I love the Sharkskin kit. It performed brilliantly over the two regattas we’ve used it for this summer. If you look at photos of the 12 Foot Skiff Interdominions you’ll notice that we were the only guys warm enough to sail in shorts! We layered Performance Wear tops and shorts over the Chillproof garments; the combination was really warm and much more flexible than a traditional wetsuit. The Performance ‘compression’ gear allowed us to keep our PFD and harness enveloped and also provided protection from chafing during some hard sailing.
NZ 12 Foot Skiff Team
I am in the New Zealand Team for White Water Canoe Slalom and I have been using this gear for the past year. I have found it to be a very good product to wear as it is comfortable, warm and you still have full movement in it unlike a wetsuit. Sharkskin suits all weather conditions and temperatures, especially on Lake Wakatipu in the South Island of New Zealand. I would defiantly recommend these garments to any person who works in water environments, and needs a top that is versatile in all conditions.
White Water Kayaking
Even on the coldest mornings all I need is a long sleeve thermal and my sharkskin. It have found it allows me to keep warm in a variety of conditions and the rain is no issue. It can really dump it down and you are no colder when wearing the Sharkskin. I’ve also been using it on the surf ski and it’s brilliant. I’ve hopped off into the water just to test it out and found that it really keeps me warm even when wet. I also use a very thin neoprene type top and when this gets wet when combined with the breeze it can be really cool…the Sharkskin is significantly warmer than the new titanium neoprene type garments out these days.
International Multisport athlete and 3 time winner of NZ Coast to Coast event
I have just come back from a regatta in St Barths in the Caribbean and I took my Sharkskin over. I wore the Shortsleeve Chillproof under my team T shirt and it was amazing. Getting fully wet on the bow of a 147 foot boat and being totally warm. I love not being restricted by a jacket! Some of the guys on the boat really like Sharkskin for kite boarding as well as sailing.
NZ International Competition Sailor
For me competing on Jetski with Sharkskin has been a very positive experience this season. The garments give me the comfort I need during the resistance trials. The fabric is light and regulates my body temperature the whole time. Without doubt the binomial sportswear-pilot is very important in my speciality and Sharkskin gives me the protection I need.
Juan Felix Bravo
Guiness World Record Holder (2009)
I was introduced to Sharkskin while training through one of Europe’s harshest winters contending with snow, blizzards and freezing temperatures training on the River Thames in London and competing throughout Europe.
One of the challenges of SUP training is that you get really hot when you are out on the water training, but wearing a wetsuit and/or multiple layers of clothing is impractical, uncomfortable & causes excessive bulk and prohibits freedom of movement in the upper body.
Good training kit that performs and is functional in cold weather is hard to find. Sharkskin Performance Wear tops go a long way to making it a lot easier to make it out the door and onto the water on those colder days.
Sharkskin’s Chillproof Long Sleeve top is big step in the right direction of developing true cold weather training apparel and I’ve had it out in as low at minus 20 degrees Celsius on high alpine mountain lakes in Bavaria, Germany. The thermal torso combined with light and flexible compression fabric sleeves makes for a highly functional garment that enables you freedom of movement, insulation and reduction of windchill to your core. The cut of the sleeve enables maximum movement and flat seam stitching reduces friction & chaffing.
Professional Stand Up Paddleboarder
Near freezing conditions and up to 40 knot winds on race day mean the only way I’m going anywhere near the water is in my Sharkskins. The fleece lining is super cosy, and the warmth also means I don’t have stiff achy knees and joints anymore! With dusk approaching and fast ferries speeding by the hi-vis orange is also reassuring.
My philosophy for adventure is simple, “No boundaries, No limits”. From high altitudes to extreme depths, whenever I prepare for action I find my Rapid Dry is one of the first things I pack!
