After trying a sample, our entire team has now purchased Sharkskins. We find the product of exceptional quality and perfect for protection from the elements during both patrols and competitions. Whether constantly in the water or in the boat exposed to the surf and wind, Sharkskin have become an essential addition to our team uniform. Not just to win races, but to save lives.
Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club - Inshore Rescue Boat Team Captain NSW and World IRB Champions
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
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.
I have been using the Sharkskin Rapid Dry top a lot both on and off the water and I’m loving it. It’s perfect for the slightly colder conditions too as it’s like a splash guard when it is drizzling but you don’t overheat.
NZ World Champion - Sprint/Marathon/Surf Ski Paddler
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 first discovered Sharkskin when I was working as a Dive Master on the Great Barrier Reef and instantly fell in love with my top. It was perfect to wear under my wetsuit and also provided protection when the water temperatures were not quite cold enough to wear a wetsuit. I always pack mine when travelling as you never know when you may end up in the water! I introduced Sharkskin to the Sea Shepherd boat M/Y Bob Barker where my role was Primary Diver and Rescue Swimmer for Operation Divine Wind in 2011/12. Sharkskin was also perfect for the Small Boat Crew to wear when they were out on boat mission’s to save whales. We love Sharkskin!
Primary Diver and Rescue Swimmer aboard the Sea Shepherd
It’s been 14 days since I wore Sharkskin long sleeve Performance Top for the first time. I tried it in all kind of weather conditions – sun, rain, wind, in lakes, rivers, in the sea, calm waters and in wild waters. The lowest water temperature I paddled had 9°C. From the first day I saw Sharkskin in a shop until after trying Sharkskin in all these conditions, my opinion about Sharkskin hasn’t changed – it’s really pleasant. Sharkskin garments are tight and the movement of the body is great because of the quality of the material. I can move perfectly in it. Sharkskin is warm where it needs to be, it’s 100% windproof, it’s waterproof and it breathes. What I like most is that the material breaths (something I miss when wearing usual kayak anoraks) – this way my skin and the inner side of the garment stay dry at all times. For this reason I feel great all the time during practice and the are no cold chills at the end of practice. All this will be also very useful in winter time when the temperatures get lower. Despite cold I will be able to do longer practices without worrying about being cold.
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
Sharkskin keeps me warm in the most competitive and extreme sailing conditions on earth – the America’s Cup campaign and the Volvo Ocean Race. Even when wet it keeps me warm allowing me to concentrate on the sailing!
Tony Rae (Trae)
ETMNZ and Volvo Ocean Race sailor
The thing I love about all the Sharkskin products is that they take time to make the garment the best it can be for the paddler. On top of Sharkskin’s Chillproof range of paddling products, now comes the Performance Pro compression top.
I use the Sharkskin compression top for not only racing but for training as well. The good thing with this top it is that I never get too hot or cold.
I love it and the rest of the range and I’m sure you will to. Thanks to Sharkskin for being an Australian company that is designing products for the paddler.
My Kayak Coach - www.mykayakcoach.com
I have been wearing Sharkskin garments for preparation and execution of kayaking the Tasman. In 84 days I gave it a hammering like no other. It was the ultimate test of function and durability. One of the hardest components of the expedition is to stay healthy in such a small and wet environment. Initially the conditions in the Northern Tasman were warm and I wore the Sharkskin Rapid Dry long sleeve top. The sun protection and Rapid Dry function were vital. As I progressed south I wore the Sharkskin Climate Control long sleeve. This thing is unbelievable! I wore it every day while paddling for over 3 weeks without washing and often with a heavy thermal survival suit on top. It’s the only garment that could protect my skin and keep the heat in these conditions. Wow!
Trans-Tasman solo kayak paddler
Over the last few months I’ve taken a huge liking to my Sharkskin Long sleeve top.
For spring white water creeking / scouting missions the Sharkskin long sleeve top has become my absolute go to. It’s comfort and warmth has made the need for multiple smelly poly pro’s redundant.
In an early spring descent of the snow fed central Otago Nevis river I was more than comfortable wearing only my sharkskin under my dry top. Normally this type of descent would demand at least 3 poly pro’s which restricts your range of motion in this class V kayaking environment.
I would recommend the Sharkskin long sleeve top to any kayaker who is keen to have one do it all garment under their dry top. It is warm on even the coldest days and reduces the need for multiple layers.