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View Full Version : Wet or Dry, that is the question



chadjitsu1
03-21-2014, 12:14 PM
Okay, so in an attempt to extend my season I am looking at getting a new wetsuit or drysuit. I am noticing that there is a pretty big jump in pricing from one vs the other.

I winterize my boat usually in November and get it out in March / April time frame. I have zero desire to ski in the true winter months just because I don't feel like re-winterizing after ever day on the lake. I live in Atlanta and believe the water gets in the mid 40's at the coldest part of the year. I think its in the 50's now so I am looking for something that works well for 50 degree water and up.

For those of you that have tried both what would you recommend? Does the dry suite really keep all the water out and keep you really warm. I also noticed that the dry suits are kind of bulky, would that work with a life jacket on?

One final thought, what about your feet. I assume you have to go without anything on your feet when wakeboarding just because of the bindings but for surfing do you wear boots as well.

Anything else I'm forgetting about would be good too.

mmandley
03-21-2014, 12:23 PM
I have used my wetsuit down to 50 degree water and it was more then fine. I think if you want to stay dry then a drysuit is best, or if you plan to be in water lower then 50.

chadjitsu1
03-21-2014, 12:38 PM
I have used my wetsuit down to 50 degree water and it was more then fine. I think if you want to stay dry then a drysuit is best, or if you plan to be in water lower then 50.

What mil wetsuit are you wearing? Gloves and Booties? Gloves, Booties, and Hood? Any particular brands better and any others. I also see a bunch of info on the type of zippers and seam bonding techniques, is anyone getting water in the zipper or in the seams on their wetsuit?

Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying to educate myself before I take the plunge (literally)

jester
03-21-2014, 12:55 PM
I have dry suits and they do extend my wakeboarding. It keeps most of the water out. If you crash hard you will get water in. Most of the time I only have a little water on the top of my shirt but other then that keep nice and dry. The problem I have with a wet suit is it has to fill with the cold water then your body heat will warm the water so you get to have nice 50* water on your body until it gets heated by you. Now if you have a hot water shower you can fill the suit with nice hot water before you jump in.

For the life jacket question yes they work just fine with a dry suit on. When you jump in the water with a dry suit on you will double your size since the cold water will expand the air in the dry suit. All you have to do is when your head is above the water line just grab your neck seal and let some air out.

Best thing about the dry suit is only your hair, hands and feet get wet so you get back in the boat and do not need to warm up as much.

tnbrooks01
03-21-2014, 03:19 PM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/22/8a4ume9e.jpg

My son rides year round here. Loves the dry suit. He wears a pair of sweatpants and sweatshirt under it. This one is from Wileys Ski and from what I understand functions just as the Oneill. He wears 5mm neoprene booties with it but doesnt like to wear gloves or a hood. The water in this pic is 43.

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tnbrooks01
03-21-2014, 03:21 PM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/22/8a4ume9e.jpg

My son rides year round here. Loves the dry suit. He wears a pair of sweatpants and sweatshirt under it. This one is from Wileys Ski and from what I understand functions just as the Oneill. He wears 5mm neoprene booties with it but doesnt like to wear gloves or a hood. The water in this pic is 43.


As for the life jacket I woukd recommend going with "full bag" dry suit and wear vest under.

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mmandley
03-21-2014, 03:34 PM
What mil wetsuit are you wearing? Gloves and Booties? Gloves, Booties, and Hood? Any particular brands better and any others. I also see a bunch of info on the type of zippers and seam bonding techniques, is anyone getting water in the zipper or in the seams on their wetsuit?

Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying to educate myself before I take the plunge (literally)

mines an O Niel ginsu 4/3. I don't personally getting in with a dry wet suit, it really doesn't feel that cold to me while me and my suit acclimate to the water. I will say getting a wet suit on it a slightly more troublesome then a dry suit. Also I have found if I do a set in the wet suit, I have to take the top section down, otherwise it leaches heat from your body and when you go in later you are cold.

