Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Year of the Tuiliq

I have begun my own celebration of the lunar new year by reviving the blog after a winter hiatus!
I have occasionally  borrowed Reed tuiliqs from friends and mentors when I have travelled to the balmy southlands beyond Inverness in summers past. However at the Reed Chillcheater stand in Perth at last October’s Big Paddle Show I had a chat with Chris about fit and cut and now have a tuiliq slightly altered around the face of the hood.
At the moment I am only able to get into the pool with my Tahe Greenland about once a month so I have had to wait patiently to try the new gear. Looking forward to a cooler and lighter experience it was with great anticipation that I took to the water in the new tuiliq.
Aaah that's better...
The lightness and freedom of movement the tuiliq gave was great. Using a neoprene tuiliq principally designed to keep you warm when rolling in freezing conditions outside, means pool sessions can get increasingly hot and heavy. By contrast the Reed tuiliq allowed me to stay cool throughout the whole hour I was rolling. What I hadn’t anticipated was the freedom of movement which the Reed tuiliq gave me. I am sure that without the bulk of the neoprene tuiliq (and without wearing a drysuit underneath), I was able to increase my range of movement slightly, particularly when tucking forward and when bending my arms behind my head. I certainly felt like I was able to fine tune a few positions.

The hood fits well and kept water out of my ears - the adaptation of having the edge of the  hood go further back under the chin certainly gave me a feeling of having no constraints at all around my mouth and jaw. I really like this sense of being able to breathe easily when you have a nose clip on!
I like the idea of having a light tuiliq which I can paddle in, pull the hood up and roll with. This is not possible with the neoprene tuiliq which is too bulky to get a BA with all your kit in over the top, and which is very tiring to paddle any distance in.
I'm looking forward to taking the Reed tuiliq outside…