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Drysuits/wetsuits.I know, we have this discussion every year
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skyking1231



Joined: 10 Jul 2000
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my assault is 2 seasons old. ALOT of guys have the suit, and are happy with them. BUT there are alot of guys using the kokotats as well...and happy.

The socks from what i hear are nice....but some complain of bunching up ?

Gloves/mittens....i use the dakine mittens that have no material on the palm side...they are not open...just a thin layer of material. THey are great. On really cold days i will use a reusable hand warmer, which works great.

air temp...upper 20's is my limit. After that the sail and board start to get covered in ice.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1162
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing lasts forever. But windsurfing is pretty easy on drysuits. It's dragging over bushes, rocks and stuff that creates pinhole leaks (but Kokatat will pressure test their suits and patch them). So assuming you have a fairly clean launch area, your suit should last. BUT some basics.....

1. HANG it when not being used. I have dedicated "shoulder saver" hangers. If you can't do this then LOOSELY fold it.

2. Keep it out of the sun. If not being used, it's in the shade.

3. Hang dry it out of the sun, away from heater vents. It should dry naturally. Mine is in the garage and dries even in the middle of winter in Hood River.

4. Keep it clean. Yes, you can wash them....

5. Some recommend using a seal saver on the seals. I'm 50/50 on this. It reminds me way too much of Armoral. Once you put it on, you can never stop. Make your own choice. I think it's called Protectorant 303 or something like that. If you decide to use it, you should never stop.

6. Learn how to put on a suit properly. Most seal damage is caused by the user.....

There are a lot of good suits out there, but Kokatat owners are pretty loyal for a reason. Great suits, and great customer service.
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norcom



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just pulled the trigger on the Kokatat Hydrus 3L suit. The cheapest dry suit with all latex seals (neck/wrist/ankles) I could find. I figured it's worth a try for $455 shipped, new. They now offer a lifetime warranty on the seals/material for this suit as well as the goretex ones.

I just couldn't justify dropping $800+ on a drysuit having never tried one before. Two years ago I spent $350 on the Neil Pryde 5000 wetsuit and I really like it as it's SUPER WARM. But you REALLY have to be careful with the smooth skin neoprene. After last weekends session and having to go through some bushes, I nicknamed this suit "Patches". Laughing If I was to get another smoothskin wetsuit in the future, I'll be wearing a rashguard and board shorts to protect the smoothskin. It's really that delicate.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14050

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend bought several different bag dry suits years ago, one at a time, of different materials and makes, hoping to avoid the cost of Kokatat's Goretex suit. He made sure he could return any suit he declared unsatisfactory.

The Kokatat Goretex was in a performance class all by itself. Nothing else even came close. I've snorkeled in mine, and was drier afterwards than I was before I began, because it expels moisture even underwater as long as the temperature is warmer in the suit than outside the suit.

I've tried pants made by Kokatat from a lesser material. They may as well have been made of cotton or even Kleenex. I threw them in my basement, forgot about them, stumbled across them years later, called the dealer, and got a cheerful total refund despite having bought them off their USED rack.

NRS in Moscow, Idaho. Giant selection of water gear plus the best service I've ever seen.
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rexi



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 98

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always interesting to read different perspectives on this topic. it would be nice to hear you impressions on the suit you got.

I sail alot in cold water and havenīt used a baggy drysuit for a long time. Sailing more in waves than before i somehow find it a bit scary to be in such a suit being dragged over a reef a few hundred meters from shore. I use a 654 double lined suit and have no problems sailing 2 hour sessions and surf for 2-3 hours. Water little above 0c and air around the same. So i donīt quite agree with the statement that a baggy drysuit is a must for coldwater sessions.

-But i have been thinking about getting a baggy suit for freestyle sailing. A lot more cozy to skip the stripping part when its windy and freezing Wink What about you guys, do you use your baggy suits for wavesailing? any problems or am i just being paranoid?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14050

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several guys claim to swear by their Kokatats in Great Lakes winter storms.
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1162
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

norcom wrote:
I just pulled the trigger on the Kokatat Hydrus 3L suit. The cheapest dry suit with all latex seals (neck/wrist/ankles) I could find. I figured it's worth a try for $455 shipped, new. They now offer a lifetime warranty on the seals/material for this suit as well as the goretex ones.



Despite what others say here, I have both the Hydrus 3L and the Goretex suits in the same models (the Kayak model with all the bells and whistles ). I paddle over 100 days a year wearing a drysuit. I wear the same liners under them. I also have them serviced regularly so they don't leak.

