Arcata, California - For Spring 2016 Kokatat is expanding its offering of gear with the award winning SwitchZip technology, which features a fully separating watertight zipper allowing paddlers to wear a garment as a full dry suit or as an individual top.

Kokatat introduced the innovative zipper system that fully separates at the waist last year with the GORE-TEX® Idol dry suit.  For Spring 2016 SwitchZip will be integrated in the new touring specific GORE-TEX® Radius Dry Suit, the GORE-TEX® Surge Paddling Suit, and the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak.  The Passage Anorak, as well as the tops of all suits with SwitchZip, can be warn alone or mated with any other SwitchZip compatible pant, including the Idol.

 

“Last season paddlers saw how fantastic SwitchZip is in one suit.  With the expansion of the technology, they get additional versatility as they can now mix and match tops and bottoms,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat Sales Manager.

Kokatat-Radius-men

Kokatat Radius

 

The GORE-TEX® Radius is a fully featured dry suit designed for touring paddlers.  The Radius has a fully adjustable hood with reflective accents that can be removed and stowed in the jacket’s fleece lined outer collar.  There are easy to access, self-draining, zippered pockets on each sleeve and another pocket on the right thigh, and reflective highlights throughout the suit provides better visibility.  The Radius also features GORE-TEX® socks and latex neck and wrist gaskets to help ensure that no matter the conditions a paddler finds themselves in they will be dry.  MSRP – $1,295.00

Kokatat-Surge-women

Kokatat Surge

 

The GORE-TEX® Surge Paddling Suit is designed for paddlers who want a high performance lightweight suit that provides waterproof protection and high breathability for fitness, SUP, or touring.  It’s built with a light weight 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric with 330 Cordura GORE-TEX® reinforcements in the high wear areas of the seat and knees.  The suit features a single hand adjustable NeoCinch neoprene collar and latex wrist gaskets, along with GORE-TEX® socks to keep water out.  For the sea kayaker looking for a lightweight expedition option, the bottoms of the suit can be paired with the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak with SwitchZip.  MSRP – $850

 

Kokatat-Passage_low

Kokatat Passage

 

Available with and without SwitchZip, the GORE-TEX® Passage Anorak takes design cues from the Radius suit with its self-draining shoulder pockets, removable hood and reflective details, but in the lighter weight, high performance 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric used in the GORE-TEX® Surge Paddling Suit.  The Passage also features a deep asymmetric front zipper that provides additional weather protection for its infinitely adjustable inner splash collar.  MSRP – $499/ $589 w/SwitchZip

SwitchZip technology connects the top and bottom of the suit with a fully separating waterproof zipper system, as opposed to traditional dry suits designs that have a large zipper across the chest.  SwitchZip suits are not only much easier to put on and take off than traditional designs, but without a zipper across the torso they also allow maximum freedom of movement with each paddle stroke.  Additionally, the SwitchZip design eliminates the need for an additional front or rear relief zipper and reduces the suit weight.

The SwitchZip’s flexible zipper sits below a dual adjustable overskirt, so when seated the zipper resides comfortably between the backband and seat inside the cockpit.  This below deck placement is designed so the system does not interfere with kayak rigging or PFDs.

As with all Kokatat suits, the Radius and Surge are guaranteed to be completely dry. Each and every suit manufactured in Kokatat’s Arcata, California factory is inpidually tested to be watertight before it leaves the factory. Further, Kokatat’s lifetime warranty and Arcata service facility ensures users that they will remain completely dry for the life of the suit.

Kokatat will introduce its Spring 2016 Collection at the 2015 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, UT, August 5-8 (Booth 33051).

About Kokatat Inc.
Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

Published in Press Releases

ARCATA, California (March 23, 2015) – Kokatat announced today that it has teamed up with paddling industry veterans and expert instructors Steve and Cindy Scherrer and their Shellback Paddle Experience (www.shellbackpe.com).  The Scherrers recently founded the program to share their stand up paddleboarding expertise with aspiring paddlers and the top paddlesport shops across the country.

“Steve and Cindy are two of the most respected paddlesport instructors in the industry,” said Lisa Kincaid, Kokatat PR/Promotional Marketing Manager.  “They've been great supporters of Kokatat over the years and we are excited to have them back on our team.”

