Gear Review: Vaikobi Warm Weather Apparel
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Performance, Comfort and UV Protection
Vaikobi refers to their V Ocean UV Paddle Pants as one of the most underrated items in their range. After wearing a pair during four 9-man outrigger races last summer the reasons behind that claim were clear. The V Ocean Paddle Pants, what I tend to refer to simply as the summertime pants, are every bit as good as their better known V Cold siblings. The pants keep you cool and provide excellent UV protection from the sun, something I truly appreciated after paddling previous 9-man outrigger races in board shorts.
After developing a wicked tan line from sitting in a canoe for an extended period of time, not to mention a minor case of sunburn, I turned to Vaikobi’s V Ocean UV Paddle Pants as the solution. I was already familiar with the quality and performance of their V Cold paddle pants and the opportunity to transition to a warm weather equivalent was a no brainer. Vaikobi provides a list of the key features online, which include: light and breathable hybrid fabric, 1mm seamless airprene seat pad, UV 50+, reverse waistband and unisex design.
The features work as advertised and exceeded my expectations over the course of the outrigger paddling season late last summer here in Southern California. In particular, I found the Vaikobi UV Paddle Pants offered a range of benefits which really improved the quality of my paddling experience. Benefits I discovered include:
Reduced chafing. I say reduced as chafing is often times the result of seat design not apparel. For me, wearing the Vaikobi pants eliminated the chafing I previously experience paddling outrigger in board shorts. I’m converted and will never go back to wearing board shorts in an outrigger canoe again. Never.
Incredibly comfortable. The Vaikobi UV Paddle Pants are ridiculously comfortable. The construction is so light and breathable you’ll feel like you’re walking around naked. The 1mm airprene seat pad is just the right thickness and design to make paddling in a seated position comfortable without looking or feeling like you have a seat cushion strapped to your butt.
Keeps you cool. When the temperature rises, you need gear that can take the heat. The Vaikobi paddle pants, combined with their long sleeve paddle top, kept me significantly cooler duringing extended workouts and long distance races enabling me to perform better and ward off heat fatigue.
Eliminated sunburned legs. Sure you can rub sunscreen on your legs, but when you are spending 4-6 hours in a canoe on a channel crossing do you really want to be messing around reapplying sunscreen? I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t.
They look good. Each of Vaikobi’s products is performance driven and they have not made compromises purely for the sake of fashion. These pants are proof you can have both.
Avalon Harbor, Catalina prior to the start of the 2017 Catalina Channel Crossing.
The Vaikobi UV Paddle Pants pair well with your favorite top. When racing, you are likely to be wearing your club/team jersey. For those longer 9-man outrigger races I liked to wear my Vaikobi V Ocean Long Sleeve UV Top under my race jersey. The V Ocean top is very fitted, basically skin-tight, and perfectly comfortable underneath my short sleeve club jersey.