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 The Official Test Centre is a watersports school, retailer and test centre located right on the water’s edge, within the grounds of the National Sailing Academy on Portland, Dorset.

 

Due to our location, we are in the perfect place to get out on the latest kit and give it a go. On this blog we share our thoughts with you. And having tested for magazines for over two decades, we love to put the kit through its paces. 

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Winter Warmers

With summer slowly slipping away, it's time to look in the wetsuit cupboard and see what you have left over from the last few years to keep the cold away! Wetsuits aside, there is plenty of kit out there to help keep you toasty in and around the water.


As the autumn and winter conditions set in, (with the wind getting up and the temperature dropping), keeping warm before and after a session can make the day/session a whole lot more enticing and can actually increase your on water time.


Rigging jackets are the answer, keeping you out of the elements whilst rigging, and helping you to reheat once you're back on the beach re-rigging or de-rigging. (It could also be handed to your significant other, so they can get the all important photos of you whilst you're on the water - a good bargaining chip!)


Neoprene vs Waterproof Towel


With a whole host of neoprene jackets on offer, from all of the big wetsuit companies, there are plenty to choose from. All are very similar in construction (2-3mm, wind/waterproof neoprene); they do the job of keeping you warm, protecting you from the wind. Some have harness hook holes to enable you to wear them as an extra layer on the water, but in reality it's not something you see done very much, (unless you are coaching, then it might become an essential item for you over the winter in the UK). Usually, they have large outer pockets, which will come in handy. Yet, due to the relatively snug fit and short length, they aren't very practical when it comes to changing in and out of your wetsuit.


The Brunotti Jibe Jacket is definitely one of the more stylish neoprene jackets on the market, and coming in at under £100.00, it is hard pushed to be beaten.

To read more information on it, click here.





DryRobe has grown from a UK based surfer with a start-up 'garden shed' company, to the huge worldwide enterprise. Their products are now being used by athletes in Red Bull events, Sport Relief and Team GB in the Rio Olympics. The synthetic lambs' wool lining will definitely keep you warm in the harshest beach environments and with the waterproof/windproof lining it makes for a cosy space to hunker down into. All the pockets are well thought out, and even have a waterproof inside pocket with headphone hole to house your phone. All the DryRobes are oversized, making it easy to tuck your arms in to help you keep warm, or to get changed underneath, making them suitable for all the cooler/wetter days. This design is why you see them on the backs of triathletes, surfers, sailors and many other outdoorsy people the world around.

To See the full range of sizes and colours click here.