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  1. #1

    Wool sweater and socks

    So, I don't necessarily have the best wet suit, but it works pretty good. Its an old 6'5'4' and I always tell myself I'm going to buy a new suit, but always waste that money on a new board. I have a problem.
    But the water up here in New Hampshire is still FRIGID... I mean ice cream headaches like crazy, shrunken sack, cold hands and feet etc. I can max about 2-3 hours on a good day, but when the air is really cold too, its usually 1-2 hours per session.
    Recently me and my buddies started using wool socks and sweaters under our suits to help stay warm. Believe it or not, it works amazingly well. I actually have only been wearing wool socks, but my buddy does both. He cut the sleeves and lower waist off the sweater so it doesn't get too bunched up. The wool fills the little gaps between your skin and the suit. It allows less water to sit in your suit and lets your body warm it up faster. Thus keeping you warmer.
    Has anyone else tried this little trick? If not, I recommend it. We by no means invented this idea. It has been done for quite some time. I heard it from a particular shop owner up here in NH, and he was totally right. Thanks Mike.

  2. #2
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    I think it's a great idea, never tried it...prior to the invention of the wetsuit pretty sure guys were wearing wool sweaters in the water(obviously nowhere near as low temps as we can now). Either way, I'll get some wool and try it in my 4/3.

  3. Makes perfect sense. Prior to the advent of synthetics, wool was the only fabric that retained its insulative properties when wet (fisherman's and ski sweaters). Untreated wool retains its natural lanolins which keeps it from soaking up water (hydrophobic) and allows you body heat to dry the fabric from the inside out, or in this case warm the water trapped next to your skin without absorbing it. Wool was a wicking fabric before anyone really knew what wicking was - they just knew it kept you warm. I don't know if they are still doing it, but I think that patagonia was experimenting with wool layers in some of thier wetsuits. At those prices, Ill try the socks/sweater thing first. As the wwater warms you might try switching down to some of the lighter thinner shirts, socks, and even tights that smartwool and some others make for running or biking. They ain't cheap, but they are less expensive than a new heavyweight suit.
    Last edited by mrbadexample; Mar 22, 2013 at 04:56 PM. Reason: cold fingers

  4. #4
    maybe use a rashguard if your gonna wear woolup on your skin.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbadexample View Post
    Untreated wool retains its natural lanolins.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ioqLr5341w

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DawnPatrolSUP View Post
    Hilarious. How do find this stuff? lmao

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mushdoc View Post
    Hilarious. How do find this stuff? lmao
    It's one of the best movies ever, so i've seen it too many times to count, when I saw the word lanolin, it was the 1st thing I thought of.

  8. #8
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    Been wearing wool socks under my boots for 30 years. Back in the day it was ragg wool (and I mean WAAAY back in the day...). Today I use SmartWool snowboard socks. They go almost up to the knee, so it helps getting in and out of your suit and boots easier, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbadexample View Post
    Makes perfect sense. Prior to the advent of synthetics, wool was the only fabric that retained its insulative properties when wet (fisherman's and ski sweaters). Untreated wool retains its natural lanolins which keeps it from soaking up water (hydrophobic) and allows you body heat to dry the fabric from the inside out, or in this case warm the water trapped next to your skin without absorbing it. Wool was a wicking fabric before anyone really knew what wicking was - they just knew it kept you warm. I don't know if they are still doing it, but I think that patagonia was experimenting with wool layers in some of thier wetsuits. At those prices, Ill try the socks/sweater thing first. As the wwater warms you might try switching down to some of the lighter thinner shirts, socks, and even tights that smartwool and some others make for running or biking. They ain't cheap, but they are less expensive than a new heavyweight suit.


    Fleece helps too

  10. #10
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    So for you guys that already wear wool underneath, do you notice any difference in weight, do you feel heavier? I know wool doesn't absorb water just curious if you feel a difference.