The landscape of the average personal watercraft owner is rapidly drifting from the youthful, athletic rider to the more staid, casual cruiser. Even the sportiest machines are advertised as “stable,” “dry” and “predictable” luring in would-be buyers with hopes of owning the most race-ready watercraft without actually knowing how to actually ride. And with that, so has drifted the requisite riding equipment.
Serious riders donned specialized boots, neoprene-lined shorts, side-entry vests and heavily-strapped gloves. While much of that gear is still very much available through brands like Slippery Wetsuits, the casual riders bristles at the idea of wearing much more than they would don were they going out for a day on their buddy’s pontoon.
So in reviewing Slippery Wetsuits’ Flex Lite gloves we had to consider that the overwhelming majority of potential customers wouldn’t even imagine using riding gloves – even after a day of rubbing their fingers and palm raw. The everyday PWC enthusiast’s needs are simple: a comfortable glove that provides continued grip, protection from wear and the elements.
A decade ago, most gloves were typically a bit racier, featuring clunky rubberized molding over the knuckles, made from materials both thick and bulky. These were fine for the time, but if ever you tried to rub your nose or the sweat from your brow, would know how painful it could be. That’s where Slippery’s Flex Lite gloves stand apart.
The thin 4-way stretch mesh material and “barely-there” lining of the perforated palm gives the gloves the second skin-like feel, breathes easily and dries near instantaneously. The Flex Lite’s superior fit and clean pattern slips on snug but not too tight. And while being incredibly light, the gloves’ reinforced thumb overlay provides added protection from rub-induced blisters.
Unlike other manufacturer’s offerings, the anti-slip gel print on palm and fingertips hold up surprisingly well despite continued use. Equally, the Flex Lites’ hook-and-loop wrist closure straps down firmly today as well as they did the day we opened them up for the first time. [We’ve got a dozen pairs of gloves that no longer strap tight, as the Velcro has loosened or the straps snapped. –Ed.]
Super flexible with class-leading breathability, Slippery Wetsuits’ Flex Lite gloves are a great warm-weather glove (don’t expect much in keeping your hands warm in colder temperatures). Priced at $24.95, they’re a solid purchase for the rider looking for a little added protection from the elements without feeling like they’re bundling up for winter.