Dry suit question for the Boys

Ok, question for the guys out there. Preferably those who have used both dry suits and paddling suits.

I’ve been using a Palm padding suit for a while. Similar to a dry suit, but the neck is neoprene rather than latex. Much more comfortable.

One issue I have is when I start getting some stubble on the neck. Feels uncomfortable on the neoprene Plus seems to wear into the neoprene.

What is it like with a latex neck? Does this same issue exist?

Muchas gracias.

I try to shave my neck
Stubble is uncomfortable with latex, for me anyway. If I haven’t shaved, I end up not rotating my neck as much.

Very uncomfortable
The reason I shave when not going to work is because stubble is extremely uncomfortable under a latex gasket.

for me
I have a drytop with a neoprene gasket, and more often wear a drysuit with a latex gasket. I don’t notice any issues with stubble and the neoprene. With the latex gasket, the worst situation is shaving immediately before use. Next best is having some stubble. But the best scenario for me is shaving the night before, so I’m fairly stubble-free, but my neck isn’t irritated from shaving immediately before donning the suit.


get some body glide
It helps with any chafe spots.

Bellows Gasket

– Last Updated: Mar-06-12 3:33 PM EST –

I actually don't have a whole lot of trouble with gasket discomfort, but I weigh not much more than half of what most paddlers my age do, and have a correspondingly skinny neck. Thus, the neck gasket has a bit of play so it can move with me when I turn my head (yes it fits my neck tightly, but floppiness in the rest of the gasket allows motion). Still, my previous dry suit was an old military-surplus model with a bellows neck gasket, and I really wonder why I've never seen that kind of gasket on paddling dry suits. That kind of gasket is big and puffy except for the sealing surface, and unless you can turn your head as far around as an owl, it will always move with you, rather than chafe. Makes you look like Jabba the Hut when the air inside the suit heats up and expands, but wow, talk about comfort. Slips over the head a lot easier than normal gaskets too.

nearly always
shave my neck the night before… Better for the latex not having stubble abrasion. Latex on the neck is the least of my pain issues paddling, but I don’t care for replacing gaskets.

Little story, I had a weekend dam release to go to, in Oct., my official start to drysuit season. Anyways I’m getting ready to take a shower friday evening, wifes letting me know dinner’s ready, and I realize my neck gasket was torn from the previous season. I run around in a towel, get a 3 lb. coffee can, it’s too small to mount the gaskets together, so I wrap a towel around it to increase circumference. Smear waaaay to much aqua seal on the gaskets, run into the shower with glue all over my hands, eat dinner reeking of acetone, and go check my “fix.” Well, i pretty much glued the towel to the new gasket. Removed most of the towel, and darn, if that wasn’t the most comfortable gasket I ever had, cotton fuzzy lined and all.

Only have experience with latex…
…and when I first started using a drysuit I was warned to shave my neck. The gasket was snug and getting used to that snug-ness was different. Eventually I started taking long trips and not shaving. Didn’t really notice anything. Now, 4 drysuits later, I may shave before paddling but it has nothing to do with comfort.


Am I the only one who …
Never shaves the neck??? I’ve been paddling latex for years and never once felt something on my neck has a problem with it. I have full beard (short, trimmed every couple of weeks but almost never shaved) and never felt it interfered with paddling…

My current dry suit, eVent Mission from NRS, has such a wide gasket that I don’t even feel it in use (still remains water tight apparently). On the other suit I had to trim a Kokatat-style gasket to fit me comfortably, and again - no issues with it.

By the way, same with the latex ankle gaskets on my 2-piece: did I ever shave my hairy legs to get in??? You can gues that I have not and I haven’t -:wink: Do I have problems? I do panfully lose a few hairs every time I try to remove the pants as I pinch them with my hands against the gaskets to get my feet out, but putting on and using - absolutely no issues (again, had to trim the gaskets quite a bit to make them comfotable as they were way too tight).

suspicions about "Glide"
I used Glide on my neck for about a month, and tore a neck gasket in record time. (The gasket was about 3 months old, on a brand-new Kok suit.) I don’t know that the glide is to blame, but I’m not sure what else was different during that time.

Personally I won’t use the glide near a gasket again. Besides, it wore off too fast to be useful. You’d have to reapply hourly to get much relief.

Shaving - Not Shaving
I bet that the difference in your case is the difference between stubble and hairs. As little as a few day’s growth provides enough length to eliminate the prickliness that you get with hair that barely sticks up past the skin. Apples and oranges comparison.

3 or 4 days growth isn’t really an issue. 1 or 2 day’s worth is a whole different experience.

BodyGlide NOT meant for sticky surfaces

– Last Updated: Mar-07-12 6:21 PM EST –

It works well with standard neoprene that has a stretch nylon inner surface, and it works fine with the fleeced parts of my wetsuit insides.

But I'm pretty sure that BodyGlide specifically advises against using it on rubbery, smooth surfaces. It may have the opposite effect on those: grabbing instead of gliding.

There are numerous types of BodyGlide products. The one I'm using goes on like antiperspirant and it is made for runners using running clothes--not rubbery at all.

Got it.
So glad I quit shaving years ago -:wink:

neo vs latex
I own both a drysuit and two different IR semi-dry tops, one with just neoprene, the other neoprene with a little rim of raw rubber at the top. I find that the drysuit’s latex gasket is by far the least irritating to my skin. The raw neoprene gasket is the next best, while the full nylon/neo gasket is the worst.

For me at least, the nylon covering on the neoprene catches repeatedly on stubble as I move and ends up irritating the skin/beard follicles from all that micro-pulling. The times I got irritated in the drysuit came not from the latex but from the neoprene/velcro banded “over collar.” I now leave the latter completely un-cinched when I wear the suit.

yes. only worse

– Last Updated: Mar-08-12 4:22 PM EST –

That's part of the reason I like the neoprene neck gasket.