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The Rooster® Water Sports Layering Guide

Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned professional, wearing the right kit for the conditions and being comfortable on the water can affect your enjoyment, safety and personal results. This article forms an honest and rigorously tested guide on the best practices for what to wear on the water whilst taking part in the majority of watersports activities. Cultivated by a huge team of enthusiasts, professional athletes and customers. We model and continue to develop our kit on this layering system but it works in conjunction with whatever kit you may already have, so even if you feel you only need a boost in some areas of your kit you might find something here very helpful...

The Rooster® layering concept involves selecting a base layer, mid-layer and top layer that are interchangeable and can be worn all year round – and this is where you get your value for money. Choose pieces that can be layered up or down depending on the temperature and conditions, this is particularly important for athletes who can experience four seasons in one day on the water, something a lot of us have experienced.

Thanks to advances in fabric technology and the way these are applied to the design and fit of sailing kit, you can find that you can get away with a “less is more” approach to your kit bag. Our kit is specifically designed and tested by all of us at Rooster® as well as our sponsored athletes and customer feedback, to give the wearer maximum comfort, safety and functionality whilst maintaining quality and durability - it won’t break the bank either, our fundamental aim is to make getting on the water safely and enjoying it fully as accessible as possible.


First Up: Base Layers

Thermal Base Layers:

The Rooster® base layer is called PolyProand should be worn next to your skin underneath your wetsuit. Our PolyPro base layers are “hydrophobic” which basically means the material repels water. These base layers can be washed overnight and will be dry by morning, in fact, they feel dry to the touch when you take them out of the washing machine. They’re also multi-purpose and whilst great for kayaking, sailing, and every type of surfing there is, it can also be used for land sports like skiing, winter cycling or running, basically any time you feel like you need to put thermals on. Our PolyProbase layers are available as a top, leggings, glove liners, socks, headband and balaclava.

Cooling Base Layers:

UV Rash and Lycra, and protected keeping cool under the sun. The lycra that Rash Tops are made from allows moisture to be spread through the garment and around your body in order to cool you down while you're working hard in the sun as well as providing UV protection SPF30+. If you like the science behind the products read our blog on 'What have molecular forces got to do with watersports?'

Common Misconception: Underneath wetsuits people often like to wear rash vests or lycra tops to keep warm, these kinds of tops are not ideal for this purpose, they are designed to absorb and spread as much water as possible around the garment in order to cool you down. They are an excellent UV resistant cooling top to wear under the hot sun but if you are aiming to keep warm then you need a base layer with moisture-wicking, thermal properties like PolyPro.


Learn more about polypro:



Next Up: Mid-Layers

The mid-layer is your neoprene layer. We recommend choosing a Longjohn and Top as they can be worn as separates depending on the conditions. We offer these products in a range of thickness to suit the climate the athlete is in predominately and whether they tend to feel the cold or not. The most popular with our year-round athletes is the SuperTherm® 4mm Longjohn. For those in warmer waters, the ThermaFlex® 1.5mm Longjohn would be more suitable. These can be paired up with a top of the same neoprene thickness, however many opt for a thinner layer combining a 4mm Longjohn with a 1.5mm top.




Learn More about Supertherm:

Learn More about Thermaflex:

The Importance of Top layers:

Aquafleece® Top Layers for warmth:

Finally, the top layer is the cherry on the Rooster® cake. Our development of the Aquafleece® material revolutionised the standard spray top. The fabric has a Polyurethane coating on the outside for water resistance, durability and flexibility combined with a fleece inner layer to keep you snug and warm - a combination that works well when wet or dry. It’s one of those products that people try once and never look back.


Lightweight Top Layers:

Inspired by super-breathable top layers worn by kayakers and cyclists, our latest Low bulk, lightweight performance 2.5l spray top and smock are perfect for those close wet windy moderate too hot days where you don’t need the warmth of the Aquafleece® but want a bit more protection from the elements. This breathable and waterproof top packs up small enough to easily stuff into your 10L drybag for easy storage. Cool downwind, but protective upwind.

Once you’ve added your accessories – Gloves, Boots, Buoyancy Aid, Hat – you’re ready to go and will be warm, comfortable and moving around the boat like a ninja! Best of all, you’ll have a wardrobe of interchangeable kit that will see you through all seasons.

For advice on layering and which products might work best with your existing kit for the season you're about to hit the water in, just give us a call, we’re more than happy to help.

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