The Scherrers founded Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe in Portland, OR, in 1986.  They sold the business in 2004 and joined Confluence Watersports to help design boats and work in the field as training and technical specialists.  They left Confluence last year and founded Shellback.

While touring the country they will be conducting skills classes in SUP as well as training and certifying ACA SUP instructors. Additionally, the Scherrers will be providing shop clinic support to Kokatat's sales team and will be highlighting Kokatat's products during their classes.

“We've been fans of Kokatat since before our Alder Creek days,” said Steve Scherrer.  “We've had a strong relationship since then and believe they not only produce the finest kayak apparel, but are a model company.”

For details on the Shellback Paddle Experience and dates of their clinics visit www.shellbackpe.com.

About Kokatat Inc.

Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

Published in Press Releases

Kokatat has outfitted a four-member team that just began a whitewater journey of a lifetime, reaching from South Africa into China.

Stage one of Expedition Inception, a two-stage expedition, will take the team from South Africa to Egypt. Over the course of about eight months, the paddlers plan to run and explore multiple first descents and source-to-sea waterways.

Published in Press Releases

Kokatat has always been known as an innovative company especially when it comes to dry suits. While they didn't invent them back in 1971 when they first started stitching, there is little doubt that they should get the credit for making them appealing to the masses.

Starting next year Kokatat will be taking a giant leap forward with the roll-out of the Idol drysuit with what they are calling SwitchZip technology. Gone will be the giant brass zipper across the chest in favour of a 360 degree waterproof zipper located around the waist.

To me this is going to be a huge game changer. The new zipper will still be a 100% waterproof but will allow you to completely separate the pants from the top allowing you to mix and match depending on the conditions and/or water temperature. If you only need a paddling jacket than leave the pants behind or zip them together as a regular drysuit. I will file this whole thing under the why-didn't-this-come-out-10-years-ago-idea.

The new Kokatat Idol drysuit with Switchzip technology.

I haven't tried it on yet but I suspect that this is also going to make the fit and comfort of the suit a whole lot better as it should be considerably less bulky upstairs without that stiff brass zipper jammed under your lifejacket. Also ladies, you won't need to order the drop zipper any longer. You know that drop zipper that makes butts look twice as wide? I kid! I kid.

As far as the placement of the new zipper, I've been told that when seated, it will sit inside the kayak cockpit between the backband and the seat. Designed into the suit is a simple Cordura cover so it won't get hung up in kayak rigging or PFD's.

So when will it be showing up at paddling shops? Kokatat says to watch for the new Idol sometime in January, 2015.

Published in Gear

You Can Now Design Your Own Kokatat Dry Suit

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 14:35

Kokatat has unveiled a brand new system to design your own custom dry suit so you no longer need to look like everybody else on the beach. I remember hearing rumours of this about a year ago so I’m glad to see it is finally available.

The process is pretty simple. After choosing the base model you want, you are presented with a wide variety of options where you can adjust everything from the fabric colours (both top and bottom) to gasket size to the ability to add (or remove) a hood. Of course different options will add to the overall cost of the suit but if you need to have it your way, now you can.

If you are a dreamer jump in and design away to year hearts content. Just don’t copy the gorgeous set-up I designed above or else I will total call you out next time I see you.

More info: Kokatat.com

Published in Industry Stuff

The Kokatat Drysuit Option We Really Need

Saturday, 27 October 2012 16:03

Kokatat dry suit with an epaulette option.

I want to know is why Kokatat isn't getting on board the fashion train and offering an epaulette option for all their dry suits.

It’s time to bring the classy back to the paddling high seas. Who is with me?

Published in Funny

Isaac Levinson

Kokatat is proud to announce that professional whitewater kayaker and  2012 Canoe and Kayak Male Paddler of the Year, Isaac Levinson, has officially joined its team of elite athletes.

The twenty-three year-old Atlanta native began his paddling career as a whitewater slalom racer.  Levinson’s strong foundation of slalom skills has brought success on the extreme racing circuit, where he has been a fixture on podiums over the last several years.

“Everyday on the river is an adventure for me; I’ve been able to kayak in some amazing places and push my personal limits on challenging whitewater,” Levinson said. “I’ve always been a big fan of Kokatat gear, and I’m excited to be joining their team and representing the company.”

Most recently, Levinson was given the coveted Canoe and Kayak Male Paddler of the Year Award at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012.

