I went to LL Beans yesterday to pick up an NRS wetsuit for next weeks whitewater class in Henniker, NH. This week instead of the semi-helpful "expert" in the canoe section, the clerk was extremely helpful and a complete expert. He recommended a dry suit but wasn't pushy. He asked where I was going for trips and where I'd been for trips. He gave me all sorts of useful websites like Piragis Northwoods Company. He was disappointed Beans didn't have my wetsuit in stock, personally called their catalog store, adjusted the price since the catalog was more expensive, asked the catalog associate when it would arrive at my house, and then handed me the phone to complete the order. He suggested that I order two and return one in case it was the wrong size. He also assured me that if for some reason the wetsuit didn't arrive on time, I could call him and borrow a Kokata Meridian Dry Suit for the trip. Now that is service. I like Beans but this was the first time I really felt one of their associates had really gone out of their way to be helpful. What a place to work- this guy loves what he does and does what he loves. He's not getting rich but he was happy.
I'm still putting together all the gear I'll need for next weekend's trip. I need to decide if I'm going to buy a new fleece union suit or if I'll use my old itchy polypropelene base layer. I'm looking at Immersion Research and NRS union suits. I really like the Immersion Research design but I can't find one locally to try it on.