Over the last five years or so, the surf top market has gotten a little out of control, especially when it comes to the technical aspect of something that really only needs to be a simple garment. A splash top should keep you mostly dry, it should cut the wind and should be comfortable. Simple is better, we don’t need nine hidden pockets and we don’t need it to be made of NASA approved polymer material that protects the astronauts from the harsh environments on the moon! All that techy stuff sounds good, but it’s directly reflected in the price so you’ll be paying a lot more for something you’ll never wear on the moon.
This is why I really love the SaltX Seahook Splash Top, made by Tsunami. It’s simple and effective…and most importantly, it’s comfortable! The first night I wore this top was a night in early-June; I knew it was windy, but I thought we could duck out of it and I was 100% wrong about that! Instead of coming off the land behind us, it was coming down the shoreline like a hurricane, with raindrops that felt like roofing nails. I was thankful I had the SaltX Seahook top in the backseat, I grabbed it and trudged into the wind-whipped surf.
I could not believe how well this jacket performed in those horrendous conditions! The jacket and hood fought off that driving rain like nothing and it was a cool 50 degrees outside with 30 to 40 mph winds, that translates to a ‘feels like’ temperature in the low 40s – I wasn’t cold at all. But above all that, the thing that stood out the most was how lightweight the Seahook top is and how freely I was able to move in it—this was especially important when trying to fire bullet casts across that insane wind with a 3-ounce darter!
The SaltX top is made from a lightweight nylon material that’s coated on the inside to make it waterproof – it almost feels like a light windbreaker. All the interior seams are taped to ensure that they are watertight. The neck features a quarter-zip design, making it easy to get in and out of, with a gusseted closure to keep out the wind and water and the hood can be cinched down to the point that only your face is exposed or left loose for less extreme conditions. And when things get especially gnarly, you can take advantage of the Velcro neck strap that will offer an added layer of protection from wind, rain and/or crashing waves.
The wrists feature neoprene gaskets with Velcro straps for those times when you want to cinch them down super-tight to keep the oncoming waves from riding up your arms. The bottom end of the jacket features twin drawstrings for snugging the waistline to your waders or wetsuit, add a wading belt and it’s going to be pretty much impervious to water. Finally, the chest pocket is waterproof, complete with waterproof zipper and storm flap, this roomy pocket can be used to keep a phone dry, to store a few extra packs of soft plastics or just about anything else you can think of.
And let’s make sure we highlight the fact that the SaltX Seahook Splash Top is not just for surfcasting. This comfortable and smart-looking jacket will perform equally well on a boat or a kayak and I can tell you for sure, that I will be wearing mine on rainy freshwater excursions, all season long. This splash top is roomy enough for layering and is also quite breathable, making it a great choice for any fishing adventure early-spring through the late-fall. If you’ve found yourself disillusioned by other tops that leave you feeling like you’re suiting up to diffuse a bomb, try the SaltX Seahook Splash Top, it’s all alone at the top of the comfort category and it’s affordable at just $135.