Whether you’re going on a long, open-sea or river kayaking adventure, waterproof kayak shorts will help keep your body warm and dry. They work by wicking moisture away from the skin, so they provide excellent protection from the elements and a dry, comfortable fit. Wearing one is highly recommended for anyone who’s either taking an expensive dry suit, such as a wetsuit, or is heading out alone in kayaks without a wetsuit. Here are some reasons why!
First of all, waterproof kayak shorts prevent your clothing from getting wet from the saltwater spray or from touching the kayak itself. Any friction will cause the fabric to lose its waterproof qualities, and it’s very likely to get ruined while dry-suits are being worn. That’s why anyone going on any type of prolonged kayaking trip needs to wear a wetsuit. There’s just no way around it!
Wearing a neoprene suit helps minimize heat loss during paddling. This is especially critical when you’re paddling in extremely cold water, since any heat loss can increase the risk of hypothermia. By wearing a waterproof kayak shorts, your body heat is kept in the water, which keeps your body below the freezing point of water, where most hypothermia occurs.
If you live in an area where there’s a lot of rain, it’s nearly inevitable that you’ll get wet at least some of the time. It’s certainly much more likely if you’re going kayaking in relatively cool weather, but even in a relatively warm environment, your body will still perspire. This causes problems because perspiration lowers the body’s temperature and makes it harder to stop it from falling. But carrying a dry suit can help you overcome this problem. If you carry a dry suit with you, the body heat generated will be very much lower than normal.
Kayaking in murky or ice cold waters increases the risk of hypothermia even more. Kayaks are typically designed for deep cold water paddling, which explains why they tend to retain water in the transom and the paddle shaft. It’s also why it’s so easy for kayaking enthusiasts to slip into a wet suit when the water gets really cold–the design of most dry suits is such that they can’t resist getting wet. Kayakers who take a dip into icy waters or spend a great deal of time kayaking in lakes or other cold water paddling safety are especially at risk.
As mentioned above, one of the primary benefits of a neoprene suit is its ability to keep you warm. The problem is that cold water can make you feel even colder. The same is true of a heavy wet suit. The problem is compounded for kayakers using a paddle. When you’re weighed down by a wet suit or a thick wetsuit, you’re much harder to move. This makes kayaking much more difficult and less enjoyable.
To make sure that you’re not carried away by the cold, carry a dry suit as well. A dry suit is far warmer and more comfortable than a bulky wet suit. You’ll also have the added advantage of better maneuverability and increased paddling around turns. In addition, a dry suit or neoprene suit will help ward off hypothermia.
So, the real question is, can neoprene suits stop hypothermia? The answer is “it’s possible but unlikely.” A neoprene suit will help you paddle better and more easily, which will allow you to make more turns underwater. But, these suits aren’t designed to be carried around all the time. For most people, carrying a neoprene suit means it’s time to pack up and go because cold water kayaking isn’t very fun.