need advice on paddling shorts for new paddler

5 years 11 months ago #22384 by sv607
i just been getting back into ocean paddling. currently have a stellar SR and enjoying it. played around on a Swordfish but too tippy.. what my question is. when i was on the stellar in just normal shorts. in the surf stability was fine. went out to mt Martha to check out the dolphin pods there. was a little cold so i put on a Adrenalin long john and a vest to keep warm. what a nightmare i had. just couldn't not keep my balance in the ski was like i had grease there. just sliding all over the place in the seat. i seen ppl in these paddle shorts. aren't they the same material as wet suits. wanted to get sharkskin paddle shorts. but a little worried on the same problem of sliding around in the seat of the ski. friends said just put a little surf wax in the seat and it will help. i wanted to seek the advice from the people who can help on whats the best shorts..
this is my first post here. so if i have posted in the wrong area. am sorry.
thanks in advance for the advice.
Anthony
Melbourne
Australia

Paddle Smart. Come Home Alive :)

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5 years 11 months ago #22385 by Kayaker Greg
Hmm, I like to slip but it sounds like you might need to pad around your hips a little, sounds like you have to much room which will always make you unstable. Personally don't like the Sharkskin shorts, the cuts are terrible but there are neoprene shorts available in most kayak shops for cooler weather/water, I wear baggys in the summer and like the fact they slip a little, but like I said, if you have too much room slipping can be a problem.
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5 years 11 months ago #22386 by rhainan
Epic has introduced a line of paddling apparel. I just got the shorts I like them a lot. The material is thicker than running shorts but not as thick as wetsuit stuff. Whatever it is, I do not find myself sliding around any more than I want to.

There are no seams in the butt area which is a nice touch. I usually use tri shorts to paddle just because I have a lot of them and sometimes the minimal pad/seams can cause chafing on really long runs.

Epic Paddle Shorts

Western Pennsylvania Epic Kayak Dealer
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5 years 11 months ago #22393 by Marieski
First, you need to fit your bucket, for optimal stability as well as efficiency of power delivery. (Kayaker Greg is right about everything, except possibly running).
Second, a great pair of shorts I bought after a recommendation on this site is the Deckbeaters, made by Zhik in New Zealand. They are made for padding the bums of dinghy sailors, who spend long periods sitting on gunnels. The padding is neither sticky nor really smooth and they are stretchy enough to wear over other clothes if cold.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7
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5 years 11 months ago #22394 by Cryder
A couple of thoughts, knowing you'll likely get a pile of good advice here. Your boat set-up is incredibly important in terms of what choices you make with apparel. Having the proper fit in the ski is crucial in terms of stability, speed, and power. It's one thing to think about how you fit in the cockpit (and what to wear) but remember everything that happens bio mechanically (your body working with the boat) starts with a good catch. So think holistically, and plan on progressively getting better with bucket time as you learn more skills. I say this because most advanced paddlers like a slippery seat (butt) and good contact with the hips / knees for secondary stability. Start with with catch, work your way back to your stroke exit, analyzing every factor along the way. Make sure that the footboard is set up correctly, both in terms of leg length, angle and strap tightness. Also make sure your paddle length is is set up correctly with the right amount of feather. Then spend a lot of time focusing on your arm position and powering with your whole body. There are many many resources on getting a good catch, leg drive and hip / trunk rotation that will have a big impact on how to dress. The catch is incredibly important for stabilizing the boat as well as making it go fast. Your paddle exit is also a great place to stabilize the ski. A number of new paddlers get abrasions on their backside from poor biomechanics that have nothing to do with apparel. Try to keep your back straight leaning forward from your hips, and don't hunch. A general rule of thumb is to be able to barely feel the side of the bucket at your hips. The objective is a snug fit, but not restriction in your movement. Also remember that different fabrics behave differently when wet / dry. I typically use a skin tight underwear and a surf board short when in warmer weather, and a 3mill neoprene when it's a bit colder. You'll find that even tiny adjustments can have a huge impact how you feel in the ski - so do some experimenting.
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5 years 11 months ago #22395 by Stew
We introduced these shorts to our range about 2 years ago and they've been hugely successful. Might be what you're after.


www.thinkkayak.com.au/2014/08/think-kaya...nce-paddling-shorts/
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5 years 11 months ago - 5 years 11 months ago #22398 by Kocho
Stew's shorts (erhh, the ones he recommended, not those on him) are probably worth a look. From the description they sound like a good product.

