience?
Surfing mostly downwind bumps.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: Badger on November 25, 2021, 03:36:24 PM
I wore the Ocean Rodeo Soul for a few years SUP surfing and on downwinders.

Pros - Comfortable and breathable with a wide temperature range. You can wear your regular street clothes and be perfectly dry at the end of your session.

Cons - Almost impossible to swim in. The waterproofing in the fabric eventually breaks down and home treatments aren't very effective.

I used to not like wearing wetsuits but now they don't bother me.

I have five wetsuits and have never had one wear out. I still use the 3/2 Quicksilver I bought in 2013.


Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: daswusup on November 25, 2021, 06:44:27 PM
I wear a drysuit that is called a paddling "semi-dry" from NRS on the colder days. It is much easier to don and remove than my 5/4 wetsuit. What makes it a semi dry is the neoprene neck instead of rubber gasket. Its hars rubber wrists and full cloth feet. I last a lot longer in this than a wetsuit. When I get out, I just have slightly damp undergarmets from water intruding throught the neck, mostly from big wrecks. They are around $700 new. similar to this one https://www.nrs.com/kokatat-mens-supernova-semi-dry-suit/pnkq

I had it already for whitewater boating. I would recommend this path to those trying to wing in ridiculously cold winter environs. I couple it with oneil lobster 5m gloves and a 4m wetsuit hood if needed. The harness is key for me when wearing thick gloves because I just hook in and can let my forearms relax from the grip fatigue caused by thick gloves.
One thing I notice is that I feel like it is a bit more of a sail than a wetsuit and slightly reduces my upwindability. This is not a real big issue compared to being cold.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: FRP on November 25, 2021, 08:48:45 PM
I wore the Ocean Rodeo Soul for a few years SUP surfing and on downwinders.

Pros - Comfortable and breathable with a wide temperature range. You can wear your regular street clothes and be perfectly dry at the end of your session.

Cons - Almost impossible to swim in. The waterproofing in the fabric eventually breaks down and home treatments aren't very effective.

I used to not like wearing wetsuits but now they don't bother me.

I have five wetsuits and have never had one wear out. I still use the 3/2 Quicksilver I bought in 2013.

I have a couple of drysuits (Kokatat and Immersion Research) used for kayaking. The conventional wisdom has been not to use drysuits surfing due to greater risk of a rip in the suit, it filling with water and becoming a sea anchor. A hole or rip in a wetsuit is not as big a deal. It is much more comfortable kayaking in a drysuit compared to a wet suit. Swimming in a drysuit is ok if you properly "burp" the suit (removing all the air from the suit by walking into the water up to your neck). If you don't do this swimming can be difficult in a drysuit.

Bob 
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: Badger on November 26, 2021, 06:43:06 AM
I wore the Ocean Rodeo Soul for a few years SUP surfing and on downwinders.

Pros - Comfortable and breathable with a wide temperature range. You can wear your regular street clothes and be perfectly dry at the end of your session.

Cons - Almost impossible to swim in. The waterproofing in the fabric eventually breaks down and home treatments aren't very effective.

I used to not like wearing wetsuits but now they don't bother me.

I have five wetsuits and have never had one wear out. I still use the 3/2 Quicksilver I bought in 2013.

I have a couple of drysuits (Kokatat and Immersion Research) used for kayaking. The conventional wisdom has been not to use drysuits surfing due to greater risk of a rip in the suit, it filling with water and becoming a sea anchor. A hole or rip in a wetsuit is not as big a deal. It is much more comfortable kayaking in a drysuit compared to a wet suit. Swimming in a drysuit is ok if you properly "burp" the suit (removing all the air from the suit by walking into the water up to your neck). If you don't do this swimming can be difficult in a drysuit.

Bob


The OR Soul is baggier than most drysuits. Even after burping, it was like trying to swim in a snowboard suit.

