Below is a list of our frequently asked questions. Should you have additional questions not found here, please feel free to contact us:
Toll Free: 888-270-8595
Sharkskin is made from the most advanced technical fabrics available for watersports. At Sharkskin we are constantly seeking out the best new fabric technologies to keep you warm while participating in your favorite watersports.
The comfortable ‘hollow yarn’ fleece layer is next to the skin and ‘wicks’ moisture and sweat away from the body to help keep you dry. The second middle ‘technical’ layer is 100% windproof yet breathes to regulate body temperature while stopping windchill. The third outer layer is a nylon/lycra blend for abrasion resistance and 4 way stretch. It is also UV resistant for sun protection and has a durable water repellent finish (DWR) to provide a protective shell that ‘sheds’ water.
The Performance range has been created with the help of competition athletes. The designs use Chillproof material for full protection from the elements, flexible compression material to allow for maximum manoeuvrability during intense sport and neoprene for stretch and comfort. The different designs use heavy-duty zippers to control heat retention and mesh panels for ventilation to allow for maximum performance as weather conditions change or as your heart rate climbs.
Rapid Dry is a lightweight, fast drying fabric in which the unwoven yarn is infused with a water repellent treatment (WRT). This method achieves a finish that is vastly more effective at shedding water and lasts much longer than traditional fabric treatments. The Rapid Dry fabric is warmer than cotton and nylon/lycra synthetic fabrics when wet. It has an SPF50+ rating for full sun protection, is lightweight and breathable and is chlorine resistant.
The patented built-in concealment technology of HECS StealthScreen is designed to improve your dive experience. The material is woven with HECS’ conductive carbon fibers that trap and mask your naturally occurring electric signal output that many marine animals can detect and react to, enhancing your ability to get closer to marine life underwater. SHARKSKIN COVERT WORKS BY COMBINING 3 SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES:
- All living things emit a faint electric signal.
- Some marine species can detect faint electric signals.
- A conductive screen operating as a ‘Faraday’ shield can block electric signals.
This depends on your use – if worn under a wetsuit to keep you warm then a rinse in fresh water in a dive tub or on a hanger with the garden hose is perfect. If you wear Sharkskin in high heart rate, intense watersports where you will be sweating a lot then you can also schedule a rinse using a mild anti-bacterial agent like commercially available ‘wetsuit wash’ every so often. Wetsuit wash is available in most dive stores and is not as aggressive as most detergents and is formulated especially to rejuvenate fabrics. If you are using sharkskin where it will get especially dirty – fish residues while kayak fishing or dirt and mud during multisports for example, then you may need to use a machine wash with a gentle detergent.
This really depends on what your favourite watersport is. If you are wearing Sharkskin underneath a wetsuit then you will need to make sure your Sharkskin garment is ‘fitted’ so that it is comfortable and does not bunch underneath your wetsuit. If you are wearing Sharkskin as a standalone garment (not under a wetsuit) and in and out of the water (EG – SUP, surfing, surf ski, kiteboarding, windsurfing, skiff sailing, etc) then it is best to make sure your Sharkskin garment is more ‘fitted’ than loose. Chillproof material absorbs water when fully immersed and so if the garment is too large it can become uncomfortable with the extra weight of the absorbed water. If you are wearing Sharkskin as a standalone garment out of the water 100% of the time (EG – recreational kayaking, as thermal wear for mountain biking, skiing, etc) then you may be more comfortable with a slightly looser fit. Of course the best idea is to find your nearest Sharkskin stockist and try on the design best suited to your favourite watersport(s). Most watersport enthusiasts have a wardrobe full of Sharkskin to match different seasons, conditions and watersport activities. The exception to wearing Sharkskin ‘fitted’ is the Rapid Dry range. Rapid Dry is designed to be worn slightly loose like your favourite T shirt.
The Chillproof top and Climate Control top are both 100% made from the Chillproof fleece material (nylon abrasion resistant outer layer / windchill proof, breathable technical middle layer / hollow yarn fleece inner layer). The Chillproof top has a 3mm neoprene neck gasket designed for wearing under a wetsuit or for whitewater paddling where you don’t want water entering the neck area. The Climate Control top has a 1/2 zipper (instead of a neoprene gasket) designed mainly for above water watersports, (kayaking, multisport, SUP paddling, kiteboarding, windsurfing, jetski, etc), where you may need to vent via the zipper should you get too hot. The zipper design would be uncomfortable under a wetsuit.
Wearing Sharkskin under a wetsuit not only keeps you warm during the dive but protects against windchill in between dives. The chest vest keeps your core warm in and out of the water. The chest vest with hood gives you that extra warmth that you need for cold water. You lose a lot of heat through your head so you can even double up by adding a neoprene hood over the sharkskin hood in really cold water for extra warmth. The Shortsleeve Chillproof top adds more warmth than the chest vest by enclosing your armpit area. The Longsleeve Chillproof top is for even colder water diving provided your wetsuit has enough room in the arms for the longsleeve top underneath it. Most go for the shortsleeve top – but if you get very cold and your suit has enough room in the arms then go for the longsleeve top.
The main difference between the 2 fullsuits is the position of the zipper. While both designs keep you warm in the water and on the surface the frontzip design (undergarment) is more comfortable for under a drysuit while the rearzip design is more typically used for warmer water snorkelling and diving. The rear zip Chillproof fullsuit has a neoprene gasket neck seal while the front zip Chillproof undergarment has a standard neck with no neoprene in its design.
Layering Sharkskin gives you the flexibility of adding or removing garments to handle changing weather conditions. Each category of Sharkskin apparel has its own unique benefits – so by combining 2 or more garments you can achieve a ‘layering’ system that will allow you to face the weathers extremes – both cold and hot. Chillproof is designed to be worn fitted and the Rapid Dry top is designed to be worn loose like a T-shirt, so you can pull a shortsleeve or longsleeve Rapid Dry top on over a Chillproof ‘next to skin’ layer anytime. A great combination for winter watersports is a Chillproof garment (chest vest, short or longsleeve top) to keep your core nice and warm with a Rapid Dry longsleeve worn on top to handle sea spray and for sun protection on your shoulders and arms should you be wearing the chest vest. For active watersports wear the chillproof chest vest with rapid dry as a top layer. For less active watersports choose either the chillproof shortsleeve or longsleeve top (with or without zipper) with rapid dry as the top layer. The Rapid Dry tops also work well over Performance tops. The compression material in the performance garments draws blood to the muscles in your shoulders and arms to help with endurance and recovery, but because of the extra sensitivity with increased blood flow you can get cold more quickly. Wearing a Rapid Dry top over the performance top adds an insulation layer to ward off windchill and is thin enough to keep you from overheating. You can also layer Sharkskin with your wetsuit. By adding a garment from the Chillproof range underneath your wetsuit you can add the equivalent warmth of a 3mm wetsuit without the additional bouyancy. The Chillproof garment not only ensures that you stay warm during a dive or other watersports activity but also stops windchill when you are above the water in-between sessions.