Latest on wetsuits.....

kooklife's picture
kooklife started the topic in Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021 at 5:12am

So its that time of the year again where the mornings are getting fresher and the offshores are starting to show. It looks like its been a couple of years since there was a discussion about it so I am looking for wetsuit recommendations.....

Whats everyone wearing/buying or not wearing/buying and why?

soz_punter's picture
soz_punter's picture
soz_punter Thursday, 10 Jun 2021 at 8:47am

Pan_down wrote:
kooklife wrote: also keen to hear any reports on Yulex vs traditional, especially if anyone has used a NeedEssentials Yulex

I ended up getting the NE Yulex 4/3, pretty happy with it so far. As expected more rigid and not quite as toasty as the RC FB but feels like great value so far.

Also got the NE hood with thermal vest, best investment yet for the really cold days in the pool.

Agreed re hood + vest. Tried mine for the 1st time yesterday due to single digit air temps when I went out. Felt a bit weird as I've never worn a hood before and it felt like I was doing insta duck face the whole time, but it makes a huge difference in conserving warmth.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Thursday, 10 Jun 2021 at 11:20am

Ive got a brand new need essentials back zip 3/2 with fast drying thermal panels. fits great dries fast much easier to get into than a chest zip but the waters not cold yet but feeling toasty on windy days. flexible and good suit. probably wont use my 4 year old chest zip anymore, i hate getting into them. even though its in good condition.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Thursday, 10 Jun 2021 at 11:38am

oh yeah and the batwing stops leaks well but makes it harder to get into. not as hard as a chest zip though.

FrazP's picture
FrazP's picture
FrazP Thursday, 10 Jun 2021 at 6:43pm

OK my experience in suits last 10+ years. Surf 3-5 times a week but tend to have 2 suits on the go so I have a dry one. I also tend to have another thicker one for the colder water trips or freezing mornings. I also live across road from beach so most of the time they are put on at home and taken off in shower.

The limestone rubber can feel a little stiffer and heavier at first but loosens up quickly and is much lighter in the water as doesn't absorb water. Just great stuff IMO. Also some brands say 3mm rubber but its not. The Seventh Wave and Needs is actually 3mm thick when they say. You can see its thicker.

Best suit ever is Seventh Wave. Couldn't recommend them enough if you have cash. Custom made 3mm all over and Ti coating inside. Bloody expensive at $900. Warmer than any 4/3 I have had. Fine for South Coast NSW and the company says for winter NZ. Highest quality Yamamoto limestone rubber. Nice and flexible, nice and comfy and still going. This year will be 5th season. Again, felt a bit heavier at first but flexed up and in the water it is great.

Loved my Quiksilver AG47/Highlines - one 3/2 and one all 3mm. Nice and flexy, nice and warm BUT the liquid tape goes after a year or so and the internal red tape goes on the shoulder points as well.

Similarly loved the old Billabong SGX which was their expensive ultra light. Like not wearing a suit. Not that warm. I got cold in Syd outside of sunny days. Didn't last though. I also had Platinum Solution Gold - very light, very comfy and warm suits but got loose in arms and legs and started leaking fairly quickly.

Ripcurl Fbomb 2/2 zipperless - thought I would try an ultra light suit. Will never go zipperless. Not that comfy or as nice as the Billabong SGX which was much warmer for same flex. Leaked straight away, Not great build quality

Needs - 3/2 and 4/3 premiums. I'm in third season on one and second season other. I have not experienced any of the quality issues a few others mentioned. The opposite. I did/do find them a bit stiff at first but they flex up after a few wears. I don't find any real difference in flex between the top range main brand suits. They are thicker than the same advertised mm from other brands, which might explain a few comments on flex and weight. I find them same warmth as other main brand top of range. For the $ you can get two suits for the price of a BB, RC etc. I would rather have two suits and be able to pull a dry one on. Don't forget - two suits will last longer so for your $600 you get two great seasons out of Needs to one season out of a main brand - which means the price/value ratio is even higher as you are spending $600 over two years not one.

The comments on the Isurus have got me tempted in terms of replacing the Seventh Wave.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Thursday, 10 Jun 2021 at 8:22pm

II've had a few go outs now in my second hand Isurus. bought for 200 off the local apple seller.
apparently worn lightly for one winter.

