College Sailing Gear
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Choosing the Right Gear for College Sailing
Intercollegiate sailing is some of the most competitive sailing around, with college sailors racing almost year-round in all types of conditions. Having the right gear is critical to success, as not having to worry about comfort allows you to focus all your energy on racing. In tight fleets at college regattas, every advantage counts. Our experts and former college sailors at Mauri Pro have put together a selection guide featuring the most important gear for college sailing in any conditions. Contact Us for the best prices in the industry.
Smock: A waterproof smock will keep you dry in wet weather without adding too much bulk. You can wear it over board shorts in wet summer conditions, or combine with a long-john style wetsuit, spray pants, or salopettes for cooler weather. A good smock for college sailing is waterproof, lightweight, and breathable.
Trousers: Like a spray top, trousers for the college sailor must be waterproof and breathable. Rugged reinforcements help protect the fabric over the thousands of roll tacks of a college sailing career. Wear with a fleece jacket on cooler, light wind days to stay dry during intense roll tacks, or wear with a spray top on colder days for more protection from the elements.
Tech Shirt: One of the most important tips when choosing sailing gear is Cotton = BAD. Cotton absorbs water and stays wet for a long time, keeping you hot and sweaty on warm days and cold and shivering on cool days. Quality quick-dry sailing shirts wick moisture away from your skin, keeping you comfortable whether worn on their own on hot days or under your spray gear for cooler weather.
Boots: The bottom of a double-handed dinghy is not a forgiving place. Boots give college sailors improved hiking endurance and protection on roll tacks/roll gybes. Do your feet and shins a favor with quality boots for college sailing.
Gloves: Sticky, grippy gloves from Gill and Zhik provide maximum grip, but won't last much past a few college regattas. Traditional style sailing gloves are more durable, while still providing extra protection and grip.
Watch: Even with the ICSA 3 minute starting signals, a watch is absolutely necessary to make sure you are where you need to be at any point during the start. Big numbers and easy-to-use buttons give you no excuse for missing that gun.
Drysuit/Wetsuit: Just because there is snow on the ground doesn't mean practice is cancelled. A good quality drysuit is a must for those early spring college sailing sessions in the northeast and midwest. The drysuit keeps the elements out, but warmth comes from wearing a good base and midlayer underneath. And remember: No Cotton! A wetsuit can be a good alternative to spray gear for late fall regattas,or for winter sailing a bit farther south, where the air and water aren't quite as cold. You'll still get wet, but thick neoprene keeps you warm without sacrificing any mobility.
Winter Gloves: Your grippy racing gloves won't do much to keep your hands warm on those chilly winter days. A good pair of winter sailing gloves will have grippy/durable palms for grabbing lines and heavy duty neoprene construction to keep your fingers from falling off.
Bag: When you have to be at the regatta site first thing in the morning, you don't want to be running late because your gear was scattered across your dorm room. Keep all your college sailing essentials together (and sealed in fresh) with a quality sailing bag.
PFD: Absolutely required gear for college racing is a US Coast Guard approved lifejacket. While any USCG Approved PFD will satisfy the requirement, a specifically designed sailing PFD doesn't add extra bulk and is built with the normal actions of dinghy sailing in mind, so you won't sacrifice maneuverability in the boat.