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Kit Guide

Top Reads 2016 #2ndplace - Too Hot? Too Cold? Too Wet? Rooster's Tips to Layering.

By Rooster Sailing 2nd October 2020

If there’s one thing we Brits love to talk about, it’s the weather. But the changeable conditions can make it a nightmare when trying to decide what to wear on the water.

Gone are the days when you would stick your Dad’s hand-me-down LongJohn on with a pair of trainers. This would often go under a not-so-waterproof coverall with a beermat sewn on the bum for a bit of padding. Then if it was really cold you would slip on a trusty smock as a mid-layer.

Now, thanks to advances in material, fabric, design and a huge amount of thought for the end-user, Rooster have come up with a range of multi-layered dinghy sailing kit to suit a variety of conditions and the individual sailor.

The physical demands on our bodies vary massively from class to class and from helm to crew. You need your kit to protect you from bruising but also remain flexible. You need to keep cool during racing when adrenaline is running high and you’re exerting a huge amount of energy, whilst keeping warm in between racing when you can often get caught sitting around waiting for the next start.

Base Layers:

For those that find themselves getting cold on the water, the first question we would ask is what are you wearing next to your skin? Typically most people wear a Lycra rash vest, which will absorb sweat and moisture from your body when you are hot, but as soon as you stop working that damp piece of clothing will sap the heat from your body – water takes heat from the body 27 times faster than air. There is definitely a place for Lycra Rash vests on a hot day as they are designed to keep you cool however for layering Rooster have developed a range of base layers made from PolyPro. This fabric is a combination of Spandex (10%) and Polypropylene (90%). It has an outward appearance of Lycra but has a brushed fleece-like inside giving them excellent thermal qualities. The material remains remarkably dry as polypropylene hates water making it perfect to wear against your skin as a base layer or on its own with a pair of shorts on a hot day – in fact the possibilities are endless as these can be worn under a ski suit, cycling, running whatever you are in to!

Poly Pro Bundle

Mid Layer:

The mid layer is a very important bit of a kit but there is no need to have every kind of wetsuit, steamer, drysuit, shorty under the sun! Layering is all about ensuring your kit is interchangeable for the conditions with all pieces having a job to do 12 months of the year.

The SuperTherm® LongJohn is an all-year-round, must-have piece of kit, allowing you flexibility and movement around the shoulders arms and neck, which you don’t get with a full length wetsuit. There’s also an integral concealed relief flap for quick toilet breaks in between races. You can then pair it with the SuperTherm® Top on a cold day – the 4mm 4-way SuperStretch Neoprene will still afford you plenty of flexibility and movement.

Supertherm LJ Supertherm top

At Rooster we understand that everyone runs at different temperatures or may prefer something lighter on top or on the bottom. You can mix and match with the lighter ThermaFlex™ range made from 1.5mm 4-way SuperStretch Neoprene.

ThermaFlex LJ ThermaFlex Ladies ThermaFlex Top

The biggest plus point of Rooster’s range of LongJohn’s is that they are all compatible with our ProHike Pads. They also have soft inner plush linings with Duraflex wear resistant knee and seat patches. If you need more protection, we have an excellent range of shorts to suit all requirements.

From basic Neoprene (Race Skin) Shorts to our RaceArmour Range which come with dual-layer contoured neoprene padding and durable armoured exterior. Again, compatible with the ProHike Pads. The really useful thing about these shorts is the silicone gripper featured on the thigh seems and waist to stop them slipping down or riding up. Wear them over your Longjohn or by themselves on hot days.

ProHike Pads Neoprene Shorts RaceArmour Shorts

Top Layer:

Which brings us to the all-important top layer because let’s face it, those champagne sailing conditions are few and far between, rain is almost always a consideration and for the windy days there’s spray (or even a swim) to bear in mind.

Rooster’s Aquafleece® revolutionised the standard spray top, no kit bag should be without it! Featuring a Polyurethane coating on the outside for water resistance, durability and flexibility combined with a thermal fleece inner to keep you snug and warm when wet or dry. There’s a range of Aquafleece® products to suit all requirements in a variety of colours.



Buoyancy aids can often be overlooked and is one of the most important and well-used pieces of kit in your bag. You will be wearing it whatever the weather so it’s vital that it is comfortable, unrestrictive and adjustable to suit the layers you are wearing underneath. Colour, pockets and aesthetics are also important so Rooster have come up with a range to suit all tastes. Extra consideration for the ladies has been given when designing the Ladies Black Diamond Contour Buoyancy Aid which features additional neoprene modesty panels and adjustment straps on the shoulders as well as the rib cage.

Ladies Buoyancy2 Ladies Buoyancy

We do a range of gloves, headwear, boots and accessories for all conditions. Special mention should go to the Rooster Beanies which incorporates our Aquafleece® technology to ensure a warm dry head. For those that suffer from cold hands and feets our layering system can be used here in the form of glove and boot liners available in our PolyPro fabrics and neoprene.

If you are unsure of your needs and would like some advice on the Rooster layering system then give us a call or drop us an email and we would be happy to help! Tel 01243 389997


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