He was the 2011 Green Race champion and North America’s top finisher in the inaugural AWP Whitewater World Series.  Keeping close to his slalom roots, Levinson competed in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and finished ninth in the highly competitive K-1 class.

Levinson will be wearing and providing feedback on various Kokatat products including the new Kokatat Maximus Prime.  The Prime is the Type 5 rescue version of Kokatat’s latest and most advance PFD platform.

Levinson joins Kokatat’s distinguished group of paddle sport athlete ambassadors that includes among others such luminaries in the sport as Dane and Eric Jackson, Jesse Coombs, Paul Kuthe, and Adriene Levknecht the Canoe and Kayak Female Paddler of the Year.

For the full roster of Kokatat athletes and ambassador team members visit http://www.kokatat.com/team.

Published in Press Releases

Kokatat has just announced the fruits of their labour with the recently announced partnership with Eric “E.J.” Jackson and his son Dane.

Starting January, 2013, you will be able to purchase the Kokatat Jackson Collection which will include specially designed dry suit, dry-top and shorty dry-top.

Everything will be unveiled at Outdoor Retailer in a couple of weeks but they released a couple of sneak peek photos below.

As you can see, everything is designed from a whitewater kayaking perspective so most of the bells and whistles (like pockets) that come on their touring gear have been left behind with a focus on sleekness, function and flexibility. 

GORE-TEX Icon Dry Suit

kokatat icon dry suit

The new Icon Dry Suit is a tangerine coloured suit with nice graphics on the arm. The most obvious design change (compared to their other suits) is that they moved the entry zipper from across the front of the chest to the back of your shoulder. I don’t know all the reasons for the change but my guess is that it allows the front of the suit to be more flexible and move more comfortably during whitewater tricks.

 

GORE-TEX Legend Dry Top

kokatat legend dry top

The new Legend Dry Top has many of the same features and colour pattern as the Icon Dry Suit (minus the pants of course). If you have a tighter budget, the dry-top will also be available in their new Hudrus 3-Layer fabric. More on that below.

 

Hydrus 3L Mythic Shorty Dry Top

kokatat hydrus mythis shorty dry top

The new Mythic Shorty is going to be available in a new material called Hydrus 3L.

I don’t know a whole lot of information about Hydrus 3L but it looks like somebody has finally figured out how to make a waterproof breathable nylon material.

Here is the description I found:

The Mythic shorty, part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection, features Kokatat’s new Hydrus 3L, a three-layer fabric that is exceptionally waterproof and breathable thanks to its super tough Nylon outer layer with a DWR finish, a proprietary polyurethane micro-porous coating, and a soft polyester inner layer to manage moisture.

I wrote to Kokatat to get more info about the pros and cons of the new material and will update when I hear back.

Update: Kokatat said they will be relasing more information about Hydreus 3L in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!

 

Maximus Prime PFD

kokatat maximus prime pfd

Not specifically part of the Kokatat Jackson Collection but still new on the market, the Maximus Prime PFD looks like a very cool design. I’m keen to see better photos and video showing off the features. It’s a low volume PFD called the Maximus Prime (awesome name) which features a quick release safety harness and O-ring, a tether/ tow system, and an electronics pocket.

The biggest new feature of the Maximus Prime which is hinting at a whole new line of PFD's for next year is what they are calling the “Dynamic Suspension System (DSS)”. According to the info I received, “the DSS features wide, contoured shoulder straps that allow an independently suspended front flotation panel to move with the paddler.”

So there you have it, the Kokatat Jackson Collection. What do you think? Is it time to start saving up for Sping? All signs point to yes.

No word on pricing for anything yet but look for it in your local paddling shop sometime in early 2013.

Published in Gear

kokatat logoThe fate of the early sea otter and Aleut populations are intrinsically linked. Before contact with Europeans it is estimated that there were 25,000 Aleuts, today there are about 2,000. Similarly the sea otter population is believed to have undergone a decline exceeding 50% over the past 30 years.

Kokatat ambassador Keirron Tastagh, and his long-term student and paddling partner George Shaw have embarked on a 1,500 mile expedition through the Aleutian Islands to investigate the current status of the sea otter population in the area.

“Our expedition is inspired by the Aleutians rich culture and kayaking heritage,” said Tastagh. “The journey will not only paint a picture of the current sea otter population, but will also provide a better understanding of ‘The Aleut Story’.”

