Monday, April 16, 2007
Last week my eagerly awaited Reed tuliq arrived via the Royal Mail. I had first tried this wonderous garment when Greg Stamer let me use his at the post Caneoecopia rollling session up in Baraboo. I will also admit to noticing the Reed evening dress that Freya Hoffmeister wore to the film premier at the High Noon Saloon but I digress. The tuliq showed up before they said it would, the customer service was excellent, and, most importantly, it fit perfectly. This is huge for me because virtually nothing I have fits perfectly. When you are 6'4", 225#, and have 37" sleeves you are grateful when things even kinda fit. After sending in a dozen or so different measurements as well as a tracing of the cockpit coaming of my Aquanaut, my tuliq showed up fitting perfectly and ahead of schedule. The only other custom garment I own are some silk pajamas that I bought in the Haidian section of Beijing when my eldest son Erik was studying at the Language Institute so I felt I was due.
I was soon on Long Lake, which trusty trout fishing stream thermometer told me was at 45F. I did 3 or 4 screw rolls and only had 3 or 4 TBSP of water in my cockpit! Much better than the spray skirt. I had a minor malfunction when my swim mask didn't quite fit right with my face opening on the hood but I guess my sensitive eyeballs can take a bit of murky Long Lake water once in awhile. I paddled with it for awhile and it was comfortable enough and had good flexibility. The next day on White Bear Lake however, the air temp was around 65F and it was way too hot unless I rolled every 10 minutes or so. Never the less this will be the perfect setup for Lake Superior which I will be visiting this weekend if the stars align. And for rolling practice I do believe this Reed ChillCheater tuliq can't be beat!