Hydro skin shorty

I paddle a Surf Ski in San Diego. I am wondering how restrictive a 2mm hyro skin shorty is? Trying to decide if I really need it or not. Currently just wearing shorts and T shirt. Doing Interval training and warm up well after 1 mile. If it is very restrictive I will pass it up.

No restriction of movement at all. I like them and they give you a bit of warmth compared to a wet bathing suit. I also like the Hydroskin long pants too. In late fall I use the long pants over the shorty and it worked quite well for warmth.

I found the long sleeve hydroskin top restricive. I use the vest and shorts or vest and Rodeo pants, which are heavier.

Here ya go
The Little John:


No sleeves.


the hydroskin pants are great, but the shirts are too restrictive. i’d get a vest instead of the shirt in hindsight. Way too tight under the armpits.

NRS HysroSkin Overhyped…

– Last Updated: Jan-08-10 6:45 AM EST –

I think NRS is a pretty good outfit. But their hydroskin is way overhyped (it DOES NOT provide the equivilent warmth of 2mm) and then overcharged.

You would do better to get .5mm surf gear -- shorty or separate top and bottom -- with a smooth face. The smooth face actually does better aat not absorbing water, as opposed to the textured hydroskin, and keep one warmer from evaporative chilling (or cooling). But, for your purpose, this may or may not be a good thing...

As a comparison to hydroskin for cost, look here but there are other sites and brands which are equivilent (.5mm smooth face neo) and less expensive than hydroskin.



love mine
I use the one piece sleeveless shorty (it may be the little john, don’t really remember and the lable does not say.) It is comfortable and provides enough warmth to extend my surf ski season a bit. The chest zipper is nice if you are doing intervals, it opens way up to let you cool off.

If you do order, check NRS sizing chart. I wear a medium in most clothes, but their chest measurments put me in a large and it fits great.

Stohlquist 2mm shorty
love mine


Gave mine away…
…I had a hydroskin LS top. I felt like it restricted movement and was either hot and sticky or cold and clammy. Nothing in between. I cannot think of a single moment of wearing it that I was comfortable and not wishing that I was wearing something (anyhing) else. The shorts are OK but not great. I got fed up with the top taking up space on my gear shelf in the basement and rather than throw it away I gave it somebody who would take it.

Mine Top and FJ Shorty Have Been…
sitting in some bin in the basement for years. No one I know fit these. Otherwise, yeah, I would get rid of 'em too.


Another Site With .5 - 2mm Neo Wear…

Warning – gear from this site always comes. But it comes in weeks. There is no such thing as a “rush” order with this outfit.


L.S. + Trunks perfect for Winter runs
out the M.B. Channel to the sticks, S.D bay etc… If you are learning and in the water a bunch maybe consider the shorty but IMHO I would pick the top + trunks over the shorty. Maybe some O’neil Freak Sneaks for da’ feet @ night.

signed, former Bahia local.

Hydroskin is the most comfortable
material you’ll probably find. It has a great deal of stretch and is much more comfortable than my 3mm neoprene. The down side is that it’s not much protection if your swimming for any period of time, because of it’s stretch it will flush water easily while swimming. If your looking for something comfortable with minimal protection it’s hard to beat. I wear my hydroskin when ever the conditions allow. If your getting a top, make sure it’s not too snug.

Try Sierra Trading Post, too
They always seem to have Camaro stuff, though I don’t know how much of it is applicable to the application under discussion.

What DO you use
Ok, for you guys who agree with my uninformed opinion that a hydroskin top, (or farmer John) are too restrictive, what do you use? What gives you comfort when paddling, but would keep you warm if immersed?

I sold my Hydroskin top and Neosport farmer john to a dingy sailor.

I’m looking for the answer to safe and comfortable winter paddling, down to (50° air and 50°water).


I use either a drysuit or my Hydroskin.

I use a drysuit.
I paddle year round in the Puget Sound area. 50 / 50 is pretty standard paddling conditions here. My drysuit works great for me.

Your Level of Skills

– Last Updated: Jan-12-10 10:28 AM EST –

your physical tolerance for temps (hot/cold) and the type of conditions your prefer paddling in determine what gear works for you. It is almost always a compromise of sorts.

I have drysuits but haven't use them in several years. I paddle surf down to air temps in the teens and water temps just above 32. I used wetsuits exclusively. I don't find them restrictive and feel the're "safer" (at least psychologically) because I often surf rocky shore or reef breaks where a smack down on a big day may mean scraping along the rocks and barnicles.

Also, more important, I found "drysuits" were never such for me. I was always drenched with sweat from sprinting out through the break zone. And, then I would get cold on the back side waiting for a wave.

My post about "hydroskin" is not about categorical determination about whether it's "good" or "bad". Just that there are .5 mm alternatives that are not as expensive. These may be worth one's consideration if one is going to spend the $$ to buy NRS "hydroskin".