I just don't think the water is cold enough to need a dry suit, plus i only need it a couple times a year while the water is less then 60. Once its 60 I'm trunking it.

gregski
03-21-2014, 04:33 PM
Dry suits are the ultimate for warmth but you also have to consider cost. I think it makes sense for folks that will spend months with 45 degree water. I ski for about a month early and late season in 45-50 degree waters and find a wetsuit to be fine. The worst parts are your feet, hands and forehead which would all be exposed in a drysuit without other exposure protection. For the relatively cheap cost of a wetsuit, I'd recommend starting there. If you find that you push the season further or really need more, then buy the drysuit.


The problem I have with a wet suit is it has to fill with the cold water then your body heat will warm the water so you get to have nice 50* water on your body until it gets heated by you. Now if you have a hot water shower you can fill the suit with nice hot water before you jump in.This problem is much worse with a poor-fitting wet-suit. Yes, water comes in but it should be more of a trickle. I would have a hard time pulling mine far enough away from my body to allow me to fill it with warm water.

And definitely take it off at least to your waist when out of the water. Your brain will be convinced that the rubber suit is warmer than bare skin but don't listen. A wet suit sucks heat away in the breeze.

Mikey
03-21-2014, 10:42 PM
Something you may want to consider is a different type of dry suit. I have whats classed as a hybrid in that it fits similar to a wetsuit and i wear a life jacket on the outside. Its not quite as snug as a wetsuit that i still wear shorts and a tee shirt and as for water entering barring a crash i stay virtually bone dry. Most drysuits are the bag type which a lot of people will wear a lifejacket inside.

You may want to look at some temp charts to help decide what you really want or need as there are some really good wetsuits that are rated for nearly the same water temps as they let very little water in . Similar to drysuits for usability but a little cheaper. Wetsuits usually are a little to a lot more flexable and sometimes a proper fitting apropriate thickness wetsuit is all you need. I wear mine to ski and surf mostly and as for booties and gloves and hoods i have all of the above and i usually decide what if all are apropriate depending on weather, water and sport. Waterskiing does not allow for booties and a hood constricts my view etc so i usually just have drysuit and gloves. Get in /get out but surfing can be for a lot longer timespan so dress accordingly.

We have much shorter season up here so this is what you need to do to get out from ice melt to just before freeze, and this has allowed me to make the most of our season and my boat.
BTW my suit came from overtons if you are interested in what i have.

Ian Brantford
03-22-2014, 01:37 AM
I have both wetsuit and drysuit. I no longer bother with the wetsuit myself, but I do bring it because a friend sometimes likes to use it as a windbreak when temperatures are marginal.

Drysuits are much easier to get on and off once you learn the secret: use a little wakeboard binding slime on the outside of your hands and any tight points on your feet (bottom of heel and top of ankle). This will make it MUCH easier to get the wrist and ankle cuffs over your hands and feet.

The neck cuffs are usually graduated with concentric circles so that you can cut it to fit your neck. Allow for a little stretching over time.

Use silicon lubricant on the zipper once in a while. This will ensure that it slides and seals well.

The only non-trivial leakage that anyone has had with my drysuit is that one guy had about a four day growth of beard and the cuff didn't seal well around his neck. So, no neck beards are out during drysuit season.

You can use conventional gloves or get neoprene gloves to help keep hands warm. If you plan to do enough cold wakeboarding to justify either a wetsuit or drysuit, you should consider making your next set of bindings the closed-toe type. These are warmer. Since there is less leeway for fit, any sharing with others that you might have done previously will probably end. There will be "your" bindings, and the "mooch" bindings for others.

The main objection that people have to wearing a drysuit is that it appears too hard to get on and off. As I explained above, lube is a good remedy such that it's really easier than a wetsuit. The next most common complaint is that it feels odd and possibly a bit of a bother for twisting your body around when riding. I can't say much other than it's something to adapt. I'm sure that this varies a lot by individual taste and personal fit of the suit.

snyderaaron
03-22-2014, 09:05 AM
I just ordered a drysuit for this season that will be here on Monday. I know we would go boating the first nice and convenient day. We would use a wetsuit and I always felt like it was still cold. Then we would hold off going for another month because it was so cold. Going to see how the drysuit works this year , hopfully next Saturday or sunday

AGIII
03-23-2014, 08:56 AM
I got an oneill boost drysuit for Christmas and just tried it out yesterday in 50 degree water temp. It was awesome!!! I was not cold at all. If you don't have wetsuit gloves or socks then your hands and feet will still get cold, but my body was not cold at all. I have a wetsuit and used it in 60 degree water and while it made it more comfortable I couldn't wait to get pulled out of the water and dreaded falling. Yesterday, I was just floating in the water astonished by how I wasn't cold at all. If you have it in the budget to spend a little more, then the drysuit is absolutely the way to go (in my opinion).

maxpower220
03-23-2014, 04:11 PM
The two types of drysuit: baggy and hybrid. I had the hybrid with tight legs. If I were to buy one again, it would be a baggy one. You can wear different things under it to keep warm. Also, when you pull it off, you are dry and dressed to stay warm.

