A Tuilik is like having a paddle jacket, spray skirt and hood all rolled into one. It is sealed at the face, the wrists and around the cockpit coaming, and thus integrates the skirt and top into one piece of clothing, with a hood-edge seal rather than a neck seal. This makes a lot of difference. You can capsize and come back upright (using a rescue or roll) without getting too much water into the kayak.
Putting on and taking off a nylon Tuilik is easier than a neoprene one. It feels much more comfortable than neoprene. Compared to the Brooks neoprene Tuilik, we found it also sealed around the face better.
Tuiliks allow more freedom of motion, but have to fit well with good seals around the cockpit rim, at your wrists, and around your face.
A Tuilik has a baggy fit except at the cuffs and the neck/face opening. This means that your arm movements are unrestricted. For really cold conditions a Tuilik may be cut so baggy that it fits over the top of your buoyancy aid.
Not only does the Tuilik give you tremendous freedom of movement and warmth, but it eliminates the rubber-band effect of a neoprene skirt that resists your efforts to stretch your torso away from the cockpit.
A Tuilik must perform effectively as a spraydeck that does not pop off when a wave breaks on you.
It must also have enough slack to let you do layback rolls
which means the front is likely to hang down to your knees when you are walking around.
Get used to wearing a hood to keep it watertight. It’s nice to have your head covered from the cold water. The facial seal is more comfortable to many people than a tight neck gasket, and the full hood keeps your neck and ears warm.
The most complicated part of putting on the Tuilik is actually to adjust the hood. Unless you do it correctly and follow the recommended steps, you probably won't get a good seal.
To adjust the hood, you start by using a nylon strap on the back of the hood that runs to pull the seal away from your eyes. After it’s tight and away from your eyes, you pull the chin cord and tighten it with a slider lock. When adjusted correctly, you get no leakage.
We’ve used the Tuilik on hour-long rolling seasons and remain fairly dry. It’s really impressive. All drysuits with hoods should use this design.
Ideally, a Tuilik is designed and made so you can wear the hood down except in very bad conditions or for rolling practice. The thinner the material of which the hood is made, the more likely it is that you will be able to breathe, swallow and turn your head with it rolled down round your neck.
With the hood down more water comes in from rain or spray, and definitely when rolling.
In warmer weather that can be quite refreshing.
You may want to wear a bouyancy aid underneath, or a lifevest on top,
which is something many Greenland paddlers forgo.
Some say that a well fitting Tuilik traps a lot of air.
We like paddling clothes that fit well over a bouyancy aid, like a Tuilik.
It’s much more comfortable than wearing a vest over a neoprene Tuilik.