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New Tuiliks

from Meaw, Phuket, Thailand

My kayak club practices in a pool for our open water adventures in Thailand. Recently we ordered summer Tuiliks that are made of lightweight nylon. We wear them mainly for sun protection and as spray covers in the waves or when it rains.

It was great fun to try the new Tuiliks when paddling in the swimming pool. We wear them over our sportswear or swim shirts. Rolling with the hood up works best as not much water comes into the boat when I duck my head under. The Tuiliks also provide extra bouyancy when rolling or doing the brace.

When I get too hot I practice the wet exit to soak my clothes, then climb back into the boat. On hot days I go for a swim before paddling out. This helps me keep my cool. After each paddle session we always swim for a while in our canoeing clothes to get fit, which I like a lot. Swimming in Tuiliks is great fun and fairly easy.

Floatation

from Ryan in Newquay, Cornwall, England

I went ocean paddling this weekend in my new Tuilik. Wow! I can move so much more freely in the cockpit! I couldn't wait to do an actual rolling workout.

Yesterday I went for a rolling course in a nearby swimming pool. Dressed in tee and sweatshirt, tracksuit bottoms and Tuilik, I carefully sat in a rather tipsy kayak. The instructor showed us how to properly seal the hood and tighten the cockpit rim. He said, the trapped air in the dry clothes underneath will provide bouyancy.

Then we practiced the support stroke, the brace, and finally a variety of rolling techniques. I learned how to do a balance brace almost without thinking, and ducking my head underwater, which has mostly escaped me with a PFD. The Tuilik has so much floatation when I roll into the water, I had to work to get around in a standard roll.

During the break, I got out of the boat and found that my clothes underneath were still mostly dry. Some water came in past the face opening, but hey, canoeing is a water sport, you're meant to get wet. I got quite hot under the Tuilik, rolling in the warm pool water.

To cool off, the instructor told us to practice swimming in our canoeing clothes, with and without the Tuilik. Moving around in the water fully clothed took some effort but I enjoyed it a lot.

After the break I got back into the kayak. Rolling in wet clothes was a bit harder due to the extra weight and less bouyancy. Finally we practiced the wet exit and wet entry, which required good skill.

Since this course I always paddle in my Tuilik, come rain or shine. On hot days, I swim first to get my clothes wet, and then paddle around, looking good and feeling cool. Tuiliks rule!