Very breathable fabric that is so darn light the top feels like you are wearing nothing...
The gaskets are very comfortable and were dry even after a couple of rolls and a staged rescue... the gaskets make contact over a 1" area of skin flat to the skin, instead of a latex gasket that makes contact with skin in a 1/16th" of skin that can feel like a knife tearing at your neck if you turn your head....
The top has an inner tunnel with a neoprene belt to hold it in place around your hips (no ride up!)....the tunnel is also long enough that it ends up much lower than the outertunnel... that makes the top more reisitant to leakage since the innter tunnel does not ride up at all...
I do wish that there was an upper arm pocket for lip goo, etc.
Great piece for river-beach-anywhere you might want to change without exposing too much flesh (personal preference here) to the public/weather. Like it, pretty basic...but works great!
For the budget minded individual tired of two-piece dry systems, or of no dry systems, this is a good item to take a serious look at. The price is below the mainstream K…… suits with comparable benefits, and a step up in comfort.
This drysuit is made of a waterproof, breathable fabric: TTL Eclipse. It includes fabric booties for complete waterproofing and comfort (the booties look to be able to take a size 12 or better, at least bigger than mine). A nice cross body waterproof Ti-Zip starts above the right shoulder and ends at waist height. According to all of the information about this suit, and subsequent series, any relief zipper is not necessary for males wearing it. I know that I will be in the suit for long periods of time so I asked for this suit to have a relief zipper added just in case. Addition of the zipper was up to the usual level of Stohlquist’s modification work: excellent. This legs of this suit were also modified for me, they removed ~2” from the legs to so that there was no uncomfortable bunching of material while paddling; excellent work there as well, all the way to the phone calls to me to make certain of measurements and how the legs of the suit were to be re-sewn and sealed. The protective foam kneepads were raised so that they actually covered my knees. The finished product was sent to me and it fits perfectly. Unfortunately, Stohlquist is no longer doing their own repair and modification work, they now have Rainy Pass of Seattle to do such things. I had previously talked to K…… about the same modification; they were unable to do such a thing, only offering to move the cuffs 2” (but they were willing to add a relief zipper to any of their suits).
When I first read about the neoprene collar it appealed to me. After all of my drytops and the dry suits I had used, tried to garrote me I was annoyed with a latex gasket. The first try-on I was pleasantly surprised with the comfort, but still dubious of its seal. After wearing the suit around the house for about ½ an hour I was assured of its breathable factor since I was building up a sweat. When I removed the suit my neck was still dry. This gasket works by making contact with your neck, instead of in a 1/16” area like latex, but over a 1” tall area covered by a flat neoprene collar coated with a Titanium coating for a super smooth finish. In doing so there is no longer any sawing of the tender flesh of the neck (and it also does not cause any ingrown hairs in my beard like the latex did!). You can turn your neck and the collar turns with you. The Ti-coated collar is attached to a shoulder width collar of normal neoprene so that there is a large amount of mobility available. In talking with their rep before my purchase he admitted to me that the neck gasket of this suit works well with a bigger person-no twiggy thin people here. Ya know when you turn your neck sometimes some tendons pop out of the side of your neck? Well, on a thinner person, without extra meat to protect their throat, those tendons could potentially cause a chute to form that water could pour down in the case of a flip or big wave. I do not have the problem of having a little neck, so I had no worries about that factor. During a handful of rolls, as well as horsing around in the surf to test the suit out there were no leaks.
Another thing I like about the design of the suit is that the latex wrist gaskets are made of thicker gauge latex. It feels much more secure than the thinner competitors gaskets. I had less worry of a blowout or a tear in these.
This suit is the bPod-T. That T stands for tunnel, as it has an over tunnel for a spray skirt. When getting geared up this suit made it much easier than the 2 part dry systems, trying to keep all the parts in place while pulling on a skirt, and much more secure than not having no over tunnel. The skirt lay in place comfortably, and the zipper ended below where the skirt rode, nicely out of the way (I can definitely see how they can push the no-need for a relief zipper).
