Spring has officially arrived and if your team hasn't been out on the water already they will be soon! Having a sailing gear bag is essential to keeping track of all of your gear, especially for high school/college sailing where you can easily mix up some of your gear with your teammates.
Check out the list below of what SBW suggests to have in your gear bag so then you have a warm and dry practice!
1. A bag big enough for all your gear
Find a bag that will fit all your sailing gear. This includes your drysuit, boots, lifejacket, change of clothes and anything else you need for practice/regattas. We have a full range of Helly Hansen Duffel bags, they're waterproof and come in fun colors, the only downside is limited pockets, there is an internal mesh pocket and external pocket. But they feature backpack straps, which make it easy to transport all your gear.
The Gill 85L duffel bag is a great option for the sailor that loves having a billon pockets. There is a pocket for everything: boots, sunglasses, wallet, cell phone, you name it. The Zhik Regatta bag is also another great bag, for $185 you get a separate waterproof cylinder bag (not pictured) that is removable!
If you sail in New England or out on the great lakes it's a necessity to have a drysuit for spring sailing. A drysuit will keep you warm and...dry on those cold windy days, it also protects you from getting hypothermia if you accidentally fall out of your boat and into the water! Just make sure you have it zipped on properly!
Boots are great to wear over your drysuit, not only does the neoprene offer an additional layer to keep your feet warm they are also grippy on the boat! We have two styles of Gill boots that are great for sailing with and without a drysuit.
The Zhik 460 boot is another option if you aren't a fan of Gill, if boots aren't your thing we suggest trying the Zhik ZKG sneaker (or any old pair of gym sneakers you have). Both are grippy and will keep you from slipping within the boat. *Remember to size up in boots if you are going to be wearing them with a drysuit!
Besides drysuits lifejackets are the next most important thing to wear in the boat for spring sailing. Stohlquist makes a great PFD called the "rocker" it's super popular among collegiate and high school sailors.
5. Hat, Gloves and Neck Gator
Keeping your head warm is the easiest way to stay warm while out on the water at practice. Gloves and a neck gator are also a great way to stay warm. These Seal Skinz gloves are completely waterproof and grippy so they're perfect for keeping your hands dry on the water.
Even though it's not summer yet you can still get burnt out on the water! Chapstick is always a good idea in the cold, dry conditions...you'll be happy you have it!
Layers, layers and layers. Layering is the key to success and to having a great practice. I like to dress for sailing like I would if I were to go skiing, layer with some sort of sweat wicking thermal gear, I like Under Armour's cold gear series. It's important to remember that even though it's 30 degrees out your body will still sweat from moving around in the boat, so you'll want some sort of techy gear that will wick away the sweat from your body. Still chilly under your drysuit? Try a Gill knit sweater, this will give you some additional warmth without being too restricting.
9. Clothes For After Practice
Don't forget a whistle, rule book, extra line, E-tape and some spare ring dings and pins!