Wetsuits are OK, but when water temps get into the 50s and lower, the drysuit will save you a lot of burnt energy.

brain_rinse
03-23-2014, 05:58 PM
Same thoughts as Ian. Started with a wetsuit that now just collects dust after getting a drysuit. I have an O'neill Boost with neoprene seals and love it! Their customer service rocks, too.

chadjitsu1
03-23-2014, 07:04 PM
I just ordered a drysuit for this season that will be here on Monday. I know we would go boating the first nice and convenient day. We would use a wetsuit and I always felt like it was still cold. Then we would hold off going for another month because it was so cold. Going to see how the drysuit works this year , hopfully next Saturday or sunday

Which one did you order if you don't mind me asking?

996scott
03-23-2014, 07:14 PM
O'neil Boost Dry Suit all the way! I've had one for years and love the warmth. Put on a lightweight pair of sweats and you are good to go. Sometimes you can get a little water around the wrists, ankles, or neck but not much.

snyderaaron
03-23-2014, 08:50 PM
[QUOTE=chadjitsu1;238240]Which one did you order if you don't mind me asking?[/QUOTE

Oneill Boost, they had it on sale for St Pattys Dale for 359

snyderaaron
03-23-2014, 08:50 PM
What maintenance do you guys do for drysuits?

chadjitsu1
03-23-2014, 08:57 PM
[QUOTE=chadjitsu1;238240]Which one did you order if you don't mind me asking?[/QUOTE

Oneill Boost, they had it on sale for St Pattys Dale for 359

Looks like there are 2 votes for the boost. How do you wear sweat pants under that though, It looks like the bottom is a wetsuit and the top is a drysuit from the pictures I have been looking at. It looks like the bottom is super tight. It also looks like wakemakers sells these so maybe I can get a deal with the moomba code if anyone wants to send it to me. I think I should be a shareholder in that place by now with the amount of money I spent last year. Total ballast upgrade with all the goodies.

skiyaker
03-23-2014, 08:59 PM
The oneil boost takes me down to frozen water. I wear under armor cold weather gear underneath. For water temps< 45 I have a neoprene hat and gloves. Most years I go from dry suit (water temp<55) to shortie (55-62) to trunks (>62). For me the only advantage of the wetsuit is that it catches less wind while skiing but for wake boarding I would go dry until trunk weather.

tnbrooks01
03-23-2014, 09:03 PM
What maintenance do you guys do for drysuits?

The only thing I do is silicone spray the zipper and keep it in the laundry room on a hanger so it does not dry folded up or left in the boat.

https://www.wileyski.com/shopcategory.asp?catID=84

snyderaaron
03-23-2014, 09:32 PM
Think it would be back to just hang it from the tower on the boat so its ready for next time?

tnbrooks01
03-23-2014, 09:48 PM
Think it would be back to just hang it from the tower on the boat so its ready for next time?

Im sure that would be fine if temps dont get to harsh.

skiyaker
03-23-2014, 09:51 PM
Once a year I wax the zipper and twice a year I apply the silicone latex conditioner to the seals. I'm pretty sure the silicone seal conditioner is the same silicone "latex conditioner" used for other "household purposes"

AGIII
03-24-2014, 07:37 AM
[QUOTE=snyderaaron;238249]