.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: Badger on November 26, 2021, 06:53:36 AM
I just bought one of these WindRider spray tops to go over my wetsuit.  I haven't tried it yet but a friend of mine said it's a gamechanger for stopping wind chill.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078SK4Y4P/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1&psc=1

Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: puget sound on November 28, 2021, 10:26:35 AM
I'm in my third season of using a custom-fit SupSkin "Ultimate" drysuit for SUP sessions, both flat water and downwinding but not surfing. I didn't fit any of their stock sizes.

Pros: easy on, easy off. No movement restriction while paddling. MUCH more breathable for high exertion work where I'm sweating a lot. I overheated in wetsuits. I just wear base layers underneath, regular poly stuff. Good wind chill protection. Plenty waterproof for paddling in the rain and the occasional dunks. Latex cuffs except at the neck, which is neoprene for comfort.

Cons: Pricey, goofy looking, and after 2+ seasons the fabric is starting to wet out quickly. I probably should have washed it more often early on, which is its own hassle. The custom route took 6+ months to arrive and then I had to send it back for an alteration, so there's that. But it's a pleasure now that it fits.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: peterwSUPr on November 28, 2021, 03:35:50 PM
Here is a quick video where they test filling up the drysuit in the water.  The guy and the end got a lot of water in his suit.  It is hard to swim in a baggy drysuit at the best of times, and apparently worse when filled with water.  But when near shore and/or in onshore conditions the risk from that is pretty low  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7UQMq0Vohs

Peter
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: robon on November 28, 2021, 07:55:45 PM
Itís good a video on this myth was finally posted. It was dispelled years ago but people keep perpetuating the death trap anchor mantra. Doesnít work that way and Drysuits arenít easy to swim in period but for down winding and winter paddling, they are fine.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: FRP on November 28, 2021, 08:29:37 PM
Here is a quick video where they test filling up the drysuit in the water.  The guy and the end got a lot of water in his suit.  It is hard to swim in a baggy drysuit at the best of times, and apparently worse when filled with water.  But when near shore and/or in onshore conditions the risk from that is pretty low  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7UQMq0Vohs

Peter
Good video. Myth busted. They went through multiple scenarios. I will use my drysuit for winter flatware paddling with confidence. Thanks.
Bob
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: Badger on November 29, 2021, 06:14:59 AM
I did lots of downinders in my OR Soul. Some in very cold temps. If I had lost my board halfway across the bay, I would have been in deep trouble.

The suit will keep you warm on quick in and out falls in cold water, but you can easily get hypothermia if you are in it continuously for a long time.

I used double Dyneema lines on the leash plug and sometimes even double leashes.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: FRP on November 29, 2021, 08:07:11 PM
I did lots of downinders in my OR Soul. Some in very cold temps. If I had lost my board halfway across the bay, I would have been in deep trouble.

The suit will keep you warm on quick in and out falls in cold water, but you can easily get hypothermia if you are in it continuously for a long time.

I used double Dyneema lines on the leash plug and sometimes even double leashes.

Badger
Good point. Do you think a hooded winter wetsuit (5.5/4.5) would be better insulation if you were swimming than a drysuit with a fleece layer under it? I suspect that the wetsuit would be better. The reason we wear drysuits kayaking is that they are way more comfortable on and off the water, easier to get in and out of, have relief zippers and when you take it off your cloths are dry. I have run into problems with hyperthermia in my drysuit paddling open coastlines in warm weather but the solution is simple, get out of the kayak and into the water. 
Cheers
Bob
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: Badger on November 30, 2021, 05:52:17 AM
I did lots of downinders in my OR Soul. Some in very cold temps. If I had lost my board halfway across the bay, I would have been in deep trouble.

The suit will keep you warm on quick in and out falls in cold water, but you can easily get hypothermia if you are in it continuously for a long time.

I used double Dyneema lines on the leash plug and sometimes even double leashes.

Badger
Good point. Do you think a hooded winter wetsuit (5.5/4.5) would be better insulation if you were swimming than a drysuit with a fleece layer under it? I suspect that the wetsuit would be better. The reason we wear drysuits kayaking is that they are way more comfortable on and off the water, easier to get in and out of, have relief zippers and when you take it off your cloths are dry. I have run into problems with hyperthermia in my drysuit paddling open coastlines in warm weather but the solution is simple, get out of the kayak and into the water. 
Cheers
Bob


Yes, you have a way better chance of surviving a long swim in a wetsuit given that it's the right thickness. Plus, they are easier to swim in.

