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Donning a drysuit


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Hello All, My wife and I just got acquired drysuits for the first time. She has a lot of long curly hair and had quite a time with the enter and exit mostly the exit. Are there any tips or anything that would make this easier for her? She wore a silk hat when she put it on and that helped some. I also assume that it will get easier with more practice but any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks 

Tom 

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I was going to suggest a buff but I would think a silk hat would be just as good. No matter what, getting through the neck gasket is an ordeal. If it’s comfortable, by that I mean not choking her to death, once on then the gasket is probably the correct fit. If it’s really tight it can be gently stretched and if need be, trimmed  - be careful 

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I don’t know if this relates to the struggle at all, but one common mistake that people make is to bend over while trying to pull the suit over their head, and I can imagine her trying to do that to flip her hair over to get it out of the way. It’s generally better to squat just a little, or maybe more of a slouch, while removing the suit over your head, allowing the suit some slack to pull straight up.

Regardless, I have a long enough beard that it tends to get a bit in the way, and I have just learned to manage it over time. I am sure with enough practice and experimentation, she will find something that works for her.

If you are available tomorrow morning, we are running a cold-water workshop  at West Beach in Beverly that will include working with drysuits, so could be helpful.  If you want to come, just let us know by the end of today. 

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Thanks for the tips. We assume it will get easier over time/ with practice. The gasket is comfortable on her neck she just had a heck of a time getting it back off without pulling alot of hair. She did kind slouch so she;s good with that. I guess it goes along with any new skill ,practice ,practice.

Thanks for the invite I saw this mentioned a little while ago. Tomorrow doesn't work but we hope to become more active after the winter ,looking forward to the skills workshops and beginners ocean paddling. We have lots of inland canoe exp. but this kayak/ocean thing is new and exciting. We live in W. Mass so its about 2 1/2 to Plum Island , A favorite of ours. So we will have to be selective in our times attending but we look forward to it. This group seems like a great place to be .Thanks

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The answer is quite simple and you likely already have what you need: talcum powder. If you apply talc to the inside of the seals before donning the suit, they'll slip right on. Just sprinkle a little on the seals or into your hand and spread it around. The differences is truly night-and-day.

Pure, unscented talc is best, as any added oils or perfume could potentially cause long-term damage to the seals ("baby powder" is generally not the best bet). The product I use is called "tire talc", as it's made for coating the inner tubes of truck tires. It's pure talc, has no scent, it's inexpensive and you can find it easily online and at some auto parts suppliers. A small shaker can of it will last for years.

Note that this only works when the seals and your hair, wrists and ankles (if you don't have booties on your suits) are dry.

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