Looks like there are 2 votes for the boost. How do you wear sweat pants under that though, It looks like the bottom is a wetsuit and the top is a drysuit from the pictures I have been looking at. It looks like the bottom is stuper tight. It also looks like wakemakers sells these so maybe I can get a deal with the moomba code if anyone wants to send it to me. I think I should be a shareholder in that place by now with the amount of money I spent last year. Total ballast upgrade with all the goodies.
The drysuit with the tight legs is the Oneill Assault. The drysuit that is baggy throughout is the Oneill Boost. The Assualt is actually a hybrid drysuit, half wet suit (legs) half drysuit (top). The Boost is a full dry suit. I wear sweatpants and a neoprene top under my Boost for warmth. I thought the drysuit was going to be more restrictng than my wetsuit but I actually found the opposite to be true. I can't say enough good things about dry suits. The wetsuit extended my season by about a month on each end. The drysuit is going to extend it by about two months on each end.

snyderaaron
03-24-2014, 09:43 PM
Just got my Oneill Boost today, of course put cold water in the bathtub to try it out and didn't feel a thing. Absolutely going to try it this weekend.

jester
03-24-2014, 11:57 PM
I have three Oneill Boost's dry suits. One Small, one Medium and one Large. Great customer service. I had the zipper and one of the seals start coming apart after 4 years. Sent it back to them with my receipt (Yes I keep my receipts on items like this) and two weeks later I had a new one at my door step.

snyderaaron
03-25-2014, 08:41 PM
Anyway to zip them up easier? I put the lubricant on a few times and it's still a little rough. Is it always like this

tnbrooks01
03-25-2014, 09:09 PM
Anyway to zip them up easier? I put the lubricant on a few times and it's still a little rough. Is it always like this

My sons suit is 1.5 yrs old and he cant zip it up himself. In other news, that zipper doesnt leak.

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trayson
03-26-2014, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE=snyderaaron;238249]

Looks like there are 2 votes for the boost. How do you wear sweat pants under that though, It looks like the bottom is a wetsuit and the top is a drysuit from the pictures I have been looking at. It looks like the bottom is super tight. It also looks like wakemakers sells these so maybe I can get a deal with the moomba code if anyone wants to send it to me. I think I should be a shareholder in that place by now with the amount of money I spent last year. Total ballast upgrade with all the goodies.

I got my o'neill boost drysuit on the black friday sale at Wakemakers. Before that Active Water Sports had the best price around, but now wakemakers has the same posted price as AWS and with the forum discount, the WM is by far the best deal.

That said, I have had an O'neill farmer john and jacket wetsuit forever. It actually had a front half zip on the "john" and zips on the back of the ankles. Makes it super easy to get on. The jacket is a front zip. I haven't seen a wetsuit like mine in ages. Mine was made for water skiing and most are made for ocean surfing. So the zippers I have aren't practical for ocean surfing. I wore my wetsuit down to water temps in the low 50's. I also have a pair of water socks that I believe are made out of neoprene or something like that. They are thin enough that I can totally wear them in my wakeboard bindings. They don't provide a ton of insulation, but every bit helps.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-PZrNXNYG52E/Up9wXwg99II/AAAAAAAAPms/l_DeIDDy_hk/s800/DSC_6579.JPG

Now the above pic was taken on November 1 and the water temp was 52 if I remember right. It felt COLD and I wasn't all that comfortable. It sucked when my set was done and I had to deal with getting wet gear off. Brr.

Like I said, I got my drysuit and went out on Jan 1 for a NYD run in I believe 42 degree water. I wore my neopreme socks (on the outside of my ankles) and also wore a mountain hardwear tight fitting beanie. I also had some neoprene gloves from a kayak expedition I once did.
https://www.thebootpro.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Mountain-Hardwear-Zerna-Beanie-13-14-200x200.jpg

This is me on the NYD run:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFyAK_PIEA8

After that run I bought myself some real neopreme booties for surfing and a neoprene cap that covers my ears with a chin strap.

I'm a wimp when it comes to cold water, so I'm sure I'll enjoy my drysuit. I know I have always worn my wetsuit when many others would just wear shorts. I don't care, I've got nothing to prove!

trayson
03-27-2014, 05:32 PM
Also found this article:
http://news.activeh2o.com/oneill-boost-drysuit-vs-oneill-assault-drysuit-review/

snyderaaron
03-29-2014, 07:34 PM
Well tried my drysuit, and to put my two cents in I will never wear my wetsuit during cold weather again. Couldnt even feel the water except through my gloves and booties, but didn't effect me at all. Get a drysuit