Before we get into the meat of the review, let’s address the elephant in the room. SUPSkin – the name doesn’t really conjure up images of sit on top paddling antics. But let’s be honest: what’s in a name? The SUPSkin is still a drysuit/surface immersion suit designed with paddle sports (and in fact all watersports) in mind. As such it’s worthy of inclusion here. Now, on with the show…
Looks and style We’ll not lie: some drysuits out there don’t have particularly appealing aesthetics. And although we’re quite taken with the bold livery of the SUPSkin Magic Allround we appreciate even this isn’t for everyone. Fortunately SUPSkin offer punters the opportunity to style their suit how they see fit. You even have the opportunity of adding logos, slogans and all manner of personalised detailing to make your SUPSkin unique.
The Magic Allround is SUPSkin’s second from top spec suit and features a water/wind proof stretch fabric boasting a triple layer weave with breathable lining and TM climate membrane (say that in one go!). Patented self-cleaning NanoSphere technology helps keep your Magic Allround looking spick and span while lightweight and waterproof diagonal YKK zipper is robust and built for the outdoors. It also has properties which keep the suit smelling fresh and maintaining a high level of hygiene – after all, it’s very easy to leave your kayak kit in a steaming pile post session. Hey good looking! Getting in and out of the Magic Allround is super easy. Some drysuits do tend to make a meal of entering and exiting so it’s nice to have that’s simply plug ‘n’ play. Wrist and neck seals are manufactured in latex rubber and once adorned fit snuggly. As with all drysuits it’s worth venting any trapped air you may have lurking inside so as to not end up looking like a roly poly soft ball out on the drink. The YKK is easy to fasten solo – just make sure it is indeed secure and you’ve closed it correctly. Otherwise it could be a wet ride you’re in for!
The SUPSkin’s fit is one of tailored style rather than baggy and loose. This is appreciated as, let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than looking like the Michelin Man because your water wear is too floppy. Having said that, there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre in the suit and paddling shouldn’t be an issue. (SUPSkin employees will talk to you beforehand to make sure the fit is correct – another tick in the box and one that ensures the service you receive is a personal one). Onto the water Hopping aboard your sled the SUPSkin clings to bodies like stink. In this sense it’s a bit unusual as most other suits we’ve tried don’t do this. It takes a bit of getting used to and on cold days your under layering system needs to be contemplated. If you’re wearing inappropriate base layers then you could end up colder than when you started. Get those layers nailed and it’s fine, however.
We’ve used the Magic Allround across multiple environments and in all situations there’s been zero annoying leakages. Even when the surf ramps up and you may take a dunking, zilch water gets inside. Again, though, you’ll need to consider what you wear underneath the SUPSkin as you’ll get warm – really warm! We can’t emphasise this enough. It’s great the SUPSkin keeps you toastie – even on the most Baltic of days – but you’ll need to be sporting a wick top and leggings to ensure you don’t get damp from sweat. Maybe a yuk thought but it’s something to consider – perspiration can make you colder than actually getting wet. During testing we thought it only right to take a few purposeful swims (yeah right! – ed). In some instances drysuits/surface immersion suits can ‘give’ around the seals. Not so with the Magic Allround. You can swim happily, safe in the knowledge the suit will do its job and keep you snuggly warm. Even taking a beating in surf wasn’t a problem and although we didn’t get the opportunity to try in a white water environment we reckon you’d have no troubles there either.
Conclusion With its unique styling, and the opportunity to tailor make your own personalised suit, SUPSkin’s Magic Allround is a quality product that bucks the drysuit/surface immersion trend. With its close fit paddlers will need to be wearing the correct under layers, to ensure the heat levels keep on the up and perspiration doesn’t become an issue. Durable, and featuring a whole bunch of nifty features the Magic Allround is a winter paddling product we certainly appreciate. This versatility even makes it applicable for use during shoulder seasons – autumn and spring.