I can tell you which ones not to get - the ones I have. They are very good shorts, great for standing-up, just not made for kayak paddling even though they are marketed as such. Level Six is supposedly a paddling-centered company, but these shorts are not good for that. The reason is that they are not shaped, just flat-cut neoprene. So they don't help with the posture, they make you slouch more than without them. And in a narrow bucket like in my Think Eze, where my knees need to touch, I get uncomfortable compression on my male parts with them (in the Epic V10 I have more wiggle room for my butt and my knees do not have to touch - wider hip room - so not such a big deal there).

In the warm months I paddle with compression underwear, of the kind that keeps my important parts high-up, not bunched-down between and under my thighs. Over them - just my lightweight nylon swimming trunks, which don't ride-up my legs or up my arse when paddling. There is plenty of sliding freedom with this setup and I use it in both skis and sea and white water kayaks for many years now. Dries quickly too, once on the beach. Both simple and effective. Plus fairly cheap as both the underwear and the shorts are commonly found at a steep discount at stores such as TJ Max and Marshalls in the US. The best underwear so far for me has been a stretchy Kenneth Cole Reaction of all things, which I did not buy for paddling, but they turned out great for that purpose.
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5 years 11 months ago #22400 by Sifor
I have a the Vaikobi V Heat paddling shorts and Epic performance paddling shorts.

IMO the Vaikobi material is thinner and thus probably cooler (although I haven't really noticed a difference). The epic is more comfortable and seems better made, however when dry it is a bit itchy. At the end of the day, I just grab whatever is closet as they're both fine.
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5 years 11 months ago #22401 by Vaikobi Pat
I just thought I would add to this topic by talking about Vaikobi's range of paddling products ( www.vaikobi.com ), how we develop our products and in particular our shorts and pants.

Vaikobi works with some of the worlds best surfski paddlers to develop gear designed specifically for surfski paddling. Guys like TJ, Boothy, Austin Kieffer, Murray Stewart, Dean Gardiner, Jo Brigden Jones etc have all provided some form of input on our designs to ensure we produce the best product for you. We really listen to them as they spend so much time in the boat and this is technical clothing piece where they will not compromise.

We source the best combination of fabrics and fine tune our designs to provide the perfect fit and comfort for maximum performance.

The key areas we focus on for our shorts and pants are;

1) Super comfortable fit whilst sitting in the ski- Both for your butt and waist
2) Zero restriction of movement
3) Zero chafe points
4) Temperature management considerations
5) Durability
6) Muscle control and protection

Achieving all of the above is not as easy as it may seem, however the feedback we constantly receive leads us to think that we are on the right track!

You can check out the hugely popular V Heat Paddle Short and V Cold Paddle Pant on the links below or contact your local Vaikobi Stockist.

Vaikobi V Heat Paddle Short

Vaikobi V Cold Pant

Cheers

Pat Langley
Vaikobi
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5 years 11 months ago #22402 by Crossey
I paddle in a pair of shorts made from wet suit material and I find the extra thickness adds a bit of comfort on longer paddles and means I don't need to add a seat pad to the ski. The pair I've got at the moment have lasted for a few years and they're still ok to paddle in.

I live and paddle in the tropics and have never really had an issue with them being too hot when paddling.

I've also done short around the cans type ski and ironman races in compression wear which works well but might get uncomfortable on longer paddles without a seat pad.
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5 years 11 months ago #22406 by Metro
Have logged over a thousand kms in the Vaikobi shorts and think that they are perfect summer shorts. Attention to detail means that they fit properly, are seemingly bomb proof and are very comfortable. Lots of choices out there but the Vaikobis I really like and think that they are worth checking out.
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5 years 11 months ago #22516 by epic5253
I stated paddling a couple of years ago with Reef Wetsuit Shorts..... Still have it and occasionally use it...
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5 years 11 months ago #22522 by JamieMc
Finished the HCC 111km race in a K4 wearing Vaikobi VHeat shorts. No chaffing or rubbing. No seat padding either.

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5 years 11 months ago #22565 by Stew
I can vouch for the Vaikobi V Cold pants, awesome Winter paddling wear. So for all you poor guys going into short evenings and dropping temps, you'll be very happy in a pair. And no, I don't sell them, just a happy customer. :)
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