I’ve noticed a marked difference in how close I can approach certain marine life underwater while wearing the HECS suit – a worthwhile advantage for any cameraman.
Filmmaker, Liquid Action Films
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.
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’m lucky enough in life to spend nearly 200 days a year out on the water in a kayak. Whether it’s throwing myself over a 10m waterfall, paddling a 60 kilometre stretch of coastline, or terrorising the local fish population, it would be fair to say that I spend a lot of time wet. When out on the water, I need clothing that will keep me warm, comfortable, and protected from our harsh NZ sun. Sharkskin ticks all of these boxes and I have found their product range to be an amazing asset to my kayaking. Long gone are the days of layering up with skunky old thermals, as I would now consider my Sharkskin’s my ‘go to’ items. My choice literally comes down to what the weather is like on the day: a Rapid Dry top for hot days out on the ocean, a Chesty Vest for a high-intensity training session, or a Long Sleeve Shirt for winter whitewater. It’s all awesome stuff and as I say to my mates “if I can’t break it, then no-one can.”
Youngest Solo Circumnavigation of NZ in a kayak
Sharkskin has to be the best thermal garment I’ve used for my Kitesurfing. Comfortable, warm and lightweight it’s great when the wind chill gets down. During the winter months can be especially hard while teaching but with my sharksins under my wetsuit I’m fine even with the harshest southerlies.
Auckland Kitesurf Centre (Head Instructor)
“Chill Factor Zero” the ad claims. Our readers confirm this! All over the Country the Sharkskin brand of thermal wear is flowing off the shelves. Its fleecy lining makes it the most comfortable paddling wear available.
Tony Barrett of Hamilton C&K told me “I was on the Mohaka River in May, wearing just a Sharkskin and dry top. Although I was wet all day, I never felt the cold. When I took it off, it felt as if there had been no water in it. The water vanished very quickly.” There’s no need for anyone to put up with the cold any more.
Canoe & Kayak Magazine
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
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.
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
My twin brother Shaun and I have been using Sharkskin gear for around 6 months now and we are loving it! We train on either our skis or kayaks everyday and have experienced extreme weather conditions. Sharkskin offers something perfect to wear in all areas, from freezing winter mornings with icy winds to the hottest summer days. The gear provides great mobility, especially around the armpit region, which is perfect for paddling and it always keeps us warm without making us hot. We used to have problems with rash and chaffing but have never experienced this while using Sharkskin gear. The Sharkskin garments are not only good for paddling; they are perfect to throw under a wetsuit while surfing or to keep you warm from the wind while kite surfing. We highly recommend Sharkskin gear to any athlete; they definitely supply the best paddling gear we have ever used.
Kayak & Ski Paddler
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.
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