By Daniel Martinez, eCommerce Manager, Crowley’s Yacht Yard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Not having used a drysuit in a while, I headed over to our dock and took a dip.
The Henri Lloyd TP1 Pace Drysuit is a fantastic piece of gear for any cold-water sailor. The generous cut allows for full freedom of movement and the multiple adjustment points help keep it from being too baggy.
Drysuits should be sized primarily based on the height of the sailor, since it’s got to cover your whole body from your feet to your neck. The internal shoulder straps allow for some adjustment if the suit is slightly too large, but a suit that’s slightly too small is going to be, well, uncomfortable to say the least.
Putting on the drysuit I was struck by how flexible the material is, allowing me to move unencumbered but also with Cordura reinforcements in all the right spots, so you’re unlikely to rip out the seat when sliding forward on the rail and snagging a cleat.
Getting the seal over your head might be a bit uncomfortable for folks with long hair, so a putting on a hat while getting dressed might reduce how much hair you pull out.
The only other challenge is putting on boots over the drysuit booties. The drysuit booties are made of a tough rubber material that is a bit sticky. I used Zhik’s ZKG shoes for the test, because they’re very flexible and easy to put on, but even those stuck a little bit. The trick I’ve heard is to get a thin pair of oversocks and put those over the drysuit booties before putting on your dinghy boots. That should reduce binding and make gearing up a little easier.
Once the drysuit is on, it’s important to make sure the zipper is completely zipped and in its stop. Henri Lloyd has made a great zipper that seals securely and is easy to check with a quick glance.
Once you’re in, try to gather all the trapped air and squat a few times while opening up the neck seal with your hands to burp the suit. Removing most of the trapped air will make it possible to move around if you do end up in the water.
The final step is to try not to capsize, but know that if you hit the water, you’re going to be just fine.