With those facts up front, I can honestly say I do not notice ANY difference in the performance. Both are watertight and both breathe about the same. One physical difference is the plastic zipper vs the metal zipper. Other than that they are identical. In fact I CHOOSE to wear the Hydrus over the Goretex most of the time. I do wonder which material will hold up to abrasions more (so I save the Goretex for the winters when I tend to climb around rocks and bushes more).

One last note though, in hindsight I would prefer a rear shoulder zipper over a chest zipper for windsurfing. Otherwise you have the harness over the zipper. I haven't noticed a problem yet, but in the long run it would be better.
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norcom



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnl wrote:
[

Despite what others say here, I have both the Hydrus 3L and the Goretex suits in the same models (the Kayak model with all the bells and whistles ). I paddle over 100 days a year wearing a drysuit. I wear the same liners under them. I also have them serviced regularly so they don't leak.

With those facts up front, I can honestly say I do not notice ANY difference in the performance. Both are watertight and both breathe about the same. One physical difference is the plastic zipper vs the metal zipper. Other than that they are identical. In fact I CHOOSE to wear the Hydrus over the Goretex most of the time. I do wonder which material will hold up to abrasions more (so I save the Goretex for the winters when I tend to climb around rocks and bushes more).

One last note though, in hindsight I would prefer a rear shoulder zipper over a chest zipper for windsurfing. Otherwise you have the harness over the zipper. I haven't noticed a problem yet, but in the long run it would be better.


I have no doubt the difference isn't huge. Gore-Tex is a pretty old invention and you're still paying for the brand name. I have a Gore-Tex bike jacket. It's a bag and it doesn't breathe worth a crap; in my opinion. This is just a jacket, not sure how a whole suit of it would feel. It's great for rain but it has to be freezing for me to be comfortable in it or cool and I'm wearing it casually and not biking. I've thought about using the jacket with a 3/2 just to keep the wind off and still might.

My biggest worry is dropping the $$$$ on a dry suit and not liking how it feels or how safe it makes me feel. I'm VERY paranoid about the dry suit and waves. I've talked to a local guy who said he almost drowned in his wave sailing in head high surf. He no longer wears one. I'm guessing if it's a head high day, I'll probably put on the Neil "Patches" 5/4/3 just to feel safe. Laughing Or who knows, maybe I'll be upgrading sooner than I'd want to. Smile Can't wait to try it! Except it was 81 degrees outside today. Confused
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morwind4me



Joined: 30 Apr 2002
Posts: 270

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norcom where did you find a Kokatat for $455 shipped? I haven't seen them for less than $500. That actually would make it one of the cheapest options....

in my opinion, goretex is good stuff, but as someone who spends about 100 days on snow every year for downhill and nordic skiing, snowblowing, hauling wood etc etc, I do think there has been some advances in materials that give goretex a run for their money. Goretex proshell is by far my favorite product of theirs, it is very warm for how breathable it actually is. But E-vent is more breathable in my opinion (though not quite as warm). I have to wear an extra layer when I ski patrol because that jacket is e-vent. That's my non-expert unscientific opinion on the matter.

I agree on the smoothskin assessment. My Ion suit is a similar material and it doesn't take long for it to get nicked. I went through an entire tube of aquaseal last year.
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norcom



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morwind4me wrote:
Norcom where did you find a Kokatat for $455 shipped? I haven't seen them for less than $500. That actually would make it one of the cheapest options....


OutdoorPlay.com
http://www.outdoorplay.com/Kokatat-Mens-Hydrus-3L-Swift-Entry-Dry-Suit
Use coupon code CHAT15 for 15% off, shipping is free over $39. The XXL size will be more. You can also use the code on other suits or whatever.

Mine should be here Wednesday. I have no doubt the GoreTex suits are tried and tested over the years and could very well be nicer. But for someone who has never tried a dry suit and is unsure if they'll like the way it works/feels, this is a great deal.

Personally, I wanted the Ocean Rodeo Soul. It has the jacket, remove half the suit while waiting/relaxing and still keep warm. The one I wanted had the integrated socks. Also has a detachable hood. But it was $785 on Amazon. That's a $300+ difference for which I can pickup another NICE wetsuit if I want to. The only reason I went with this is because Kokatat now offers lifetime warranty on its Hydrus 3L material, the seams and the price.
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