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Thread: Wet or Dry, that is the question
03-21-2014, 12:14 PM #1
Wet or Dry, that is the question
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.
03-21-2014, 12:23 PM #2
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.Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
03-21-2014, 12:38 PM #3
Sorry to ask so many questions, just trying to educate myself before I take the plunge (literally)
03-21-2014, 12:55 PM #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
- Eugene OR
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.2008 Outback V - Sold but never forgotten.
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." -Napoleon Hill
03-21-2014, 03:19 PM #5
Re: Wet or Dry, that is the question
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 43º.
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03-21-2014, 03:21 PM #6
03-21-2014, 03:34 PM #7
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.Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
2013 Mojo 2.5 Skylon Tower. Bestia < Beast >
03-21-2014, 04:33 PM #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
- Ft. Collins, CO
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.
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.2007 Mobius LSV
1989 Sanger Skier DX - sold
03-21-2014, 10:42 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
- Calgary Alta Canada
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.07 Outback DD
03-22-2014, 01:37 AM #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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.2005 XLV, upgraded ballast, Comptech swivel wakeboard and hydrofoil racks, Monster cargo bimini