WHAT TO WEAR DINGHY SAILING
Everything You Need to Go Dinghy Sailing
Whether you’re an experienced dinghy sailor looking to upgrade your kit, or you’re new to dinghy sailing and need to pick up some essentials, Zhik makes some of the very best dinghy sailing gear on the market. High-quality, performance-focussed dinghy sailing gear is crucial to keep you comfortable, safe and at the top of your game on the water. But, it can be confusing to know where to get started. Let’s go over the essentials you need and find your next piece of dinghy sailing equipment.
Dinghy Sailing Clothing
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to choosing dinghy sailing gear — which is honestly half the problem sometimes. Ultimately, weather and climate will play a huge role in shaping the kind of clothing you need to go dinghy sailing. Whatever you choose, it’s essential that you choose the right dinghy sailing gear for the conditions you expect to face.
UV Protective Sailing Clothes for Warm-Moderate Climates
Keeping your skin safe against harsh UV rays is vital when you’re out on the water. If you’re dinghy sailing in warm, sunny climates, one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect your arms, back and chest is with a sun protective sailing top.
For the best protection, choose a top made from fabric with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of at least 30 – this is the minimum to meet the Cancer Council Foundation’s recommendations. Zhik’s Eco Spandex, ZSkin and XWRtops are all crafted from UPF 50+ fabric, blocking out 98% of the sun’s harmful rays and giving you the best possible protection from the sun.
Wetsuits and Technical clothing for Hot Climates
High temperatures require a unique set of gear to stay competitive. Constructed from super comfortable, super stretchy and breathable spandex, Hybrid Gear™ will keep you cool and light for maximum performance in warm and hot conditions.
Alternatively, our Eco Spandex series is our ultimate lightweight range of protective tops and bottoms. The range consists of super soft and breathable tops, pants and short created from 100% Repreve recycled Nylon fabric that provides unrestricted movement and comfort.
Wetsuits and Technical Clothing for Warm-Moderate Climates
Dinghy sailing wetsuits are skin-level layers designed to protect you from the elements, so you can enjoy your time on the water in comfort and safety. Made of neoprene, dinghy sailing wetsuits trap a layer of water between the material and your skin, forming a warm layer that stops you from getting cold.
Zhik’s dinghy sailing wetsuits have been crafted from our own engineered materials, developed to keep you comfortable regardless of the conditions. Our Microfleece™ range of men’s and women’s dinghy sailing technical skiff suits and tops has been created using 1mm super-stretch thermal insulating neoprene. The innovative technology behind our Microfleece™ X and Microfleece™ V tops and pants make them versatile enough for all weather conditions and are the number one choice of world-class athletes around the world.
For warm-moderate conditions, our water-repellent, breathable, high-stretch, lightweight, woven XWR Pro technical tops for men and women is a high-performer. XWR Pro features UPF 50+ sun protection combined with water repellent fabric that simply bounces water of it making this fabric ideal for summertime high-performance activities.
Wetsuits and Technical clothing for Cold-Freezing Climates
For cold and freezing water, the durable and flexible Superwarm range has been engineered with a fast-drying fleece lining for peak performance in chilly waters.
As with our dinghy sailing wetsuits, technological innovation is at the core of our technical clothing. With a focus on comfort, flexibility and sustainability, our specially engineered materials have been crafted to support peak dinghy sailing performance. Our Superwarm® V and Superwarm® X tops are durable, flexible and – most importantly – warm enough to keep you comfortable in the coldest conditions.
Spray Protection: Drysuits and Dinghy Smocks
Drysuits and dinghy smocks are essential for performance dinghy sailing, but aren’t necessary in all climates and conditions. Fully waterproof and breathable, dinghy sailing smocks are lightweight outer shells that offer protection from the elements in moderate conditions on the water. Our Performance Smock features 3-layer Vecta fabric for superior waterproofing and breathability, while the adjustable neck, wrist and waist protect against water entry. Zhik smocks are even designed with room to wear a PFD underneath.
Dinghy smocks are ideal for competitive sailing in all conditions, providing you with a buffer against wind and water. However, if you’re facing extremely cold or even freezing conditions, you need a full-length, one-piece dinghy sailing drysuit. A dinghy sailing drysuit offers protection from head to toe, with plenty of space underneath for layering up with insulating baselayers and midlayers.
Dinghy Sailing Boots
When you’re going dinghy sailing, choosing the right footwear is essential. The right type of shoes will be largely dependent on two factors: 1) the type of vessel you sail, and 2) the conditions you expect to face when venturing out.
