In searching drysuits for paddling, I come across some for scuba diving, waterskiing, etc. How are they different from paddling suits, if at all, and do those differences make them unsuitable (pun intended) for paddling?
I am a diver as well as a kayaker, and I wear a drysuit for both sports. The diving drysuit is all neoprene and isn’t made to allow the shoulder movement for paddling. The paddling drysuit is goretex, and there are no valves. I would think that a sport specific suit would be the best bet for comfort and security as the purpose and design criteria are not the same in the two cases.
I had bought a divesuit (got a great price!) to wear at “kayak camp”, but was advised by my instructors to return it because they said that there was not enough mobility through the arms and shoulders for kayaking. I did return it, and wore my farmer jane instead.
I too am an avid diver and paddler. I too wear two different drysuits in the sports. The scuba suits ARE NOT made of breathable fabrics. That’s very important for kayaking with the possible exception of very leisurely bird watchers (meant in no hurry and therefore no persperation).
My Kokatat paddling drysuit is much looser fitting, Goretex, thinner and flexible material and no installed valves.
The scuba suit (OS Systems and Andy’s suits) are heavier denier(sp) nylon laminates. Stiffer, include seatec valves (inflation and exhaust) and DO NOT BREATH.
I would not want to paddle very far in my scuba drysuit(s).