We've been on the hunt for the best fabrics and materials
for stand up paddle apparrel, and Victory has developed one that is definitely at the
top of our list for a loose fitting surf shirt. For over 25 years, Victory has
been on the forefront of wetsuit and water wear innovation and development. They
were the first company to blind stitch their wetsuits back in the late 70's
sparking a revolution in comfort and design for the surfing industry. This
tradition continues on with patented technologies such as TroPiSkin KoreDry that continue to put Victory
ahead of the game for surfers worldwide.
Many stand up paddlers prefer a loose fitting shirt for both
paddling and surfing. In the past, t-shirts, oversized rash guards, or
water-wicking shirts have been the readily available options. While such shirts
are comfortable when dry, when wet they become sticky, cold, constricting and
uncomfortable. Victory has solved all that with their TroPiSkin KoreDry
TroPiSkin KoreDry surf shirts are water repellant to the
core of the fabric fibers. This means that even after being submersed, the
fabric comes clean and dry out of the water. The fabric does not stick to your
body, restrict movement or bring the chill that comes with a traditional wet
t-shirt or rash guard. Furthermore, the lightweight fabric allows air to pass through the
fibers making the fabric cool and breathable.
Now. . . what do we really think about the product?
Outstanding. Victory has several water repellant fabrics and we were really
impressed by this one. It's kind of surreal to jump in the ocean and get out with
a dry shirt on. The fabric performs as promoted by Victory. That said, after
really going through the spin cycle in the whitewater of some North Shore,
Oahu waves, occasionally there would be what
appears to be a damp spot on the shirt where the water seems to have become trapped
between the threads of the shirt. However, the damp spot dries quickly due to the fact that the
fibers at the core of the threads remain dry.
Do we recommend a loose fitting shirt over a tight fitting
rash-guard style shirt? It's a matter of personal preference. The upside is
they are comfortable, airy and non-restricting. The downside might be that a
loose shirt will create some additional wind resistance though it may be
imperceptible to the recreational paddler. Also, since the TroPiSkin KoreDry
fabric repels water, it is somewhat buoyant. This means, when you do jump in
the water, the hem at the waist may float up toward your armpits. However,
since the fabric is not waterlogged, when you get out of the water and back on
your board, the shirt usually goes back into place as you climb back on your
board. In big wave surf some may find a tighter fitting shirt more favorable to
avoid the shirt moving around under the water, however, when you see guys like
Ikaika Kalama getting shacked at Pipeline in a plaid collared shirt, the pros
of a loose shirt must outweigh the cons.
The surf shirts come in both long and short sleeved
versions. If you're spending extensive time in the sun, the long sleeved shirt
is the way to go. Because of the nature of the fabric it's like wrapping
yourself in the shade. If you're looking for a great, loose fitting shirt,
you'll be stoked on the TroPiSkin KoreDry surf shirts by Victory. They come in
sleeveless, long sleeve, short sleeve, and womens styles. You can pick one up
online for $35 to $48 at www.victorytropiskin.com
or call Victory at 1-888-8-SURFIN.