anyone tried a drysuit with one of these collars? was wondering how watertight is it? will it leak like a sieve? how’s is it after a couple of rolls? several rolls? it’s supposedly a soft, coated lycra elastane, gusseted collar that can be adjusted by velcro. i guess to be truly watertight, look for latex gaskets, but the truth is i can’t stand having that around my neck, so this is my only option.
You mean the SuperNova?
If so, it ain't remotely dry for anyone with a skinny neck and/or cords that tend to stick out as you turn your head (like you will in a roll). A cup of water in each bootie after 4 rolls or sculls (water comes in faster in a scull). You can check this by just putting your hand on your neck and turning you head. If you have a thicker neck, it'll still let in water but not fatally fast if you don't mind being little squishy in there. Mine just arrived from Kokatat with its new booties yesterday, so I've used it. I like this suit as a backup, but I'd be hard-pressed to recommend it as someone's first and primary suit.
The other thing is that the Tropos material is not as robust as the GoreTex and will show its age a lot sooner under hard use.
If you really plan of getting wet I'd advise that you skip the SuperNova and go for one of three other options.
Try on the Stolhquist BPod and see if that neck is tighter on you.
Try on suits with latex necks before you close the door - some of these gaskets are more lightweight than you realize, much more lightweight than the old WWW drytop gaskets. It means they have be replaced more often, but it improves comfort a lot.
Look at the high end highly technical surfing suits. More warm, effective and comfortable than a Farmer John, and you even get to look like wet seal (only you know if that's a good thing or not).
The adjustable collars
won't keep you very dry if thats what your looking for. There will be a good alternative to latex that seals just as good and is much more comfortable coming out on the market probably next year.
second the Bpod
I have an average neck, and the bpod holds up watertight for me even in rescue and roll practice. I love the neo gasket vs. latex. Best bet is to try one on before buying.
Have you tried a trimmed latex seal?
My wife and I demoed Supernova paddling suits for the same reason - "strangulation" from the latex seal. I didn't know that latex seals could (and should) be trimmed to fit, which was explained to me by Barbara at kayakacademy.com. So we also demoed (and eventually purchased) the conventional Kokatat drysuits.
They have a very large stock of demo drysuits, including some that have been trimmed to various neck sizes. When correctly trimmed, I actually preferred the latex seal - very comfy. And yes, the Supernova leaks significantly.
The latex seal of a conventional drysuit does not need to be very tight to completely seal out water, and I am very comfy in my drysuit.
doesn’t call the Supernova a drysuit
Instead they call it semi-dry
(semi-dry = semi-wet)