Burping drysuit

Just bought a used Kokatat gortex front entry suit for a super low price. How important is it to burp the suit before going out kayaking. I ask because sometimes I will be kayaking on small creaks that aren’t exactly super clean. Plus i would rather not have to get the suit all wet wading into dirty water to burp the suit. The suit I got doesn’t have relief zipper or booties but latex seals at ankles if this makes any difference. I assume you burp the suit by wading into water and pulling on neck seal to allow air to escape.

Oh one other question, since the suit doesn’t have the built in booties I bought some Rockey gortex socks. Will the latex seals at ankle seal well against the socks? Or do the socks have to go outside of seals which would be difficult to do.

I never owned a drysuit or even a wetsuit before so sorry for silly questions.

Dry burp…
Though it is most efficient to burp a dry suit in water, many do so by squatting on land.

Usually latex gaskets have to be against your skin to be a wholly effective seal.

no need to go in water.
simply “pray to Allah” while holding the neck gasket open, everything else zipped up. This will remove most of the air from your suit. It is important to remove the air; you’ll notice the michelin man is landbound.

I will have to try that. Right now the suit is at Kokatat getting the one ankle seal replaced. When i get it back I will try the squatting thing. When I first got the suit I filled the bathtub and checked the suit for leaks. that’s when I noticed how much air was in the suit.

So the ankle seals really need to be against the skin, darn as I was hoping to put the gortex socks up the ankle under the seals at ankle. When I get the suit back I will try to see if it does in fact leak with the socks under the seals. When I first got the suit I didn’t yet have the socks and now the suit is at kokatat for one ankle seal replacement. Maybe I should have had the booties installed. I could call Kokatat and have the booties installed. Not sure how much it would cost but then the ankle seal would need replacement as it would be replaced by booties. I just shipped the suit off 2 days ago they have yet received it.

Think its worth having booties installed??

if affordable
If you can swing the cost, whatever it may be, you will be very happy if you have goretex booties on your suit. A bonus is that you can have the correct size put on to fit your feet. The booties on my Tempest dry pants are really big, so much that crocs are about the only over shoe that I can wear with them.

Burping is important - I know a Maine guide who was demonstrating wet exits. He forgot to burp his suit, and once inverted, all the air was forced to his legs. They swelled so much he couldn’t get out of the boat (small ocean cockpit), and had to have help to get back upright (he has tossed his paddle aside to demonstrate the wet exit).

what about the need for canoeists?
Just wondering… is it as important for canoeists to burp a suit? (vs. kayakers)

I kind of like having the extra air but others have commented that it is important. I’m wondering if that is due to space limitations inside a kayak or is there some other consideration?


Swimming is difficult
If you don’t burp, it’s very difficult to swim agressively. Of course you can float just fine. But swimming, not so much.

Swim with paddle?
This works well - it would be fun to try this with a fully inflated dry suit…

Burp it
A tragic death in Virginia resulted when, during a professional rescue practice, one of the officers drowned because the excess air in his feet and legs held him under the water. Burp, burp, burp!

also makes it very difficult to roll.

Another Way to burp
Once you have your suit on. Lift the neck gasket above your mouth , let it seal under your nose. Pull the gasket slightly away from our mouth, then take breaths thru your mouth and exhale thru your nose. Works great!

Suits that are breathable
get air back in after burping… My observation is that after burping (I usually do it on land) the suit sticks to me as there is not much air inside. But, after some paddling, plenty of air gets back inside. I’m skinny, so I got lots of space under the suit.

So, while important to get extra air out, I fell it is not that important to get all the air out - if you have slack, you will get air back in after some time, so getting in the water is not necessarily very helpful if you can get most of the air out on dry land (getting wet before paddle has other benefits, such as reminding you before your life is in danger that you forgot to close your zipper, for instance -;)…

yeah, critical
even if recovering from a swim in moving water, or doing a rescue, even a little air gives too much buoyancy and resistance, and can make walking/working in a rapid harder than it should be. Your pfd gives enough buoyancy.

Thanks for the replies
Well I just checked with Kokatat and its a $155 to get the ankle seals and gortex booties installed were its $40 for just the one ankle seal that is ripped on the suit now. Plus I allready have the gortex socks.

Just wondering how much the suit would leak at the ankles if I used the gortex socks and had them under the ankle seals. Iam not sure how hard it would be to get the socks if even possable over the suit so as to not compromise the latex seal to skin on ankle. Right now the suit is in transit to kokatat for ankle seal replacement. Guess I should have figured this out before I shipped the suit.

So anyone ever use gortex socks on there drysuit that dont have the booties? Do they cause much of a leak at the ankles?

yes, I have
I used to use Gore-tex socks (made by Rocky) over socks and underneath latex ankle gaskets on a Kokatat drysuit. The results were fair. The Gore-tex socks do not conform absolutely to your ankles so there are always pleats in the socks where the gaskets cover them. Water will be wicked up those pleats so you will have some leakage.

stretch armstrong and steroid boy

Taking off suit with latex ankle gaskets
Have you taken off your drysuit? My first dry gear were Stohlquist dry pants and top. I found taking off the pants with latex ankle gaskets no fun at all - especially if tired from rolling practice etc…

It may appear expensive, but attached Gore-Tex booties are so nice and easy…

Get the booties you will love them
As for the socks it will wick water not a lot but enough for you to be wet.

Get the Booties

– Last Updated: Jan-19-12 9:22 PM EST –

After going the latex gasket route instead of booties, two good male friends have both said they now know what it's like when ladies have their legs waxed.


I had the gaskets.
Switched to latex booties. My new drysuit has goretex (actually e-vent, I think) booties.

Get the booties if you can afford them. Worth the extra $100 or so. Use those goretex socks in your leaky hiking shoes.