During all of my first uses of this suit it is very comfortable, just by not having a gasket sawing away at the neck while looking back over your shoulder for a wave it is making paddling in colder weather much nicer. The zipper is up off of my shoulder and chest enough so that there is no tugging of the material making it uncomfortable while paddling. I have no worries or qualms about taking out in mid-December for a nice surf, or for in and out of the cockpit practice while instructing. Overall, this is a great drysuit that I will be using for years to come.
The complaints that I have about this suit are:
On the over tunnel there are two side flaps that Velcro to the belly area on the suit. The Velcro covers the entire flap, so when you try to remove the flap when you are getting undressed (or need a little more space) it is hard to grab any part of the flap to pull on. That flap is about 3”x 4” square so there is a 12” squared area of Velcro to fight against. If there was ½” non-Velcro-d space at the end of the flap it could be used as a grip.
A personal move on my part is that I did apply Seam Seal to the seam that is present on the back of the neck where the neoprene was sewn together to make a circle. I am not certain if it was direly needed or not but I did apply it anyway-no harm.
My use of this suit will be including, but not limited to: surf kayaking, sea kayaking, kayak instruction, sailing, rafting, and I imagine that if someone stuffs me into a whitewater boat in colder weather I would wear it as well, also it will be worn if I have to go into one of our big aquariums at work.
Well I have had it and used it now for about 3.5 months....LOVE IT...great boat to surf with if you are just looking to surf...play-well different matter...there is a lot of volume to this boat so it is impossible to get it to do anything flatwater wise....but to ender on a wave easy!!!! Especially with so much volume in the bow I find myself popping back out....and reverse enders easier than anything plus simple to turn into a pirouette....but my favorite thing is to: back surf.....this boat is phenomenal at that!!!! Many times I will be zipping by the local boarders backwards with them staring at me....then 10 flat spin and out I go.....
So overall this is a great boat for me...I am 200# 5'10" and the boat fits like a dream...I have surfed in 1-2' waves with it (a wee bit sluggish of course) and 10-12' waves in it (a freakin’ blast!!!!)...
I first saw this boat in a tiny kayak/car dealership. Went home and did some research and found a local (2 streets from my house) dealer had it. Went down took a look. Lucky for me the guy let me pay for it over a bit of time. I am the proud owner of the 2001 max velocity. A very nice looking boat.
When you first see the hull of the boat it sets up questions in your mind: what the _____???? The hull is designed with about 4 mini keels that run the length of the water line. Makes the boat track very nice even with out the skeg. According to the brochures the mini keels are also supposed to compress that h2o under the hull and make it glide or almost plane like a motorboat. I will agree that this is a fast boat. The keels also add some extra stability on the secondary. Not much of a hard chine, there is one but not much of a difference from the upper part of the side.
I ended up getting a great deal because it was a 2001. Actually the last one around in the New England area. Mine came with a drop skeg, 2 bulkheads, all bungee dressing and 2 hatches (the rear being an oversized rectangle). Unfortunately the boats price and name have changed. My boat in the year 2002 is known as the velocity expedition. There are 2 lower versions: the velocity (with the barer essentials of a seat foot pegs and a little bungee) and the velocity trek (one bulkhead in the rear with the aforementioned hatch). My boat also jumped up about 200 dollars topping at $949. A bit much for a boat this size. But at the same time the designers at sun did some changing as well. In the 2001 it is a huge cockpit. About a 26" beam with coaming width at 19.5". None the less I have had to do some serious outfitting. mini cell foam is now my friend (and so is the adhesive).
2002: the width is now below 25" with the coaming the same. but another good thing that they changed is the depth from deck to hull. In my boat I can almost sit cross-legged in it. No longer. The 2002 velocity series has become even more user friendly than it was already.
Over all I love my velocity. I am a big guy 5'10" 238# and it fits me pretty well. Fast and smooth tracking and quite stable. For a bigger guy it is a great boat especially if you can get the price down some. And I will keep y'all posted on the durability factor.