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 Post subject: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:57 am 
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Hi, I'm hoping to be purchasing a TI soon and would like to investigate women's wetsuits, have never used one before. I'll be going to the Paddlesports show in NJ in a couple of weeks and would like to be slightly knowledgeable as I look around. I have no idea what I would need, any advice would be appreciated! I would be sailing locally in New Jersey, Barnegat Bay, hoping to get out quickly to other areas like New York Harbor (from Liberty Park), Narragansett Bay, RI, and around Hilton Head, SC. What sort of thickness would be good for NJ spring conditions? Is a full suit necessary, or an overall more practical? And if one goes with a short suit, is one going to have an idiotic looking tan by day's end? :shock: Is it any worse to get out of these things in the ladies' room, than, say, spanx? :?


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:56 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
:shock: I think I'll field this one over to Tonystott, who is our resident expert in women's apparel and spandex,..


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:11 pm 
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I don't have many answers, but in general wetsuits work by your body warming the water in them so only work well while you are in the water. A drysuit is probably more what you may want.

Also, except for extreme conditions, separate bottoms and tops (and sometimes socks or boots) and multi-layers seem to work best to match different conditions of water & air temp's and wind/rain and sun/clouds.

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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:53 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
NOHUHU wrote:
:shock: I think I'll field this one over to Tonystott, who is our resident expert in women's apparel and spandex,..

Bastard! I told you about my fetish in confidence! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Actually, NOHUHU is very much mistaken. He might be referring to the women's lightweight waders I found whil looking for some (MEN'S) waders for myself. I have had a pair of Caddis breathable lightweight waders for 20 months so far, and they are great, as you can add as many layers of warmth inside them, without getting wet at all. This is quite different from wetsuits... Don't believe the hoary old myths about "waders of death", as you can even swim in these (if you have to). I have and there were no dramas. See this for confirmation


http://www.caddiswaders.com/products.ph ... product=39

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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:59 pm 
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Oops. Sorry mate. I thought all was revealed after that last club camping expedition. :wink:

But I knew you'd give the best advice. And you did.

I would have feared the waders of death myself, before watching that lengthy video. Not any more. I kinda wanted to hold that guys head under water after the 4th or 5th test though,..

Moondance, a shorty wet suit with removable dri-pants over would give you lots of options. Hobie makes some nice suits. The trade show will also have lots of paddle pants and tops.

If you're in the front seat, you'll be getting your legs wet constantly. Bear that in mind.

If you get kbobs spray skirts and ride out on the tramps, you'll stay MUCH warmer. The right PDF will help you retain body heat too.


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:34 am 
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Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland
tonystott, thank you for posting that video. It's very rare for me to sit through 9 minutes of video, but I found that really interesting, even though I don't fish and have no plans to get waders. The subjects of immersion and safety are dear to the heart of any cold-water kayaker.

Moondancer, re your "ladies' room" question. So far as I can see, waders don't come with a "relief zip" option, and if they did it would be a male front zip, which you wouldn't be able to use except with a "female urinary device" of some sort. (Basically a pipe to pee through.) A long time ago, I used a farmer-jane wetsuit with matching jacket, and I found it worked to put the jacket on first, with the main wetsuit over it. That let me peel out of the wetsuit while still keeping my upper body covered. However, I still had to take off the PFD and any other layers I happened to be wearing on top. A quick web-browse today has shown me that there are now wetsuits with female relief zips. But a zip through the crotch…? Let's say I think you'd have to be very careful with it!

Later I moved on to a drop-seat drysuit. That's not an elegant look, but it absolutely works in practical terms. The zip is totally waterproof, and when open, there's enough space to manage whatever I'm wearing under the suit (usually fleece trousers and normal underwear). At the time, the only manufacturer making drop-seats were Kokatat, who are very good and very expensive. Since then, I think some other makers have started offering this option. There's also a drysuit by PeakUK, where the entry zip goes from ankle to ankle via legs and crotch, and that's had some good reviews.

My paddling has mainly been on placid inland rivers, less demanding than your locations. I often paddle alone, and my main focus was, in the event of a capsize, to protect myself from cold-shock, which can paralyse you long before drowning is an issue, and buy myself enough time to sort out the situation.

Mary


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:16 pm 
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I might add that many of us find a constrictive wetsuit very uncomfortable while seated on a boat. It can limit your breathing, overheat you and make you feel seasick sooner you might while wearing loose fitting weather gear.


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:17 pm 
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Interesting. Thanks everyone for the great info!


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:55 pm 
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I wanted to throw my 2 cents in, since I was in your boat about 6 months ago. We just got our first TI in September of 2013, we live in San Diego, and the water at that time was hovering around 70 degrees - but starting to drop. We are fortunate to sail year round, but the water drops to the mid to high 50's in the winter, which is most of the time we have had it. We are mostly coastal, and will maybe go a few miles out - but stick within a couple miles of shore...so far. In those situations, winter, some swell = we decided wetsuit over dry suit. For emergency purposes, I would rather be wearing a wetsuit. I have worn wetsuits all of my life and feel totally comfortable in them. My wife has never had a wetsuit before the TI - we went with a wetsuit for her (Fullsuit) and she loves it. She is a freak about being warm, (heater on in the summer kind of freak) and if she is comfortable and warm, I feel good about this recommendation. The wetsuit acts as a good wind blocker as well.

She battled the constrictive side only when trying it on - when she put it on when sailing and realized it kept her warm, she has never talked about it being constrictive since. If you plan on being on top of the water the majority of the time, you can afford to go with a lighter 2/2 (meaning 2mm thickness all around) over a more traditional 3/2 (mostly 3mm) since you won't be spending time in the water, hopefully. A 2/2 (thickness) is much more flexible and comfortable. Don't go with the thicker wetsuits (4/3 and up). Make sure you get your legs covered, and maybe go with shorter sleeves if you have a spray jacket to wear. I have worn a full leg and short arm 2/2 the majority of the time, with a spray jacket over it if the wind kicks up. The person in the front will want their legs covered if the water is a bit chilly. When the water was 70 and the air was 70 - I would wear a spring suit (short legs and arms) , and keep the top folded down until later in the day or when the kind wind kicked up, then put on the top without zipping it.

What is the water temp that you plan on doing most of your sailing in?
What are the likely conditions, wind and swell, that you anticipate?


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:39 am 
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Thanks stayclassy619, for the info. I've been trying to find the average monthly water temps for Barnegat Bay, for a start, but haven't located that online yet. And it has been such a godawful cold winter. There has to be a simple chart somewhere showing yearly data...

Curious, what brand suit did she get? Does she also wear booties, do they feel annoying peddling? Back in the day I only ever sailed my Hobie cats in a bathing suit in summer, and was always shorts & tshirt on the bigger boats...

Thanks!

Has anyone here taken their islands around the upper NY harbor? There's a boat launch at Liberty Park.


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:57 am 
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Bingo! Found the info on average water temperatures. Crikey that looks cold. Here's the link if anyone else is interested.

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/cwtg/all_meanT.html


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:28 pm 
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I see they saved the best for last. :lol: 3-4 deg differential all year. I better bundle up today.


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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
Disclaimers: (1) I'm old, (2) I've never worn a wet suit.

When I have worn neoprene booties with the temps in the 50 deg F range and winds 15-18 mph, my feet freeze sailing my AI. It is because the neoprene wicks the water to the surface and the wind increases evaporation -- a formula for being very cold.

Do people experience this situation with wet suits?

One combo I can recommend for cold weather sailing is a 2 piece, semi-dry outfit: (1) a good, breathable anorak top, e.g., http://www.nrs.com/product/25581/nrs-stampede-paddling-jacket (2) dry pants with integral socks, e.g., http://www.nrs.com/product/25051/kokatat-hydrus-3l-tempest-dry-pants-with-socks You can wear merino socks under or over the integral socks, although regular socks work fine. Normally, you also wear street clothes under both pants and anorak. When done sailing, peel off the top & bottom, put on your sneakers, and you are ready to load your boat and drive away. I love this combo.

Keith

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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:54 am 
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Chekika wrote:
One combo I can recommend for cold weather sailing is a 2 piece, semi-dry outfit: (1) a good, breathable anorak top, e.g., http://www.nrs.com/product/25581/nrs-stampede-paddling-jacket (2) dry pants with integral socks, e.g., http://www.nrs.com/product/25051/kokatat-hydrus-3l-tempest-dry-pants-with-socks You can wear merino socks under or over the integral socks, although regular socks work fine. Normally, you also wear street clothes under both pants and anorak. When done sailing, peel off the top & bottom, put on your sneakers, and you are ready to load your boat and drive away. I love this combo.

Keith


I have to say my Wigwam light hiking socks have seen me through this winter with toasty toes, I recommend them highly. The thing I don't get about wetsuits, which I too have never worn (and look forward to the idea of, about as much as the cast of ST Next Gen did to the concept of jumpsuit uniforms), is I kind of thought they were to be worn next to the skin, with undies/swimsuit, so that the water inside heats up from your body. But I'm hearing of rashguards and other clothing being worn under the wetsuit. I didn't think they were supposed to be loose enough for under-layers, and aren't the under layers going to get all wet? The outfit you suggest sounds good too. Thanks!


Last edited by Moondancer on Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Women's wetsuits?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:14 am 
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Moondancer, she went with a Rip Curl - 3/2 wetsuit. I personally like O'Neill - either way you can't go wrong, they are probably the 2 top companies in that area. We do wear booties, O'Neill;s, with the wedge between the big toes - they work awesome, are comfortable when peddling. We have gone 14-15 miles in wetsuits and booties and have been comfortable. In colder temps, we will use a spray jacket over the top with gloves, and wetsuit beanies over the ears, have been lobster fishing at night in low 40's and been totally fine for about 3-4 hours - not in the water but on the water


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