Gear Review: Starboard All Star Dry Suit

Julia Nicholls And Another Thing with Julie Nicholls, Gear Leave a Comment

Starboard Dry Suit

Top TEN Reasons I bought a Starboard All Star SUP Drysuit

  • Carolina Paddleboard Company in Wrightsville Beach had them in stock.
  • Immediate warmth, repeat, IN STOCK.
  • They know me and helped me size appropriately (can’t do that online.)
  • I could, in turn, show my financial loyalty and spend my dollars at a local shop.

I don’t tolerate the cold well

  • I don’t live in Canada, but I don’t tolerate wind chills below 30 degrees, AT ALL.
  • Water temps in Eastern North Carolina have been in the 50’s = I fall in = trouble.

I’m training for the Carolina Cup

  • I need to be on the water, not just in the gym.
  • I need to be on the water for long periods of time.
  • I need to be on the water and focused on heart rate, not freezing tolerance.

I’ve spent a lot of money on “separates” that never quite worked

  • Over the past year I’ve spent at least the cost of this suit in separate pieces of neoprene or other products that never FIT quite right. 
  • With separates, if I take a swim, water can get in where there are breaks in my “outfit.”

Starboard Dry Suit

Other products like neoprene leave me stinky, sweaty and chilled

  • With the drysuit, I can wear a basic layer underneath and when done; off with the drysuit, AND taa-daa! Normal and dry clothes underneath for the drive home or stop for coffee or whatever.

It’s comfortable

  • I sized up almost to a men’s medium but there are enough Velcro “cinches” to make it a little tighter.
  • My waist pfd, Camelbak Molokai hydration pack, and leash all fit perfect and I didn’t feel any discomfort whatsoever.
  • I wasn’t all sweaty underneath. My regular base layer stayed like a regular base layer.
  • The latex seals at the legs and arms are water tight and makes a perfect base for gloves and booties.
  • The latex seals are several inches long and water tight. Your gloves and booties fit OVER them, then the regular fabric goes over that. Looked bulky, didn’t feel bulky.

Starboard Dry Suit

This was an investment in my future

  • It came with a repair kit.
  • It’s versatile enough to be used for my standup boards and OC (I sized up so that when I sit in the OC there’d be no pull in the bootie area.
  • It will be functional for several years.

It’s a game changer

  • I won’t win races now, I never did, but I can train during the winter.
  • I now ENJOY a paddle despite the temperature, whereas before it was a SLUGFEST and a “WHEN CAN I BE DONE” “I HATE THE COLD”, “MAYBE I SHOULDN’T BE OUT HERE”, “I’M TOO OLD FOR THIS SH*T”, were all part of my brain’s self-talk.

I “think” I look kinda cool

  • Larry Cain wears one and lots of folk on the 100/100 Paddle Challenge group wear one. We can look cool together. Like slender bluish/grey teletubbies. We can start a rock band like the Blue Man group?
  • I kind of look like a Star Trek “in charge” person. I’m thinking of going into Walmart with it on and seeing what kind of reaction I’ll get.

Only constructive criticism for Starboard. The neck. The neck is neoprene and the way this overlaps and seals on my suit (granted I bought a man’s medium and I’m a “skinny necked woman”) doesn’t quite overlap enough to make it appear watertight for full submersion. I’d like to see it more like a triathlon wetsuit neck overlap, but I think I can add some Velcro and make that happen. I realize this is a drysuit, not a survival suit, so I’m ok with it, but that might be a good improvement?

Starboard Dry Suit

More Information

Starboard All Star Drysuit specs: http://star-board-apparel.com/blog/the-all-star-sup-suit-the-future-of-cold-water-paddling/