Why wool performs in wet conditions
One of the most common misconceptions we hear and read about wool is to not let it get wet. Some say it because they think it will shrink, some say it because they think it will react like cotton and lose its thermal properties, and others are just afraid of smelling like a wet sheep. Fortunately, this isn’t the case, and one of the most ideal fibre types to wear during your favourite water-based sport is, in fact, Merino wool. So, before you head out on your next adventure, here are a two things to keep in mind:
1 Dress for the conditions – wind, water and air
The first thing to remember is to dress for the conditions in the area you will be in. This encompasses a number of factors including air and water temperature as well as the direction and strength of the wind as well as any tides or currents. The wind, tides, and strong currents will easily affect how rough the water is and how wet you are likely to get. Studies have shown that if it is windy or cold out, and you get wet, you’ll cool down up to 25 times faster than if you were dry.
2 Consider the water temperature
Whether you’re out paddling, SUPing or rowing, you’re dealing with two separate environments; the air and the water. It can be tempting to forget about the water temperature and just dress based on the temperature from your local weather forecast. The reality, though, is if you are surrounded by water, there is a good chance you are going to get at least a little wet. Tipping over and getting completely soaked is a possibility as well, even for those highly experienced.
Dress accordingly – with wool
So, keeping all this in mind, what should you wear for your next water-based adventure? Clothing for paddling and other water sports has similar requirements to other outdoor activities like hiking. You are looking for versatility, durability and comfort while you are on the move. You are also looking for protection for wet and sometimes cold conditions. In warmer conditions, your clothing choices become a little less important, but the key here is sun protection, which merino wool also excels in as it serves as an additional layer of protection against the harmful UV rays. Merino wool is ideal for active outdoor environments, including those on the water. It keeps you warm even when it gets wet. It is soft and comfortable next-to-skin and is naturally antibacterial, which actually helps to keep you from smelling like a sheep on your next paddle.
Here are our favourite items for water sports: