FAQ - Drysuit Guide

What is a kitesurfing resource ?
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kitesurfa
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:59 pm
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Choosing the proper drysuit:
A drysuit by design is a loose fit, a wetsuit, needs to be a good fit.
A drysuit is easy to put on, is light to wear and non restrictive.
Recommended that you avoid the breathable type and suits fitted with boots.

Does a Drysuit keep you warm?
No, your body keep you warm, so you need to wear layers underneath your drysuit to match the water and air temperature. They don't work like a wetsuit. Heat gets trapped in the layers you are wearing. To many layers will make you sweat and the insulating layers will get damp end result so you will get cold.


Construction:
The body is normally constructed of a polyurethane-coated nylon and butyl liner. The neck seal can be covered with a fabric overlay for extra protection.
Suits used for diving have special exhaust vents to allow air in and out to help with buoyancy compensation.
Compressed Neoprene suit are very thick and normally used for diving.

Drysuit Seals
Latex seals give a more efficient seal than neoprene, which has a tendency to develop wrinkles with time.

How long do Seals last ?
2-3 years, depending on wear and care.
303 Protectant is used to protect against UV light and many other substances that deteriorate the seals It needs to be applied regularly during the season and every 4-6 weeks when in storage.
When they need replacing – DIY replacement seal kits are available or return to local dealer for a professional repair.

Suit Care
How to store your suit.
Leave it on its drying hanger in a cool, dry, dark and dust-free area.
Ensure your zip is rinsed and dried after use.
Leave zip open when storing for prolonged periods.
Store in a clean, dark, cold environment (approximately 10-20°C)
NEVER Leave your drysuit in direct sunlight to dry.
DO NOT turn inside out and dry in the Sun.

After Use...
1. Close the zipper and rinse the outside of your drysuit with clean, fresh water.
Rinse any of the inner surfaces that may have come in contact with salt water, neck seal and wrist seals.
and remove any sand, dirt, or gravel away from the teeth of the zipper.

2. Open the zipper and hang the suit (if possible) over a piece of plastic drainpipe or on a wide armed hanger. A drysuit hanger can easily be made by passing a rope through a piece of plastic drainpipe of about 3 to 4 inches in diameter and fastening both ends of the rope to an area where you can leave your suit to hang and drip-dry.

Zip care
From time to time lubricate your zip by striking candle or bees wax along the inside and outside of the zip teeth.
Avoid excessive folding of the zip.

Seals
Seals should be talced before suit use, and wiped down with fresh water and re-talced before storage after use.
Be extremely careful when using suntan lotion as contact with the seal will cause irreversible damage.
Inspect the latex seals for damage. Pay particular attention to the edges.
Do not wear anything which could catch the seals and tear them.

Lubrication
Do not use vaseline or any product that is petroleum or silicon based on your neck seal, wrist seals or zipper.

If you do require an aid to getting your seals over your hands/feet use french chalk.


How to fold your wetsuit for traveling purposes:
Lay your drysuit on its back, flat on the floor, turn the boots inward and loosely roll-up the legs and torso to the base of the neck seal. Bring the arms together over the top of the rolled suit so that the CLOSED zipper forms an arch as it does while you are wearing the suit. Slide the suit into its carrying bag and store the bag so that nothing else will be put on top of the bag. (NOT recommended for long term storage)


How to put on/take off your drysuit
1. Pull the legs of the drysuit about 1" above your ankle.
2. Raise the drysuit up around your waist. Some have braces fitted to hold up the trouser section.
3. Pull the sleeves 1" past your wrist.
4. Pull neck seal over your head.
5. Zip up suit. (You may need help ?)
6. From your feet, move up your body forcing ALL the air trapped inside to the seals and vent the air. Or use exaust valve if fitted.
more methods - crouch down and pull the neck seal open and squeeze the air out. Or, pull the neck seal open while stand in the water as this also forces the air out due to the water pressure .
7. Seals should lay flat against your skin with no wrinkles that could allow water to enter the suit.

Removing your wetsuit
1. Unzip your drysuit and pull neck seal over your head.
2. Pull seals over hands, befor detaching braces.
3. Repeat for your legs. Do noy stand on your suit to help as this may damage the material.
4. Zip up suit and rinse in fresh water then allow to drip dry.
5. If perspiration has made the interior ofthe suit damp it may be necessary to air the suit inside out, or hang it with the zipper open until dry.


Manufactures
http://www.oceanrodeo.com - Pyro (kitesurfing)
http://www.hammond-drysuits.co.uk (waterskiing drysuits)
http://www.predator-wetsuits.co.uk ~ Predator
http://www.oceanicuk.com 
http://www.typhoon-int.co.uk 
and many others...