Record Holding Freediver, SSI Instructor, Pro Adventure Athlete
Global Dive has always prided itself on only stocking the best dive equipment available. High performance exposure wear is no exception. For 3 years we have been amazed at how good the Sharkskin garments have performed, in a huge range of environments and uses. The range has grown and we have been committed to carrying the full range of Sharkskin designs and sizes in-store.
Previously, the only type of performance garment to come close is the Thermocline range by English company Fourth Element. The fleecy material both garments use is mated to a breathable technical membrane layer, which offers wind proofing and water resistance. Finally, a 4 way stretch outer layer is added, giving you sun protection and durability. What this means to you, is by adding a Sharkskin layer, you are adding the equivalent warmth of a 3mm of wetsuit, without the added buoyancy, and you have a windproof layer that reduces the between dive chills. The Sharkskin garment is non chaffing, antimicrobial and itch resistant so can be worn all day long.
However, recently we have been made aware of a couple of new products to hit the market. They claim to be “cheap versions of sharkskin” so we decided to check this out and decide if they are good enough to be compared to Sharkskin.The recently launched “cheap” versions certainly look similar at first glance, but when they are inspected closely, there are many differences. The main differences are; The Chinese manufactured thermal layer has a much more porous fleece allowing greater airflow through the pile. This means less thermal protection. Sharkskin material is much less permeable to air and so stops the convective and evaporative cooling process – so you stay warm. The more porous fleece also allows the garment to sag, (bag out) so the garment doesn’t hold its shape over time. This causes discomfort when worn under wetsuits and added drag when worn by itself – for example for paddling and other watersports activities We spoke to a dealer who had both brands available to him. Initial excitement of having a “cheaper” alternative lead to disappointment when garments were being returned due to sagging, and tearing after short spells in use. He subsequently removed the garments from sale.
Sharkskin were keen to test the other brand so sent both their own garment and the “cheaper copy” to several kayakers and multisport participants. The response was pretty unanimous. The Sharkskin out performed the other garments in every test. The most important feedback was simply that Sharkskin keeps you warmer and lasts longer with superior wear. The wear was evidenced from comparing Sharkskin and the other garment after going through the washing machine multiple times. So, Global Dive will continue to only sell the original Sharkskin garments. The price difference between the warmer garments and the inferior copies is irrelevant in my opinion. Cheap is sometimes good, but in this case not better value. My recommendation is that the best value is in the original garments. The extra dollars buy you a much warmer garment that will last longer and give you more enjoyable dives. We stand by the products we sell and remind our customers that the Sharkskin products all come with a performance guarantee. If the garment does not perform as advertised, bring it back for a full refund.
Stand Up Paddling has you above the water, exposed to the elements and wind chill is always major factor. With Sharkskins products being 100% windproof I find the range boasts extremely comfortable garments that have the same warmth as a full wetsuit, but are more lightweight and offer increased flexibility, a must when competing in National and International Stand Up Paddle events.I choose Sharkskin for this reason and it never gets left behind when packing for my next surf.
Current Australian SUP Champion
There are three branches of white water kayaking – extreme creek boating which involves paddling creeks and waterfalls; freestyle, surfing river waves and tricks; and slalom which is a timed race while negotiating a series of gates. I am heavily involved in Slalom training but do spread my time over all three branches. I am proud to wear the silver fern on my chest, New Zealand on my back. NZL on my boat and Sharkskin on my body.
I stumbled across Sharkskin while I was in Australia a few years ago, and have been a firm advocate of the brand ever since. As an underwater photographer, I need to have as much mobility as possible, and have found that the combination of the rash vests and pants serve as freeing alternatives to the stiffness of conventional wetsuits. I like that I can mix and match different pieces together, depending on the water temperature, and that I can also layer with thicker wetsuits in much colder conditions. Having so much gear to lug around, the lightness of Sharkskin frees up a lot of space and weight, which is always a bonus for a photographer. Other underwater photographers and scuba divers are constantly asking me for wetsuit recommendations, and I always tell them to give Sharkskin a go, especially because it is like wearing pajamas underwater
Professional Underwater and Topside Photographer