Donning and wearing a wetsuit was a completely new experience for me. I spoke to Circle One and explained what I needed, a wetsuit to keep me warm and dry should I find myself in the river or sea when paddle boarding, an activity I love but to which I am still a relative newcomer. They supplied the Diva in 3mm thickness as I was wearing it on the Thames at the end of March. As it turned out this was the hottest day of the year to that point, so perhaps I would have managed without – but it gave me enormous confidence that whatever happened I would be fine and not hypothermic.
At first the whole experience of being in a wetsuit is somewhat ‘alien’ but within minutes it really did feel like a second skin with the necessary level of flexibility where needed to paddle my board and generally move around comfortably. The look was sleek and stylish; black, grey and pink, yes pink – and anyone who knows me is aware of my pink fetish.
That day I tried out at least eight boards, up and down the river, and have to say felt very unaware of being in the suit for the first few hours. As the temperature rose I got very warm but found it easy to open the suit and cool a little before resuming paddling.
Did I fall in? Jump in? No, truthfully, in my determination to test the suit I accidentally walked off the ramp and was completely (for a short period, thankfully) submerged in the murky waters of the Thames. But I was not cold; the suit works beautifully and I would definitely say that whilst in nature I am not a Diva, the Diva worked very well for me. Putting plastic bags on my feet to put on the wetsuit was a useful tip but it was not a problem to put on or take off. Loved it!
Circle One’s Diva 3mm summer suit offers good flexibility for paddling while keeping you warm and toasty. A fairly flattering look, this is a great suit for general SUP antics through the summer. Available as either full LQS version or regular GBS.
Price: LQS £159.99, GBS £129.99
For more info: www.circle-one.co.uk/wetsuits/diva-32-summer.
Review by Anne Egan