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Drysuit Newbie Questions


Big Clyde

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I've never owned a drysuit, but am considering purchasing one. A few newbie questions:

(1) Hybrid suit (like O'Neill Assualt) with neoprene legs or a regular, baggy suit (like the O'Neill boost)? Does it make much difference for wakeboarding/skiing? The regular suit looks like it gives you more room for layers underneath.

(2) What do you wear under them? I assume just long underwear?

(3) Dry gloves look great, but can you grip the handle with them?

(4) Do you wear a life vest over the suit?

Thanks.

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a dry suit is only half of the cold weather ski solution.

if you are running a heater and shower then the dry suit should just about cover it.

i have not found dry gloves that will do the trick for for slalom pulls.

first layer of the spandex or 'wick' type base works swell.

may need a second layer until the water temps warm a little.

you really don't get cold except for that 10 minutes behind the boat.

jump into a hot shower and get in the heated cockpit and it's not a stretch to ski as soon as you get ice out.

remember that the carbon monoxide is a problem while on the swim platform w engine run.

life vest can go under (inside) the suit or outside.

i don't run a life vest w my drysuit but then i'm not very smart.

i've put the word out to my crew but have not gotten a call to get wet, yet, so holler if you need a second.

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I use the baggy style boost for the winter board sessions - I generally wear sweat-pants and a sweatshirt and wear a comp vest underneath. I can fit my USCG vest but everything gets pretty right. after about 10 minutes behind the boat I'm generally pretty warm - hands and face are exceptions. I just wear a pair of straight-line gloves. after my set I'll run the shower on my hands, feet and face in no partiular order. I'll take the suit down to my waste when driving for the rest of my crew with the heater cranked and the air dam blocking the front.

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I have a Wiley's StayDry baggy style suit & wear whatever I have on at the time under it..... generally Levis, a sweatshirt & often my wallet & cell phone in the pockets. I find the hybrids are a bit more comfortable, but I just found I didn't want to be out in the boat, freezing my asss off, changing clothes. It's probably better to wear any of long johns that wick away the sweat & dry out quicker.

For gloves, I found that I like using a 3-5mm thick diving glove rather than the dry gloves. The thicker the glove, the bigger around the handle gets, so you have to have a good grip. I've used the dry gloves, but found them hard to seal on the suit, and hard to keep on my hand in a crash. They tend to stick to the textured grip on a lot of handles. I've even had them come off in a crash, and still be stuck to the handle when the boat came around to pick me up again. Once your hand is wet in them, your screwed. Your hands are wet in a 5 mm diving gloves, but their not cold, even with water temps in the 30s.

I try to wear the vest inside the suit, just prefer keeping it dry if I can help it, plus it's lighter weight dry than wet. But it's not always comfortable, depending on how tight your suit is.

We don't use the shower much. But the heater is about the best invention ever in a boat. :rockon:

Edited by Bill_AirJunky
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Baggy suit for skiing, I don't board till the waters warmer. Not fun having your head go under in freezing water.

What to wear under depends on how cold the water and air is and how long yours going to be out for, layering is the best. I've had on up to 3 layers to just shorts and a tee shirt depending on the temps.

Gloves, if you want to keep your hand warm don't let them get wet or wear rubber dish gloves under a set of larger gloves.

Life jacket under 95% of the time, it doesn't get wet that way so you won't need to dry it.

Remember that if the water is cold, like right after the ice breaks up your not going to skiing that great with all of this extra gear on. I know it hard to do sometimes but ski smart so that you don't fall and pick a spot to drop so the boat can come back and pick you right up. Also don't take your feet out of your bindings until the boats next to you, your feet freeze quick, Radar RS-1/Strada bindings are great for cold water, you pull your feet out of the binding and still have the liners on your feet keeping them warm.

Ice should be off the lake in about 2 week to 10 days looking at the forecast. :Frustrated: was hoping to be out by the end of this week.

I just got the boat all set to go out and put on my new registration sticker on, (orange sticker on a blue boat :yuk: when are we going to decent colors), and it freezing out there.

Edited by onamission
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I have a full neoprene drysuit (have had it for about 10 years) and just recently picked up a hybrid suit (O'Neill Assault). The hybrid is nice because it gives you the ability to layer differently depending on temps. I loved and never had a problem with my full neo (until the seams started seeping in a couple of spots). :shocked: I tried a baggy and didn't like how the pant leg drug in the water on the turns (slalom). Comp vest worn inside the drysuit. Neo cap for really cold days and a neoprene face mask for the days that are so cold that we really shouldn't be out there. :lol:

We take a small icechest full of hot water with us and that is where we store our gloves between sets. :thumbup: Never had any luck finding a "dry" glove or neoprene glove that worked well.

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This is my first year with a drysuit (baggy from Barefoot International). I just used it today for the first time to put the dock in (33 deg water). I had 2 layers of wicking underwear and a polar fleece jacket under the suit. For my feet I had one layer of insulated socks covered by latex socks and then a pair of old sneekers. I had a pair of neo/fleece gloves - hands stayed ok. Was in the water for about 1 hour. Feet got damp (very slight leak), rest stayed dry.

Biggest issues for me was how tight the neck was and getting my feet out of the leg seals.

I would love to hear ideas for how not to choke from the neck seal and easier ways to get my feet out.

I plan to ski and ride very soon.

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This is my first year with a drysuit (baggy from Barefoot International). I just used it today for the first time to put the dock in (33 deg water). I had 2 layers of wicking underwear and a polar fleece jacket under the suit. For my feet I had one layer of insulated socks covered by latex socks and then a pair of old sneekers. I had a pair of neo/fleece gloves - hands stayed ok. Was in the water for about 1 hour. Feet got damp (very slight leak), rest stayed dry.

Biggest issues for me was how tight the neck was and getting my feet out of the leg seals.

I would love to hear ideas for how not to choke from the neck seal and easier ways to get my feet out.

I plan to ski and ride very soon.

i have that bi suit

i think the bi site has some recommendations about how to escape from the suit.

i start with all of the spray cuffs pulled up all the way.

then i peel out of the arms pulling the arms inside out so i am ready to start in on the chore of lubricating the seals.

sit down and pull a foot up so that the foot pulls the leg inside out (with the exception of the seal itself).

work your fingers inside the seal and stretch/roll the seal off but don't let your fingers slip out when you are half way out.

much tougher to get your fingers inside after it's half way off your foot.

it will get easier with a little practice.

the neck seal will get looser over time but don't expect much relief there.

some of the crew have tried to stretch the seals while not in use (ball or bottle).

i don't remember them having much luck with that.

you can trim the seal but i've never mustered up the courage.

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Biggest issues for me was how tight the neck was and getting my feet out of the leg seals.

I would love to hear ideas for how not to choke from the neck seal and easier ways to get my feet out.

I plan to ski and ride very soon.

Stick a football or a 2 liter bottle in the neck seal..... something considerably larger than your own neck. Leave it in there for a week or so. Should stretch out a bit for you.

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  • 2 months later...

Stick a football or a 2 liter bottle in the neck seal..... something considerably larger than your own neck. Leave it in there for a week or so. Should stretch out a bit for you.

I finally started trimming the neck down to where it didn't hit my choke point. Got the bag suit on ebay for 150 bucks so wasn't to worried about trashing it. Only get wet when I do headers. So I typicaly get wet, maybe a cup or two of water. Football makes more sense to start with.

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