Blastin’ in my drysuit!

When I first found out about kiteboarding drysuits I was like whoa, cool, I can get out on the water in cold weather! I was very psyched. I’ve been using drysuits now for ten years, have a blast with mine and get a ton of kiteboarding in as a result of having one.

Bundled up in my drysuit on a chilly day, March 23, 2013, Raritan Bay, NJ

Lucifer drysuit

I live in New Jersey and do most of my kiting there so that means if I want to get out a lot I need cold weather gear. I can easily kite about nine months out of the year (March through November) with a drysuit. And I can also get out on mild winter days. I specifically recall one mild Saturday in January of 2013, the 19th to be exact (I note in my datebook every day I kite) when it was about 50 degrees outside.

The wind was cranking, I put on my drysuit and had a blast on my 7.5 down at Long Beach Island, NJ. I cruised past the boat channel to some islands in the middle of Barnegat Bay and caught the flat water on the downwind side of one of the islands. It was a killer session – in January in New Jersey!

And as I write this (it’s November 2, 2013) I’m in the middle of my most amazing kiting streak ever and have gotten out on the water 25 out of the past 26 weekends. They’re calling for great wind this Sunday, NW high teens to low twenties but cold air temps, high forties. I’m not worried though, I’ve got a drysuit.

me 9 Kngsbrg 3-23-13

If you do get one though be a little more careful when you’re out on the water. Remember it’s cold weather and if something goes wrong you’ve got to deal with that fact. Also, depending on the suit, you have to make sure you don’t tear it. If it rips and fills up with water you could be in serious trouble. I’ve used the same type of drysuit that has me completely sealed in (there are rubber seals on the neck, ankles and wrists) for the past ten years and never ripped it and never had a problem of it filling with water but know it’s a slight chance so I’m cognizant of that problem to make sure it doesn’t happen. But there are a variety of drysuits out there so find the one that’s most comfortable and is appropriate for your needs (you can also use them for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and other water activities).

You also have to take good care of your drysuit to make it last. If you can, spray it off with fresh water when you’re done using it. Periodically run a wax stick over the zipper to ensure it opens and closes properly. Pull it inside out to dry (you’ll usually sweat in it and sometimes a little bit of water gets in them but that’s no big deal but you do need to let it dry).

You’ll also have to maintain any rubber seals/parts. Get a surface protectant and rejuvenator like UV Tech (most dive shops carry this) and periodically spray it on the rubber seals, especially right before you store it for the warm-weather months. This lubricates the rubber and helps to prevent it from breaking down.

If your drysuit has rubber socks (like mine does, and I put booties on over the socks) take a pair of regular socks, push each pair inside out to make a ball and then put them into the rubber socks to prevent the rubber on the inside of the socks from sticking to itself. Also take some plastic shopping bags and put them over the rubber socks before you roll up the drysuit to store it to prevent the socks from sticking to each other on the outside.

But most of all – keep on kiteboarding!

me 1 Knsbrg 3-23-13

me 2 Knsbrg 3-23-13


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