Paddling suits

Such as the Kokatat Supernova…

am contemplating one as i liek the idea of a suit but am not very comfortable in a latex neck gasket.

as it is ‘semi-dry’ what would you recomend for an insulation layer?

would it be possible to add an after-market latex gasket?

Same underlayers
as with a dry suit - wicking, then insulation - all synthetic or wool type blends.

The Super-Nova only leaks at the neck. I get some water in when rolling or wetback sculling and static bracing.

Some paddlers with beefier necks get very little water in at the neck.

Trim the latex gasket
This assumes the problem is choking, not rash.

Consider triming the latex neck gasket until it is almost perfectly comfortable. A few weeks after that it probably will be. I think it would still seal better than semi-dry. That’s what I did. Comfortable now and no water leakage.

Paul S.

SuperNova not dry
I know of one person for whom the SuperNova is a pretty dry suit - he is big enough to really stretch and fill out the neoprene neck. For myself and my husband it lets water in far too enthusiastically if you take a swim. Not only is the water cold, it ends up trapped in your feet which is maybe not a great idea for general floatation purposes.

Semi-dry means just that - no guarantee you’ll actually stay dry under full immersion.

As to the latex gaskets, Kokatat’s are among the most comfortable (eg lightweight and not real binding) out there. As a result I go thru a neck gasket in less than a year, but they are much less gagging than the heavier gaskets in the old style WW drytops. And as mentioned you can trim them to be looser and more comfortable - just go slow because you can’t add it back after taking off too much.

If you have a true latex allergy your only option for dry would be something like the Stohlquist Body Pod with a thick neo neck that is designed to stay dry. But most people can acclimate to the thinner neck gaskets fine.

As noted above, the Super Nova isn’t quite dry. A drier approach would be the Stohlquist Body Pod before moving to the driest end of the spectrum which is a drysuit with latex neck/wrist gaskets & gaskets/booties on the ankles.

Search the archives for dealing with latex gaskets to break them in or trimming. It’s been discussed extensively.

See you on the water,