I know this may sound silly … it’s like asking what they wear under those kilts! But what do you wear under and over a wetsuit when you’re out paddling?
Depends on temperature…
of both water and air. Poly-pro or silk underwear and a rashguard shirt underneath. Usually nothing over in warm weather. A splash jacket if it’s cool out.
Go like the Scots…
In all my days of scuba and now kayaking, I am not sure that I could answer I have worn anything under my wetsuit. Can’t really imagine trying to squeeze it on over clothing. Seems like a good way to end up with a power wedgie. :O)
I wear supplex shorts usually
Most silk stuff or lite polypro will just get shredded under a tight wetsuit in my experience.
Polyester for me
I have been wearing “Polyester” under my Farmer John. I always wear the brief style Polyester underwear, and in the cooler weather wear a long sleeve Polyester T-Shirt under the farmer john too. I then put my Semi Dry Top on, over top of everything.
I make sure it is the wicking style, like Polyester, or Polypropylene (spelling?). It helps keep moisture off of your skin.
I understand this will not effect the job of the wet suit when you dump into the water, and it does make wearing a F J more comfortable.
Personal preference, I guess.
I wear inexpensive polyester t-shirt and bathing suit under my neoprene. Wallmart sells a brand by Starter that works great and is comfortable.
underarmor clothing. It is super thin and works as a good perspiration evaporating cloth as well as rash guard.
What is important is fit
In waters below 50 degrees the purpose of the wet suit is to prevent the exchange of warmed up water next to your skin from being flushed out (capsize) and exchanged with cold water.
Thus the suit should be fairly tight and have few if any folds, no looseness, area around arm pits and ankles snugged down, and a thin fuzzy rubber top to prevent water incursion.
Once you have this taken care of, you may find there is little chaffing as the suit moves with you rather than rubs. But, if you can fit a thin layer in between it is fine to do so, just don’t buy a suit that has room in to to be filled up by this layer. If defeats the function.
“In waters below 50 degrees”…
…you shouldn’t be in a Farmer John, anyway. At the very least, you should be in a full wetsuit and a dry suit is far preferable.
I’m going out in nothing…
I’m going out in nothing but a swimsuit this weekend. The water is 50 degrees, air is 75 degrees. It’s a calm lake and I am staying within 60 feet of shore. I think I’ll survive…
that I wouldn’t dare wear anymore. I guess a skimpy 2 piece would be the female equivalent.
60 feet is a long way…
60 feet can be a long way to swim, if the cold water numbs your brain. It can do it quicker than you can imagine. Lowering your body temps just a few degrees, in a minute or two can be enough to slow your brain more than would be safe.
It’s your life…
I would wear a drysuit but I’m a student so I don’t have $500+ to spend on one. If I was going out in the middle of the lake that’s another story…
What Does A Scot Wear Under His Kilt?
I wear a Speedo. That prevents being fined for indecent exposure for changing on the beach!
If it is cold, I wear a Mysterioso top. I may also wear a NRS hydro vest.
Sometimes nothing but undies
My wetsuit has fleece lining, so it’s really comfy. Sometimes a rash-guard top.
I appreiate the input and enjoyed the humor! I have a lot of good info now. Thanks.
50 degree water…
regardless of air temp kills people quite often. If you are not dressed to swim, you are not dressed to paddle.
I have a NRS Ultra farmer john and so I don’t need the polypro, however I do use a pair of underarmor shorts.
The same day that I bought the shorts I found a pair of “Speedo” biker shorts for $35 . basicly the same thing
Take a swim
Before you go out.
At least that way you will know what it will feel like if you do dump.
Some folks are happy swimming in icewater. Others fall into 50 degree water, loose the ability to swim and drown.
There is a lot of fifty degree water
that is in rivers less than 3 feet deep and twenty feet wide. It would be crazy to wear a full wetsuit or even a farmer john on these waterways this time of year. Some spare clothes in a drybag might be a good idea though. I guess it all depends on what you are doing? Not every body of water poses the same risks.