The Ocean Rodeo Pyro Drysuit is currently the ONLY Kitesurfing specific drysuit on the market.

http://www.oceanrodeo.com/pyro.shtml

UK Distributors...
http://www.twistandturn.co.uk/orSuits.htm
http://www.twistandturn.co.uk/Pyro2.htm ***
http://www.twistandturn.co.uk/pyrofeatures.htm




Safety Questions

Will I sink if suit fills with water ?
If your suit gets ripped, you will get cold and wet, but will NOT sink.
You will have to swim in (if at sea) with the extra water in the suit.
If you have a seat harness or waist harness this will help prevent the water filling the suit completely. so suit may only get half full even less if your suit has some air in it as this will be traped due to the water entering.
If this becomes a problem pull one of the seals to allow it escape. You may also be able to force out some of the water too.

How can I get out of the suit quickly ?
As quick as you got into it. But if the suit is rear entry type, you may need help.

So the only real quick and very expensive option is to use your kite knife.
Last edited by kitesurfa on Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mr:w

Top tips Kitesurfa, good one.
kitesurfa wrote: Recommended that you avoid the breathable type and suits fitted with boots.
Just to pick up on a couple of the points, what are the benefits of having a non-breathable suit over a breathable one?

Also, most drysuits are fitted with latex socks - are these what you're referring to? They do need to be covered with boots, but if you're wearing a drysuit presumably it'll cold enough to warrant wearing boots anyway.
kitedude
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:09 pm

fitted boots aren't often designed to be used with kite straps, i know you'll say most other boots aren't. but windsurfing straps have been taking into account for alot of booties out there
kitesurfa
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:59 pm
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mr:w wrote:What are the benefits of having a non-breathable suit over a breathable one?
The recomendation was added after I read on another forum that a kitesurfer had used a breathable suit and following a big wipe out, had water enter the suit through the material.
Drysuits when diving don't have the water forced against the contact point in a way that it would following a wipe-out. When diving the suit has all over water pressure, which changes slowly the deeper you go and with the air inside the suit which is used for buoyancy control, prevents the water from entering through the material (Air inside has no where to go except the exhaust vent regulator or a seal)

Breathable suits are still useable, but could let in a small amount of water after a BIG fall. Not enough to worry about, but possibly enough that you may get wet.
mr:w

I see what you mean, makes sense I guess. The material used for mine is a 3 layer material - think Gore-Tex but much more heavy-duty up for 100% water use. I've taken some heavy duty wipeouts and the only (very small) leaks have come from the wrist seals, but due to it being thinner and weaker than a wetsuit, I'd not want to be throwing myself around as much as if I was in a wetsuit.

In defence of breathable suits, I know of a few people who owned non-breathable suits and have claimed after a few hours the build-up of persiration can be a real problem. Some have sold the non-breathable drysuits they bought last year and have upgraded to breathable for this winter.

There are pros and cons to both - it's a shame you can't demo them before you buy and decide from there. Hopefully as they get more common, more feedback will become available.
kitesurfa
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:59 pm
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What to wear underneath your Drysuit
Don t wear cotton sweatsuits, t-shirts, manufactures recommend using undergarments made from non-absorptive materials such as polyester fleece or Thinsulate.
Cotton is very absorptive and will soak up any moisture like a sponge. This then takes heat away from your body.


What is the most common cause of leaks.
1. Hair or undergarments may have been trapped under the seals
2. the seal may have a fold which makes an entry point for water
3. zipper failure, or not closed properly.
4. ripped on sharp object such as Coral Reef after a big wipe out.
5. Poor maintenace of your suit.
Fred
Posts: 3434
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 4:27 pm
Location: Redhill

If you were to wear a life jacket (as I've seen a manufacturer recommend to cover their arse) would you wear it under or over a drysuit?
mr:w

Wear it over the top - it helps squeeze any excess air out and also helps protect the suit.
kitesurfa
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:59 pm
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Drysuit Repairs

http://www.typhoon-int.co.uk/repairserv ... rvices.htm ~ Typhoon has a dedicated Repair Centre and are happy to test, inspect and carry out repairs on any brand of wetsuit or drysuit.
Alterations and modifications can be requested for any suit.


http://www.polarbears.co.uk/repairs.php

http://www.roho.co.uk/acatalog/Robin_Ho ... s_507.html
kitesurfa
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:59 pm
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Ocean Rodeo Dry Suit User Guide - http://www.oceanrodeo.com/drysuitmanual_en.pdf
Dragon Danny
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:21 pm
Location: Essex
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So you say Avoid Breathable Panel Drysuits?

What would this Drysuit be like as it says its specific for kiteboarding??

http://www.powerkiteshop.com/accessorie ... yropro.htm

As I have the feeling someone has ordered me it as a late xmas present?

Cheers Guys
slinkydevil
Posts: 456
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:47 pm

Dragon Danny wrote:So you say Avoid Breathable Panel Drysuits?

What would this Drysuit be like as it says its specific for kiteboarding??

http://www.powerkiteshop.com/accessorie ... yropro.htm

As I have the feeling someone has ordered me it as a late xmas present?

Cheers Guys
Then you're a lucky guy - perhaps one of the best dry suits around for kitesurfing.
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