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Kokatat drysuits

 
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SpaceRacer

Since 04 Nov 2007
434 Posts

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PostWed Nov 24, 21 6:44 am    Kokatat drysuits Reply with quote

Hi, in general, do you like? Kokatat does not warrant its suits for kiteboarding. That being said, have you had an issues with premature wear or damage from a harness?

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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PostWed Nov 24, 21 11:03 am     Reply with quote

I bought a Kokatat Drysuit off eBay cheap back in 2007 or 2008. The Gore-tex had failed and was leaking--the seller thought he was ripping me off. I called Kokatat and they replaced it with a new suit for free--they cover the Gore-tex portion with a lifetime warranty. I've used that suit ever since and it's still going strong. It's got a couple of patches on it from pinhole leaks. I send it to Kokatat every few years and they do a pressure test and fix any issues for a pretty reasonable fee.

I also paid them to upgrade the suit from ankle seals to booties a couple of years ago. I've had Kayak Academy replace the neck and wrist gaskets a couple of times. Their almost custom fit wrist gaskets are like 100 times better than factory wrist gaskets.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
626 Posts

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PostWed Nov 24, 21 11:24 am     Reply with quote

Spaceracer.

Perhaps you are asking the wrong questions in your quest for a new drysuit.
You seem very concerned about longevity.

I would suggest that any drysuit you purchase will take maintenance.

Personally I have a kokatat and am quite pleased. I have used it for kiteboarding since 2016.

This last year I performed some additional maintenance. I placed additional seam tape in some of the seams around the crotch that have extra force while kiteboarding (they were holding fine but I felt I was straining them enough to warrant additional support).
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M6724GQ/

Additionally this year I sprayed it with a water repellant (not sure kokatat recommends this) but I have noticed that water does not bead very well anymore on the outside of the suit. I haven't been in the water with my suit since doing this.

Also, you should replace the seals every 2-3 years:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CS3ZFM
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CS3Z5W
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BPEL0CW

And protect the seals and zippers when putting your suit away in the spring:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EX27I0K
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081TLZ9GW

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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PostWed Nov 24, 21 2:39 pm     Reply with quote

Excellent post Big John!

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A.K.

Since 01 Jul 2006
188 Posts

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PostWed Nov 24, 21 4:14 pm     Reply with quote

As both a whitewater kayaker and kitesurfer. I can tell you that Kokatat is in a different league than other drysuits. And it comes down to outgoing ongoing repairs. All drysuits will leak. Only one brand will make repairs. And I am not referring to free repairs. You simply cannot get other drysuits repaired period.

I have a top of the line Palm Drysuit. At the time of purchase it was a superior build to even Kokatat. I used for 3 years and got 300 kayak runs out of a clearance suit that I picked up at a bargain at $600. Then it started to leak. No one will repair it. Your only option is to send it to a commercial SCUBA drysuiit repair shop. At that point the repair cost is more than the suit value. The suit is totaled.

I got lucky to get 300 runs out of it. A drysuit can leak at any moment. The most important thing is to identify your repair options before purchasing, unless you are getting a really discount price. I cannot speak to kitesurf branded drysuits as I have not used them. But a proper kayak drysuit can open up several other sports to you. As it is the most expensive piece of kit to several activities. Its a game changer.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
626 Posts

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PostWed Nov 24, 21 4:40 pm     Reply with quote

A.K. wrote:
...All drysuits will leak...


This may be a true statement but I'm not sure I understand it.

Seals will blow out after a few years and need to be replaced. Protecting them from UV, heat, and drying out will reduce this issue but not eliminate it.

Zippers will start to leak if the materials around them become brittle. I don't know what a zipper replacement would cost but I can see how it might be more than the cost of a suit.

If you have leaks at seams I recommend trying some seam tape.

The general suit material may start to blead more water through. I'm not sure this is really a problem as any water that does make it through stays in next to your body.

For me, sweat has been the biggest challenge (new suit or old). I get moisture in my suit simply from sweating. Dry suits are designed to breathe (I know, I don't understand it either) in an effort to reduce sweating. But, reality is if you are kiting in 40 degree water you are going to have a lot of layers on. You are going to be sweating when you are kiting such that you can be warm if you need to be swimming.


I wonder if some people interpret "leaking" to what I interpret as "sweating".

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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PostWed Nov 24, 21 10:18 pm     Reply with quote

bigjohn wrote:

For me, sweat has been the biggest challenge (new suit or old). I get moisture in my suit simply from sweating. Dry suits are designed to breathe (I know, I don't understand it either) in an effort to reduce sweating. But, reality is if you are kiting in 40 degree water you are going to have a lot of layers on. You are going to be sweating when you are kiting such that you can be warm if you need to be swimming.


I wonder if some people interpret "leaking" to what I interpret as "sweating".


I had a non-breathable dry suit prior to my Kokatat. I literally got drenched with sweat to the point I could no longer stay warm. I stay pretty dry with my Kokatat. There is definately a bit of sweat trapped in my clothes, but not enough to affect my warmth. That said, when I start getting too warm I do dunk myself to stay cool.


bigjohn wrote:
A.K. wrote:
...All drysuits will leak...


The general suit material may start to blead more water through. I'm not sure this is really a problem as any water that does make it through stays in next to your body.
My first, used, Kokatat had delaminated Gore-tex. I got vey wet very quickly--to the point where I probably would not have survived long in the water.