When you’re on the hunt for the best shoes for dinghy sailing, you need to find a pair that balances grip and comfort. Look for a high-quality sole with plenty of traction, good flexibility, and quick-drying materials.
All Zhik dinghy sailing boots are fast-drying and ergonomically crafted to deliver a firm, close fit and reduce chafing. Our Split Toe Boot is the lightest in the range, with the split toe and adjustment strap offering lateral support and stability to the foot and reinforcement at common pressure points. Its ultra-lightweight fabrication makes this the perfect summer dinghy sailing shoe.
Our Low Cut Ankle Boot is another popular pick — designed for use with foot straps. This boot style is shaped on Zhik’s unique ergonomic lasts and features an ankle seal to help keep water and debris out of your shoe.
For high-intensity sailing or foiling, the Lightweight High Cut Boot offers additional support with a quick-lock lacing system and a moulded sole to allow you to better feel the boat’s movements. Our High Cut Boot is a great all-rounder and suitable shoe for year-round sailing, while our shoes designed for hiking feature an advanced interlocking stud pattern to connect boat and sailor for superior grip.
Dinghy Sailing Gloves
Dinghy sailing can be hard on your hands as they grip and slide on equipment and ropes, so a quality pair of dinghy sailing gloves is a must for any dinghy sailing enthusiast. Gloves protect your hands from blisters and rope burns, help keep your fingers warm and dry as you sail, and can provide you with extra grip to pull those sheets with precision.
For winter sailing, full-fingered neoprene dinghy sailing gloves are the best option, though when the weather’s warmer, short-fingered gloves allow for more dexterity. Zhik’s G1 series is ideal for lightweight grip in warmer conditions. Both the half-finger gloves and full-finger sailing gloves are ergonomically designed for comfort, with reinforcement at the palm and padding in key areas for additional comfort and a strong breathable upper.
Our high-performance G2 series of dinghy sailing gloves feature Kevlar stitching and palm and finger reinforcement for enhanced durability, an abrasion-resistant outer face, and an extended finger grip.
For extreme conditions in cold climates, we also offer the Superwarm Glove, a thermal insulated 3mm neoprene glove engineered to keep frostbite away during long days in freezing conditions. For those looking for an ultimate lightweight glove with flexibility, high sensitivity and grip, try the Tactical Gloves that feature a soft and seamless Nylon liner with a high grip sandy latex coated palm.
Hiking can get uncomfortable quickly without the help of some cleverly designed accessories and aids, such as hiking pants or pads, hiking boots and straps. Hikers and hiking pants feature padded coverings positioned on the backs of the thighs to help support your legs and spread your weight over a larger area, taking the pressure off your legs.
Zhik’s revolutionary Microfleece Hikers features fibreglass-embedded hiking pads and a panelled seat for a comfortable, highly durable ride. Already have a dinghy sailing wetsuit at home? For a more versatile option, try our lightweight Zhik Powerpads, which are designed to be worn under any of our wetsuits. Made from innovative carbon fibre, they feature a compression sleeve to aid muscle performance and increase breathability.
Hiking straps are another essential for the sport, holding your feet down, so you’re able to hike harder while staying attached to your boat. We have a variety of hiking straps on offer, all of which have been crafted from durable nylon and rubber, and designed to connect and lock with our dinghy sailing footwear via our innovative interlocking stud pattern for a safe, firm connection.
Impact Protection Gear
Reliable impact protection is crucial when you’re engaging in high-intensity water sports such as foiling and skiff sailing. High-intensity sailing is a force to be reckoned with, and even the most experienced sailor needs to ensure they’re well protected in the event of a sudden impact with their vessel, equipment attached to it or the water around them.
Zhik helmets are constructed from impact-resistant ABS, thin, lightweight EVA, and lined with Hydrobase to wick away moisture, with all these features working together to offer superior safety and strength with airflow, temperature regulation and drainage.
Our P2 PFDs and T3 Trapeze Harness also feature our Kollition™ Impact pad system, engineered to keep you safe from hard hits whilst staying streamlined and flexible to not get in the way.
Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are another item to put at the top of your list of non-negotiable sailing dinghy accessories. Wearing a PFD might just save your life when you’re out on the water, and Zhik’s PFDs provide the ultimate in safety, comfort and style. When choosing the best PFD for dinghy sailing, our P3 and USCG Approved versions offer sleek lines, minimal straps and buckles, side seam entry and are easily adjustable, while our P2 dinghy sailing PFD also offers important impact protection thanks to our Kollition™ Impact pad system.