Kokatat GMER, couple questions

I haven’t received my GMER yet. Still on the loaner GFER from Kayak Academy. George ordered the wrong color, oops, so needs to re-order. I’m still losing 7 lb/month like clockwork, so Barb sent me out an XL to try on again, versus the XXL I had ordered, given my suit won’t arrive now till June. This actually works out well for me.

I was wondering about a couple things on the GMER before, too, so might as well ask now.

The velcroed zipper cover goes right across the overskirt. I’m sure it would work fine for keeping water out of the spray skirt tunnel from waves. What about rolling though. Upside down, twisting around, getting laundered in surf. Does water get through the slit in the oversirt and into the spray skirt tunnel?

There’s this little cloth loop about three inches above the bottom of the diagonal entry zipper. You have to pass the draw cord on the zipper through the loop to fininsh zipping it up. Then pass it through again to unzip. It’s kind of annoying, and not on the GFER. I can’t imagine the zipper coming unzipped by itself. Anybody cut that thing off? I would certainly check with George or Barb, too, before doing that, but wondering.

Paul S.

Don’t cut it!
That little tab is annoying, but it’s important. Basically what it does is prevents the zipper from spreading too far when it’s in the open position. If it wasn’t there, it would be easy to overstress the bottom end of the zipper as you’re putting it on and taking it off, and very soon a tear would appear at the bottom end, where the zipper comes together. Other than that little tab, there’s nothing keeping that end of the zipper from splitting the fabric. For best results, just zip down to the tab, pass the zipper pull under it, and finish the zip.

From my time…
I can’t say I ever thought about either of these things, but as to my experience with overskirts and the little strap…

The zipper itself is waterproof, so the velcro cover is more about preventing the zipper teeth from messing up your PFD or whatever is over it. Though having used both one with and one without the velcro cover last season, I didn’t see any damage from either. Ultimately water will find its way in if you are in enough twisty soup, but my impression has always been that it starts under the velcro bottom of the overskirt and then finds any opportunities in your skirt tunnel. And the more you twist the more that only a really tight neo tunnel is going to ultimately work there anyway.

The little extra kinda-strap you are talking about exists on my SuperNove, and I can’t say it has ever ocurred to me to do anything with it. If it serves a critical function I have never figured out exactly what it is, but I don’t find it to be troublesome either so I just leave it. It isn’t a bad thing to have to be more careful about zipping that last few inches though - that’s where people often don’t fully close the zipper.

Not to hijack the thread…
(people always say that AS they hijack a thread :))…

But what - if any - courses have you taken from George and do you find them informative/useful? Also, if you could mention what your skill level was before the course(s) and if you think they helped out, that would be great info, too.

I actually live in Issaquah and am considering one of his courses.

Ah, got it. Lighter zipper.
The zipper is lighter on the M and very different at the ends, versus the F. The F has large rubber terminals. On the M the zipper just makes a U at the end.

KA instructions say to put a dab of Vaseline at the ends of the zipper to maintain water tightness. I couldn’t figure out how that would help on the F with the rubber terminals. I can see it on the M though.

The lighter zipper is probably considered less obstructive. I do feel the zipper on the F while wearing. I like robust though. But I really like an overskirt, which is only on the M. Hoping the overskirt seals well though, with the slit in it to access the zipper.

Paul S.

Probably get better answers
by posting a separate topic titled something like: “Kayak Academy courses” with the exact same text as above.

Paul S.

hope you have
deep, deep pockets, NativeVTer

7 lbs/month!
Good on ya, Paul! You think you can keep that up indefinitely?!

I was thinking of tapering off to zero
around 190.

Ironic …

– Last Updated: Apr-11-07 12:56 AM EST –

Update: Checked the new zipper and there is a tab on the inside to keep the two zipper halves together, so in this case the outer tab was redundant.

Kokatat cut my little tab thingy off when they replaced the zipper in my suit.
Hmmm ... "cut my little tab thingy off" that doesn't sound so good on a re-read.

So they cut of your thingy
but sewed on a new one. Shew, close call!

Is this thingy the little cloth strap (I called it a loop, above) that goes across the zipper a few inches up?

Paul S.

Not really deep pockets
but I HAVE noticed his prices being pretty steep, so I was just curious as to whether it was worth it or nor - i.e. is it akin to taking acting classes from Robert Deniro, or from Mr. T? :).

I’ll start a different thread - good idea (shoulda done that to begin with).

It was originally a cloth strap on the outside of the zipper. You had to pass the zipper pull through it to close or open. This suit originally had a plastic zipper. It now has a metal toothed zipper which has a similar strap on the inside, but the strap is made of a coated fiber - same material as the black part of the zipper. It’s much nicer not having to pass the zipper pull under the cloth strap.