Swansea Canoe Polo Club

Outdoor Training – What to wear…

Clothing Options...

What to wear for outdoor training/competitions very much depends on the weather and personal needs / preferences. Once you start training outdoors you’ll get an idea of what’s what and will find your own preferences. The first time can be a bit hit or miss and you could find you’re too cold or too warm – but you can always find ways to warm up / cool down if needed.

In April/May, neoprene shorts or a long john wetsuit and a long sleeve rash vest is probably a good option when not too cold – if it’s windy, add a cag.

Here’s various options to hopefully make it a little easier to get started, what works for one may not work for all.

If you’re not sure what to wear or have any questions, we’re here to help. As a club we do have some stuff available to borrow, and will hopefully be buying more to help you get started outdoors. Many of us also have spare kit available that we’d be willing to share, so please feel free to ask.

Short Sleeve Rash Vest – Plenty of options available on Amazon. Great for the pool and when it’s warmer outdoors. Last summer while training on the Tawe from June – October, this is what most of us wore every week.

Long Sleeve Rash Vest – There’s two types, thermal and longer versions of short sleeve rash vests which are thinner – the thermal ones are also good for wearing underneath a long sleeve cag and for that awkward time between Spring/Autumn and Summer.

Long John Wetsuit – Long john wetsuits have no arms which gives more flexibility for paddling and can be combined with a long or short sleeve rash vest.

Wetsuit – a wetsuit can be a good option, but can sometimes be restrictive over arm movements, if you have one – you could give it a go and see how you get on.

Wetsuit Boots – you should protect your feet, but remember there’s limited space inside boats but there are “low profile” wetsuit boots/shoes available.

Neoprene Shorts – Peak UK’s Neoskin shorts are a popular choice giving comfort and staying relatively warm while off the water.

For Canoe Polo, the most important feature a cag offers is usually wind protection. You would normally wear a long sleeve rash vest or wetsuit underneath and they cost anything from £70 to £300.

There are many types of cag including long and short sleeve, single layer and twin layer, and dry and semi-dry. You can also get cags with integrated spraydecks – a “cag deck”.

Some are bulkier than others, leaving space for lots of thermals underneath which is great for white water, but if you want something a bit less bulky there are cags advertised for racing or slalom which are tighter around the arms and can make paddling a little easier.

Dry cags usually have latex seals around the neck and wrists with velcro neoprene collars, and would be a better option than a semi dry cag for the winter. Semi-dry cags will have neoprene seals around the neck, waist and wrists, are great for wind protection but would let more water in if fully submerged.

Staying warm...

Thankfully most outdoor tournaments in the UK are held at relatively warm times of year, but it can be a little chilly if the weather’s not on our side. It’s important to bring plenty of clothing to stay warm between games when off the water, and have appropriate kit when you’re on the water. Hot drinks will help keep you warm in the colder months.

Warm up’s are important, if you start warm you’re more likely to stay warm when on the water… if it’s cold when you’re on the water, remember to keep moving.

Where to buy...

Amazon have some stuff available, but outdoor shops such as Up and Under, Go Kayaking, Escape Watersports, Desperate Measures etc will have more variety. To find things like cag deck’s you’ll have to head to google and look around.

If you’re looking for somewhere you can try things on – there’s Escape Watersports in Bridgend and Up and Under in Cardiff.


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