Those days where the air is considerably warmer than the water are the most dangerous. Most people would need at least a 5/4 to survive an hour in 40F water but few could tolerate a 5/4 in 65F air.

The same goes for breathable drysuits but you get cold quicker. I used to surf in mine wearing just shorts and a T-shirt. It was great being so dry and comfortable. Falling in was no big deal but on those occasions when I got stuck inside, I would start to get cold fast.

Even on days when the air and water temperatures are equal and you are dressed comfortably, the wetsuit is still going to keep you warm longer than a drysuit will in the water.

Another drawback to drysuits is that you can't pee in them.

.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: FedorBOS on November 30, 2021, 11:54:38 AM
If you put an impact vest of PFD over your dry suit it helps control the baggy factor, protects some key impact spots from possible tears, and will help keep you floating if all goes to hell. I have not used mine much of late, as I favor wetsuits in waves (that video is comforting though) but for winging I expect I will go back to the drysuit. The easy on/off is big, and when you get it off you are dry. They shed water easily, so if you are close to home you can just towel off and drive home in it without soaking your seat vs. stripping down in a freezing parking lot.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: burchas on November 30, 2021, 12:20:40 PM
If you put an impact vest of PFD over your dry suit it helps control the baggy factor, protects some key impact spots from possible tears, and will help keep you floating if all goes to hell. I have not used mine much of late, as I favor wetsuits in waves (that video is comforting though) but for winging I expect I will go back to the drysuit. The easy on/off is big, and when you get it off you are dry. They shed water easily, so if you are close to home you can just towel off and drive home in it without soaking your seat vs. stripping down in a freezing parking lot.

That's a good point about the impact vest.

As mentioned, I would use a drysuit for SUP downwind every time over a wetsuit if I'm close enough to shore. If there's more than a mile swim to shore I will always go with wetsuit even-though I get hyperthermic very quick with a hooded 4/3, even in the coldest of days (60F water and air temp combined at most).

I wasn't sure how fellow wingers feel about upwind/downwind sessions in a drysuit, in terms of windage?
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: PonoBill on November 30, 2021, 07:33:26 PM
The death anchor was always a stupid myth, water weighs the same as water. Duh. What is not a myth is that diving drysuits require special training to be safe. Since a lot of my diving was in Puget Sound or in the Farallon islands, I used a diving drysuit.

You might find one of those more interesting than the Koketat Kayak style drysuit--they are neoprene and fit snugly, but have dry collars (neck, wrists, and feet if you don't have integral booties). If you rip a hole in them they are still a good wetsuit, not a dacron rag. They are typically worn for diving without a buoyancy compensator since you can let air into the drysuit to increase buoyancy. For paddling use, I attached a regulator to the inflater hose and just blew air into the suit with the valve held open. On a cold day when you do this, it feels like hot air going in across your chest. Like peeing in a wet suit. Mmmmm toasty.

One of the little issues is that if you have a lot of air in the suit and tilt downwards, the air goes to your feet, which turn into balloons, holding you face down. That IS a potential problem with the baggy suits as well, and one of the reasons they can be tricky to swim with. I bought a Koketat suit that I used for a couple of years when I was still working--nice in the winter but Maui is better. Being an experienced diving drysuit user if I had to swim I'd just blow the suit up by blowing into the collar gasket until I resembled the Michelin Man and just paddled myself like a boat.
Title: Re: Drysuit anyone?
Post by: SUPeter on December 07, 2021, 05:34:56 AM
I've been using my dry suit less and my neoprene more. Even 2 wetsuits at times.  a 2/3 over my 6/5/4(older suit).  Last downwinder, yesterday, I put a nylon shell jacket over my 2 wetsuits and was never warmer.  I very much like the indestructability of wet suits over dry suits.  Being so far from a friendly enough shore , I would be risking more if my dry suit failed.
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