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Old 04-14-2016   #1
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
Wetsuit thickness for kayakers/supper

What is your experience on appropriate wetsuit thickness? Below are the parameters:

- Full Wet Suit
- Skull Cap
- Booties
- Splash Top
- Kayaker/ Supper
- Youth (12m/14f)
- Pogies
- Paddling in CO from mid april-mid oct

I am thinking a 3/2 but the interweb says a 2/3 is good for 58-63 degree water. I imagine that is for full submersion for extended periods of time.

Is a 3/2 sufficient for periodic swims on days above 70degree air temps?


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Old 04-14-2016   #2
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 582
I wouldn't go with a full wetsuit for kayaking, a farmer john style wetsuit is less restrictive.

For years my boys (13/16) used farmer john wetsuits (3mm) with a .5mm long sleeve neoprene skirt (ie. NRS kidskin, or Hydroskin) with a splash jacket or semi-drytop. I liked that the NRS farmer johns have padded knees, most of the kayaking/rafting we did was on shallow rocky rivers in Colorado.

As they became better and more confident in kayaking, they switched from the farmer john setup to the NRS hydroskin or similar pants, and either a thick skin fleece top or neoprene top covered by a drytop. They found the pants were quicker/easier on/off than the wetsuit and less restrictive.

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Old 04-14-2016   #3
GWS, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 486
I hear you on the full being restrictive. I was thinking it would be better once he was swimming.
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Old 04-14-2016   #4
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 7
I have a NRS 4/3mm full wetsuit (no hood) for SUPing and it's worked out great. I was worried about it being too thick to maneuver well in, but I'm really happy with how easy it is to get around. Might be a little too warm for those really nice sunny days though.
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