Working with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Tastagh and Shaw will be recording the presence or absence of sea otters in bays, and noting killer whale position as well as taking photographs for identification for marine biologists’ live projects. Killer whale attacks are suspected to be leading cause for the decline of the Northern Sea Otter in the Aleutians, which is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Setting out from Unalaska, Tastagh and Shaw, who both train and live on the Isle of Man, UK, will paddle unsupported. They will carry all their kit and freeze dried meals on-board and will supplement their diet with fresh fish. Along the way they will encounter challenges such as katabatic winds, large tidal ranges, open crossings, sea fog, landing zones and the unpredictable and stormy Bering Sea.

Tastagh and Shaw plan to “explore as far as necessary to reach the conclusions we require” which could be as far as the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula.

Kokatat has supplied both paddlers with various gear for their Expedition Kit:

  • GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suit
  • Ronin Pro PFD plus Tributary Hydration System
  • TROPOS Light Storm Cag
  • GORE-TEX® Anorak

For additional information on the Sea Otter project visit their website and follow the expedition on their blog.

For more information on this and other Kokatat sponsored expeditions visit kokatat.com/expeditions.

About Kokatat Watersports Wear:
Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

Published in Press Releases

Kokatat LogoKokatat announces that Charlie “C-Mac” MacArthur has joined its group of elite paddlesports ambassadors. MacArthur, founder of the Aspen Kayak and SUP Academy, pioneered stand up paddleboarding (SUP) on rivers and spearheads the Whitewater SUP Championships. MacArthur will exclusively wear Kokatat PFD’s and technical apparel and promote the brand at various events.

“It’s amazing what Charlie can do on a SUP in raging rapids,” said Lisa Kincaid, Kokatat Promotional Marketing Manager. “SUP is one of the fastest growing segments in the paddlesports market, and Charlie’s easy going demeanor paired with his SUP skills makes him an ideal ambassador for us as we look to increase our visibility in the sport.”

Watersports has always been a part of MacArthur’s life. He grew up surfing in Hawaii and Southern California before moving to Colorado in 1978 where he became one of the regions best known whitewater kayakers. In 2003 MacArthur tried SUP for the first time while vacationing in Fiji. The sport quickly took hold and within the next year MacArthur was paddleboarding on rivers and making numerous SUP first descents.

“I’ve been in paddlesports for a long time and have always had the upmost respect and appreciation for Kokatat as a company and for the quality of its gear,” said MacArthur. “I’m excited to help with their SUP specific gear and spread the Kokatat word.”

Along with running one of the top SUP and kayak schools in the country, MacArthur is credited with co-designing the world’s first whitewater specific standup paddleboard, the CMAC ATB made by the foremost SUP manufacturer C-4 Waterman.

Since the sport’s inception, standup paddleboarders have relied on Kokatat gear to keep them dry, comfortable and safe on the water. Kokatat’s low profile Orbit Tour PFD and GORE-TEX® Lightweight Paddling Suit have been adopted by numerous SUP paddlers as their go to pieces as they both provide freedom of motion for optimal paddle strokes and superior breathability for the aerobic nature of the sport.

MacArthur will be wearing and providing feedback on various Kokatat products including the new NeoCore shorts and tops. NeoCore, with its paddler specific designs and lightweight fabric, is great for SUP paddlers who often fend off splash, but do not need a heavy insulation. NeoCore is a wet insulation layer in a lightweight 0.5mm neoprene fabric with a plush polyester inner lining that is comfortable against the skin while retaining little water. Additionally, its permanent Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating on the outer surface helps NeoCore regulate body temperature by reducing the effect of evaporative heat loss.

MacArthur joins Kokatat’s distinguished group of paddlesport athletes and ambassadors that includes such luminaries in the sport as Dane and Eric Jackson, Jon Bowermaster, Jesse Coombs, Anna Levesque, and Bryan Smith among others. For the full roster of Kokatat athletes visithttp://www.kokatat.com/team.

About Kokatat Watersports Wear: 
Celebrating over 40 years of innovation, Kokatat is an independently operated, US manufacturer of technical apparel and accessories for water sports. Handcrafted in Arcata, California, Kokatat employees are focused on building the finest functional product for people who work and play on water. Our gear is designed for paddlers, by paddlers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the water all year long and in all weather conditions. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

Published in Press Releases
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