By Dave Shively
Photo by Robert Zaleski
1. Keep a cool head out there with the Kavu Fisherman’s Chillba, a round-brimmed, quick-drying cap with an integrated steel band that twists to stow and pops to shape ($30, kavu.com). 2. If simple shade isn’t enough, give your eyes some polarized protection with Smith’s new Omnis. The sleek and flexible, medium-sized frames are capped with moisture-absorbing rubberized temple ends and nose pads with carbonic, shatter-resistant lenses-not that you need it with a lifetime warranty ($80, smithoptics.com).
3. If you like it light, consider Kokatat’s SeaO2 hybrid inflatable PFD: The well-ventilated, FIT series high-back jacket expands from 7.5 to 22.5 pounds of floatation, either manually (by mouth tube) or by activating a CO2 cylinder ($195, kokatat.com). 4. Level Six’s innovative A-Frame shorts are cockpit ready, with a neoprene panel along the legs and back for maximum-seated comfort ($70, levelsixinc.com) . 5. Speaking of a versatile, stretchy neoprene layer, Neo Sport’s new 1.5-mm XSPAN top features a surprisingly soft, four-way stretch foam neoprene and flatlock stitching, ideal for warm days and cool water ($56, neosportusa.com).
6. NRS offers a petroleum-free, .5-mm neoprene alternative with its stretchy, ThermalPlush-lined HydroSkin top, made from limestone calcium carbonate and a titanium laminate ($85, nrsweb.com). 7. If you’re paddling in hot and buggy climates, lock down leggy flesh with the ExOfficio Ziwa Pant, made entirely of quick-drying nylon and treated with odorless Insect Shield Repellent, good through 70 launderings ($80, exofficio.com). 8. The new Itunda continues the Teva ‘sport sandal’ evolution with an EVA top-sole that wraps feet contours and protects toes, and a heel Shoc Pad and Spider Rubber sole for safer shore scrambling ($100, teva.com).