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$125 TUILIK? Let's buy neoprene in bulk and save $$$


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Are you an aspiring Neo-Greenlander on the fence about getting a practical but EXPENSIVE tuilik? A Reed or Brooks model off-the-rack costs $250-350, while a custom fitted garment can be made by hand from a pattern for around $125. In addition to the money saved, your hand-made tuilik will fit both you and your boat perfectly.

Each pattern-made tuilik requires two 3 mm neoprene sheets, which can be purchased online from Foamorder.com out in California. (These sheets are 53" x 81" each.) Bought two at a time, 3mm neoprene sheets cost about $90 each. However, if five (5) of us tuilik makers band together and order as one (ten sheets), the price per sheet will drop to $47. We'll each save $$$$.

I want dark brown neoprene for my tuilik: how about you? (I think brown looks the best though hot pink or yellow might be safer. Black is also available but we'll look like rolling nuns . . . with Turner Wilson of the Pond Scum, by extention, Our Most Reverend Mother. Yikes! )

Here's the link to the neoprene supplier:


(Note: You'll see that water immersible Grade 2 sheets of 3mm thickness are priced at $86.40. However, these sheets have no backing - just raw neoprene. A black nylon backing costs an additional $4.75 per sheet.)

Patterns cost $14.99 from QajaqUSA (No doubt others may be found on the web as well.). Here's the link (scroll down to bottom of page):


Please call me or email if interested.

Scott Bruce

617 492 5004

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You know, these are pretty cool (drytop/sprayskirt combo):


$129.95 at Sierra Trading Post (list is $330). All you need is a hood and you have a "virtual tuilik".

Of course, you may not be able to climb out of your boat for those static braces inside one of these the way you can inside a tuilik.

The tuilik is truly a "mystery garment" - who knows what goes on under there? ;-)

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Gee, Mark . . . I can see you've given the underside of tuiliks -- and their "mystery" -- a lot more thought than I have. Has any one beside you encountered the "static brace" problem? Have you tried rolling in cold sea water as a cure? ;-)

Which leads us the the downside of your proposed "virtual tuilik." As you well know, tuiliks keep cold water away from your neck and head. Hoods, helmets and skull caps don't. The price of your red combo is right but little else.

Scott Bruce

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Ouch, Mark, I guess you got me. I'm not a scuba diver so I'll defer to your personal experience that a wet-suited diver's head (skin, scalp and hair) remains warm and dry under his/her neoprene helmet -- particularly at depth and in cold winter water.

Doesn't a tuilik's "face gasket" work only at or very near the low-pressure environment of the ocean's surface? Irregularly shaped, elastic (moving jaw), and often beard impeded, the human face must be a difficult surface to seal. Again I don't know, but I suspect diver drysuits would have warmer "face gaskets" -- like a tuilik -- instead of neck gaskets if the later wouldn't leak so at depth.

Call me stupid but I think we should give the traditional paddlers of the Arctic some credit for condition-appropriate designs. (After all, didn't they bring us the Eskimo Pie and a few other delights we enjoy?) If, over generations of trial and error, they found a separate sealskin helmet warmer, dryer, and ultimately safer than an attached hood, wouldn't they have adopted that design for their paddling jackets?

Scott Bruce

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Well, Bruce, I guess if you really want to go out and play Nanuk of the North, then you should probably start practicing with that throwing stick thingie, then paddle out to Isle of Shoals or someplace and harvest yourself a good supply of seal intestine (not skin) to make your traditional garment.

But my post was intended to bring to the attention of regular paddlers that there was a good deal going on at Sierra Trading Post for a nice paddling garment that combines modern materials with the traditional concept of a spraydeck/jacket combo. Hopefully, someone found it informative. Sorry you took it as a personal affront to your newly adopted aesthetics.

Have a nice life.

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And I'm sorry to have offended you, my priapistic friend. After all, my original post was merely an enthusiastic effort to get a better price on a few sheets of lousy neoprene for a simple do-it-yourself project! What innocence. Little did I know that I'd soon stumble across the REAL Jacques Cousteau!


Seriously Mark, I've heard great things about you. Let's give this nonsense a rest and enjoy our 'nice lives' (you can go on shilling for Sierra Trading Post and I'll go on hunting seals . . . .). It's been fun but I bet you have better things to do. I know I do. Deal?


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