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A.K.

Since 01 Jul 2006
188 Posts

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PostSat Nov 27, 21 5:03 pm     Reply with quote

"all dry suits will leak" at some point in the future due to wear and tear. I got 300 runs out of a $600 drysuit that was pushed hard. I am not complaining about the cost/benefit ratio. This was a win.

I only go for gortex suits so breathability was not an issue. I just want to point out that drysuit repair for leaks and pressure testing of your suit in the future is nearly impossible to find. Unless you happen to have a Kokatat. Pay the extra money for the more expensive Kokatat or pay it later when you are taking a suit to a Commercial SCUBA shop for pressure testing. It all equals out.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
626 Posts

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PostSun Nov 28, 21 8:13 pm     Reply with quote

A little off topic, but a good lessons learned.

I have found two primary reasons for leaks.

1) I didn't get a zipper all the way closed. I now double check zippers every time before entering the water.

2) An undergarment was stuck under a seal allowing water to pass. I now try to slow down when putting on my suit. It's pretty much impossible to tell this after your suit is on. Only when fitting your seals over your extremities will you really be able to tell. Take your time.

A good test is a water test before kiting. I have to admit I usually skip this test but burping your suit in the water gets more air out and a pre dunk gives you a good test of your suit's ability to keep water out.

If you have a leak you'll feel a cold trickle in the region of the leak.

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johnz

Since 13 Jan 2011
5 Posts

Kook



PostWed Dec 01, 21 10:16 am     Reply with quote

I have a 15 year old Kokatat Gore-Tex drysuit and I love it. You do need to replace the seals every 2 - 3 years, but it isn't too hard and you have to do that with any drysuit.

I ordered mine with the socks built-in so I wouldn't have to deal with the leg seals. Not sure that was the right move - it gets a little crowded in my neoprene booties.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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PostWed Dec 01, 21 10:23 am     Reply with quote

johnz wrote:

I ordered mine with the socks built-in so I wouldn't have to deal with the leg seals. Not sure that was the right move - it gets a little crowded in my neoprene booties.


Mine had the ankle seals for years and then I had Kokatat upgrade the suit to the built in socks. Way better. I do wear thin socks on my feet to protect the suit socks, and I had to buy booties one size up to fit over everything.

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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
228 Posts
Corbett
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PostWed Dec 01, 21 2:29 pm    Drysuit Booties Solution Reply with quote

So this comes up from time to time...here goes:

Always get the integrated booties.

You can vary your sock thickness as needed for more or less warmth - thin Merino Wool all the way up to the Vermont mode.

YES to Nak's comment BUY a set of booties a size bigger then normal in a 5mm.

PRO TIP: Since your feet will be cozy in those dry socks and inside your DRYSUIT material integrated booties you don't need that much rubber down there (minds out of the gutter please). SO - you can carefully remove most of the bottom neoprene from you 5mm booty with a small pair of scissors just keep cutting around the edge and then make your way down the footbed, always being careful to leave some thin layer of neoprene on the rubber footbed and NEVER puncture the seal of the booty itself...

Voila' you now OWN the perfect foot solution for winter kiting preserving that ALL IMPORTANT BOARD FEEL while keeping those toes UNFROZEN.

You are welcome.

Mc


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Kmun

Since 05 Jul 2009
226 Posts

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PostThu Dec 02, 21 10:13 am    Re: Drysuit Booties Solution Reply with quote

Please clarify

Ya lost me there somewhere between the modification intent and end product.

Are you trying to describe a process of reducing the 5mm nylon-2 neoprene booty wall to a thinner dimension?






McLovin wrote:


You can vary your sock thickness as needed for more or less warmth - thin Merino Wool all the way up to the Vermont mode.

YES to Nak's comment BUY a set of booties a size bigger then normal in a 5mm.

PRO TIP: Since your feet will be cozy in those dry socks and inside your DRYSUIT material integrated booties you don't need that much rubber down there[ (minds out of the gutter please). SO - you can carefully remove most of the bottom neoprene from you 5mm booty with a small pair of scissors just keep cutting around the edge and then make your way down the footbed, always being careful to leave some thin layer of neoprene on the rubber footbed and NEVER puncture the seal of the booty itself.
Voila' you now OWN the perfect foot solution for winter kiting preserving that ALL IMPORTANT BOARD FEEL while keeping those toes UNFROZEN.

You are welcome.

Mc


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McLovin

Since 11 Sep 2017
228 Posts
Corbett
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PostThu Dec 02, 21 10:37 am     Reply with quote

A picture they say is worth 1000 words...

Yes, 5mm booty with 1.5mm? just the rubber soles, it makes so much sense but such a niche user group it takes a little DIY alteration.

Good (WARM) winds...

Mc



   2021-12-02_10-33-50.png 

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
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PostThu Dec 09, 21 2:56 pm     Reply with quote

McLovin wrote:
A picture they say is worth 1000 words...

Yes, 5mm booty with 1.5mm? just the rubber soles, it makes so much sense but such a niche user group it takes a little DIY alteration.

Good (WARM) winds...

Mc



Thanks for the pic.
I have always been against built in booties because I if I have a leak (or leave a zipper open) I always drain the water from my bottom seal.

It appears these booties are removable.

Can you drain water from them?

Is this standard for built in booties?

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