After a long dark winter finally the glimmering sun can be seen glistening off the river and meaning the end of cold dark freezing paddling but back to warmish enjoyable paddling
During the height of the cold weather I took delivery of my new palm kit armed with both the new Stikine suit and the Spark suit I was spoilt. after using both suits on a number of occasions I found benefits to both suits.
Firstly the Stikine
Palms top end suit designed for the toughest conditions constantly being revised and improved this model was the first Stikine I’ve owned myself but having seen previous editions This looked like the best one yet, Palm have kept it simple taking the Atom Cag and Ion Bib pants and combining them, adding a rear entry brass zip and neo waistband dispatching with the old braces system, and the new suit is quite remarkable. The cut of the suit just feels natural with enough space to layer up under and enough flexibility to paddle, the fabric socks keep your feet warm and dry and the brass zips keep the water at bay. There’s enough reinforcing to feel the suit is sturdy and durable but not too much that it restricts movement.
The Stikine suit is the perfect suit for most users, heavy enough to bounce off rocks and trees but with a great cut which wont interfere with your paddling, latex neck and wrists assure that you stay toasty and dry. The new neo waist holds the suit in place even with the top rolled down to stop you overheating on those bumpy shuttles,
The Stikine is a tidy piece of kit which easily beats other suits at its price point. Only small downside. ……. It only comes in red!
The Stikine suit retails at just 725e in store.
The Spark suit, after seeing the release of this suit the first thing which stood out was the colour, ingenious a lime green suit every gear freak in the country will need one, the suit its self shares the great cut of the Stikine with latex wrist gaskets and their glide skin fabric neck, the ankles as standard comes with neo ankle seals.
The suit is designed as a lighter weight freestyle / free ride suit with great movement and flexibility the suit features the Ti Master Zip a very solid zip, I tested on a suit a few years ago with great reviews, its light and very flexible, the new zip position almost wraps around the shoulders to give unrestricted movement unlike older designs and other brands,
Having used the Spark suit both on the river, racing and in the freestyle boat the neck seal is still very dry after a good session at sluice I’m damp around the neck but not completely socked with the most important aspect that imp still warm.
The feet of the spark as standard comes with simple neo gaskets as found on the traverse bib and neon pants, I used these for a while but then decided Id get socks added, I was tentative weather to or not but after using it with the socks I can firmly say it was a good choice, being able to keep your feet warm and dry just gives better more enjoyable time in the water.
For 2012 I’ve a few trips planned starting with 2 trips to Italy end of May and beginning of June and I can safely say il take the Spark suit and wont regret it, the free cut and the semidry neck will be perfect for the warm sun and cool water of the Alps. Keeping me cool and dry all day.
The Spark suit overall is a fantastic suit but knowing I always have a full dry suit to fall back on for those cold winter runs, for a winter freestyle suit it offers great flexibility. For the summer this is the only suit il be using definitely my favourite piece of kit for the season.
The spark suit retails in store for just 550e
In Case you missed it heres a day out on the Avonmore wearing the Stikine Suit