Torso Rotation

Anyone ever have any problem with their torso rotation because of a snug fitting PFD? How about a wet suit? I’ve got a Farmer John wet suit, and it stretches, but when something stretches, doesn’t it also restrain some?

the items that are made for these sports are MADE for these sports.

If your stuff FITS PROPERLY, then you won’t have a problem


No problem with my farmer Jane
I paddled in it this weekend and did not notice any resistance with it. No problem with my pfd either.


I did once…
… in the fall, when I put on a dry suit for the first time since spring. It was a training where I expected to get wet a lot.

I couldn’t figure out why my normal forward paddling rhythm and flow were gone. But I finally loosened the side straps and all was fine.


nope. Neither one.
Rotate my torso a lot and never felt that restricted.

It is possible that some people are more flexible than others and this lessens the restrictive effect of the neoprene.

As for the PFD, if you can, try one on you and at least sit in a boat at the paddle shop and spin awhile.

Or sit on one of those exercise balls at home & paddle.

Reputable shops and stores will let you return a badfitting PFD if it’s only tested for a few minutes like this and has the tags on.

no problem with either
and (at 220/230#)I’m a fairly large guy.

I have had problems with PFDs, spray
skirt tunnels, and with excess undergarments. For winter drytop wear, I recommend tightening the PFD only at the bottom cinch line. I suggest using a spray skirt where the neoprene tunnel is just a bit on the loose side, and/or trimming the tunnel down so it is only just long enough to mate properly with the drytop inner sleeve. Finally, considering the amount of insulation provided by the sprayskirt tunnel, consider shortening undergarments so they don’t have to be rolled back over themselves. For example, though I am 6’ 5" and normally wear a large or xl in shirts, my winter insulation is a Patagonia in small size. Its short length does not over fill my drytop.

It should be very easy to FEEL the resistance of your PFD, spray skirt tunnel, and assorted upper body insulation, and to take whichever of the above measures apply to achieve good results.

Hey g2d
If you only cinch the bottom of the pfd, how well does it work if you go for a swim?

I definately feel it
when I wear my farmer john. I am a pretty big guy, and can feel a little more strain and resistance in my torso when wearing the neoprene.

i have found that more fitness oriented paddlers, surfski paddlers and people with short torsos (as mentioned), often experience these issues- in addition to overheating with all this gear. i do wear my pfd (currently a kokatat), and wear mysterioso fleece, but will likely change to an inflatable worn as a waist belt, if i get off flat water in my ski and get out on the ocean:)

also, if you are in a sink that fits well for rolling, you may find the seat a bit snug for the best torso rotation (but a reasonable safety trade-off:)

It works ok, though if I see a big swim
is likely, I may tighten the other two levels. It is appropriate to snug the upper levels a bit, but not enough to pull the PFD and everything under it into a restricting corset.

I have often wished that all PFDs and spray skirts were set up so that the bottom of the PFD could be clipped to the skirt, and the skirt would have a crotch strap under it, or a link to one’s pants. Seems like a better way to keep a PFD down than cinching the thing tightly around the chest.