Kayak Gear | Tips For Selecting Kayak Clothing


I’m Paulo I made this video to show you what I like to consider when selecting sea kayak clothing. When you are sea kayaking, you will have some magical moments. In this video you will learn what to wear to improve your comfort while sea kayaking.

There is an option you may not know about, that will keep you warmer when you need it and still work on a summer day.  It will give you protection when you are developing your bracing and rolling skills.

A tuilik is the kayaking dry top that the Greenlanders wore. They have all my respect for being so practical. The Tuilik seals directly to the cockpit combing so the water can’t leak through between your spray skirt and dry top. A lot less water comes inside your kayak when paddling in rough conditions where waves wash over the kayak.

The first thing you’ll notice when you first try a tuilik, is how comfortable it is. It allows absolute freedom of movement; and there is no need to tighten anything around your torso to keep the water out. You have absolute control over your body positions, without any restrictions.

When the wind picks up and the waves are crashing over you is where the tuilik really shines for me. Instead of an irritating neck gasket that doesn’t protect your head and neck from the cold wind and spray, the tuilik has a waterproof seal around your face, so when you put that hood on, you immediately feel the warm dry protection it gives you.

You will find yourself enjoying some beautiful places, and you don’t want to be distracted by a sprayskirt that is squeezing your torso, or a gasket that is irritating your neck. You want to forget you are wearing protective kayak gear. You want freedom of movement. When you find a little paradise you may want to just take your top off and lay down in the sun for a while. Some people have asked me why I don’t make a one piece suit with my tuilik and dry pants. To me it would take value away. On a nice day you want to be able to take the top off and make the most of a special moment. You want the option of paddling with just the dry pants, and avoid getting too hot and sweaty. You want to at least have the opportunity to enjoy a nice day. You want to be safe but you also want to enjoy yourself and be comfortable.

On the other hand you have to be ready if the wind picks up. That’s when you want to roll the tuilik to your kayaking bib pants so you stay dry. Just put the tuilik tunnel over the pants tunnel and roll them up. When the waves are crashing over your boat, and the spray is in your face, there is nothing that will protect you from getting cold and wet like the waterproof hood of the tuilik. You don’t want your head to get wet, especially on a multy day trip. Once your hair is wet, it can be impossible to stay warm. With the waterproof hood, you can stay warm and keep smiling in the worst of conditions. The tuilik is a dry top with the sprayskirt attached, and that keeps your kayak a lot dryer. It also means you don’t have to tighten that skirt against your torso to keep the water out.

You can stay comfortable. If you like to be comfortable you also want your clothing to be breathable. You don’t want to feel clammy and get wet from your own sweat. You want kayak gear that will allow you to work hard and still stay dry and comfortable. When you are ready to practice your bracing, and learn to roll, you will really appreciate the extra mobility that the tuilik gives you. Most skirts that are commercially available will restrict your movement at least a little bit. A lot of people think that’s ok, and they just get used to having less flexibility. But the most reliable brace, and the most effective rolls require all your flexibility. And that is something you just will not get with a regular spray skirt. Your bracing and rolling will always less successful.

With the proper body motion that the tuilik allows, you can learn to roll consistently, even in rough water, or in a loaded kayak. The waterproof hood means you get to keep your head warm, and avoid the ice cream head ache, even in freezing water. The tunnels that are rolled up keep you dry, even if you have water in your kayak while you roll. No matter how good you are at rolling and bracing, we all end up out of our boat sometimes. The tuilik and pants, when rolled up, provide you with another level of safety. It will prevent your pants from filling up with water, and make it easy to re enter you kayak if you end up doing a wet exit. It will be no different then doing an exit and re entry with a skirt. I designed my kayak clothing with all these reasons in mind. If you want to find out more about my gear just click on the link to my website above..

As found on Youtube