2mm, zipper less.

not that impressed. bit of a ball ache to get in and out of. I think the zipper less design lets in more water, paradoxically.
takes weeks to dry.
rubber doesn't feel that premium to me, certainly nowhere near as warm as my 3/2 RC dawn patrol.

Maybe it's worn out somewhat but the chief selling point is the durability of the rubber.

I think, they retail for around $900.

Is it three times as good as my $300 RC, or 4 times as good as a Need?

no way on gods green Earth.

I'd recommend trying before you buy to see if you dig the zipper less entry.

A Toyota gets me from A to B perfectly fine. Do I need a Lexus?

starting to think premium wetsuits might be subject to the same logic.

sample size of 1 so conclusions may differ.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 8:10am

Thanks FR76, interesting. Was actually considering ordering a new Isurus 3/3 or 4/3 from their website, now I have 2nd thoughts.

Any harder getting in and out of compared to other zipless wetsuits such as RC?

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 10:17am

FR76 I've never seen a pair of zipper less jeans for obvious reasons. I'm starting to think wetsuits might be subject to the same logic!!!
Anyway, I think the premium suits come into their own in the colder areas where the rubber increases to 4 or 5mm and the warmth, flexibility and water absorption qualities of these suits makes it a far more pleasant experience than the mainstream products.
I suppose you can call it a luxury. A bit like going from a Camry to a Lexus LS.

Seaslug if you were considering it you must be able to afford it so give those 2nd thoughts the flick.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 10:30am

garyg1412 wrote: FR76 I've never seen a pair of zipper less jeans for obvious reasons. I'm starting to think wetsuits might be subject to the same logic!!!

Only if your wetty has the same stretch qualities as denim.

Jodhpurs make a better analogy, and they're as comfy as.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 10:34am

IMHO we have got to a stage in wetsuits where the difference between the top price tag suits and most brands is really not that bigger difference, the materials, design & features are very similar as we know most are made in the same factory.

Especially when you are looking at a 3/2 wetsuit i mean how much more flexibility or warmth do you want in a 3/2?

For me 3/2s have got to the point where im just as happy to be in a 3/2 than boardies they are just so flexible and offer you a bit of protection from reef and sun etc

Maybe with 4/3s you get more benefits with paying top dollar.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 11:34am

I remember my first pair of Jodhpurs.

and my first lashing with a riding crop- but that's a story for another time.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 11:53am

Lycra or Latex Zen??

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 12:46pm

crotchless in latex now your talking zen

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 12:55pm

Im getting a zipperless wettie made up with clear bum panels.

saving it for my trip to Sydney next March.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 2:23pm

@FrazP
Really curious to hear more about 7th Wave. Been close to ordering a few times. Is the 'old fashioned' bib (open at both sides) an issue? More flushing that modern FZ suits?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 2:32pm

had a little email exchange with someone at 7th wave over a titanium hood.

very prompt and pleasant customer service, if that counts for anything.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 6:40pm

Wetsuits from Poland made in China
http://www.boardsportsource.com/2018/10/10/48832/

FrazP's picture
FrazP's picture
FrazP Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 7:05pm

Island- never a moment's problem with the style of chest zip mate.
Water tight all over. Don't let that hold you back.
They even offer a maintenance service to say re-tape an area that might start to fail.
I'm an odd size. 6'3 and early 90's kg. I need large for chest, thighs and crotch length but find they get loose around ankles, wrists, gut. I buy MT's as a better fit but can be tight around the balls, and areas around chest and shoulder tapes/stitches tends to fail. Having a custom from seventh was just so good. So good. As FR mentioned, very good customer service.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 7:55pm

You'll go down a treat in that Zen

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Saturday, 12 Jun 2021 at 4:08am

Thanks, FrazP and FR

Good endorsements.

arcadia's picture
arcadia's picture
arcadia Saturday, 12 Jun 2021 at 1:41pm

Nothing wrong with zippers, Zen. They just need to be correctly positioned.
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/90/7c/f7/907cf7c7a2e1ad6afa914dca66189823.jpg

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Saturday, 12 Jun 2021 at 2:55pm

I've got the same pants Arcadia, mine have clear pockets though.