Semi-dry to drysuit conversion

-- Last Updated: Nov-02-08 10:53 AM EST --

Is it possible to replace the neoprene neck enclosure on the Kokatat Supernova with a latex gasket, effectively making a drysuit out of this semi-dry suit? The little bit of water that does enter this suit, when doing bracing and rolling bothers me more each year.

strongly strongly
recommend talking to the original manufacturer. You coould be goingfrom a semi dry suit to one that fills up with water real fast.


off hand, I’d think you could do it

But is it worth it?
You are probably talking about the Kokatat SuperNova, yes, which uses the Tropos material? In my experience the ability of that to hold up to hard use is so-so - wonder if you might be better off putting together the money for something like NRS’s breathable drysuit.

I suspect the conversion you are talking about is quite doable.

The conversion is possible

– Last Updated: Nov-03-08 1:11 PM EST –

I replaced the latex gaskets on my drysuit with neoprene gaskets and they work great. Making the neoprene gaskets isn't that big of a deal and they can be custom made to fit your neck size. They can be made to be much more comfortable than latex gaskets and seal just as well. I'll post a link to a Webshots album that shows the process I used for making and installing the neoprene gaskets. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

“Super Nova” has a whole new
meaning on the B&B forum.


One note though - you seem to be using “diameter” instead of circumference.

Yes but

– Last Updated: Nov-05-08 9:29 AM EST –

I seem to remember that the SuperNova has a different zipper than Kokatats true dry suits. Might not be quite as WP in long immersions.

That said, I have been pleased with my Supernova in the times I have swam in WW. I have a thick neck, and suffered no discernable leakage.

Seakayaker Mag recently had a piece about making neoprene gaskets for suits. When my (tight) wrist gaskets are toast I will replace them with neoprene.


When the article was published in Sea Kayaker Magazine, they didn’t catch it either. Thanks again.

I was told just a few

– Last Updated: Nov-04-08 5:17 PM EST –

tablespoons of water down the neck on a roll. I found one on sale for $151.32 new @ REI and picked it up for a friend because my money is too tight. Great deal at less than most drytops, still kicking myself for being broke.

It depends
On my chicken neck, I get more water down the neck in a roll than a hardly-chicken neck friend in the SuperNova. And it’s a flood if I am on my side sculling.

It’s a great backup or warmer-but still-drysuit weather garment and for $151 it’s a great deal if in decent condition, but the SuperNova is not the same as a full latex gasket dry suit.