I was using a good ol’ O’Neill rashie Oz style for ages but the problem with it, like all rashies, is that the seams are not optimally placed for paddling. Long paddling ends up with badly chafed armpits. Enter the IR Thinskin. I bought it at Rock n Roll when I arrived and I can say it totally RULES. No noticeable chafing even when wet and it keeps you snug in cold weather (I mean cold for NSW not cold for North Americans and Europeans. We don’t want that sort of cold here). Long term owners tell me that it even keeps its shape despite continual abuse. Rashies stretch and change shape making it hard to set a chafe-proof fit.
I know the Sharkskin is a competitor and it’s Australian but the Thinskin rules so hard that it’s difficult to imagine anything better. When Sharkskin give me a free sample to demo (XL please) I will give a fair review of that as well but until then the IR gear should be de rigeur for kayaking in NSW.
I have chosen the image above from the IR site rather than model this garment myself due to the fact that, unlike the Thinskin, my physique has distorted over time and may present an image unconducive to IR ongoing sales.