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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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garyg1412 Friday, 11 Jun 2021 at 11:53am

Lycra or Latex Zen??

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

crotchless in latex now your talking zen

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

You'll go down a treat in that Zen

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

Thanks, FrazP and FR

Good endorsements.

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

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

adoyle262's picture
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adoyle262 Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021 at 6:34pm

I have an Isurus 2/2. Am still surfing in it at urbnsurf with water temp @ 11 degrees in June. Have added a v. old RC thermal rashie and old 3 mm booties and get through an hour session ok. Only thing cold are my hands when I first get in. Fair bit of natural insulation (body fat) though..

Have a need essentials 4/3 but not keen to use it as I don't feel like I can move in it compared to the Isurus. Will see how cold July gets but would highly recommend the Isurus. Best wetsuit I have ever owned for comfort, flexibility and warmth. Grew up surfing in Tassie.

freeride76 wrote: good point Udo.

Any of the tub surfers here seeing chlorine effect their wetsuits?

Re the chlorine- would have surfed in the pool 40 - 50X in the Isurus noticing some slight pilling in the crutch and yellowing around the seems but otherwise all good. Shower / rinse in fresh water after each session, not super dilligent about it though.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021 at 7:27pm

I must have got a dud Isurus.

My 2/2 is nowhere near warm, leaky as fuck.

supposed to be premium Yamamoto neoprene.

is yours taped?

Mine is taped below the crutch, but not up top.

which means the top is leaky and colder than the bottom.

makes no sense in wind chill.

stunet's picture
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stunet Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021 at 7:41pm

Gotta be a dodgy one. I did two full seasons in a 2/2 Isurus. Few flushes around the neck is/was the only issue.

Very well constructed suit - mine was taped all over and the seals held.

Reckon thinner suits are the next frontier of wetsuits and my experience with Isurus backs that up.

seaslug's picture
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seaslug Wednesday, 16 Jun 2021 at 9:24pm

That's the zip free model Stunet?

Worse flushing than other brands such as RC?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 17 Jun 2021 at 10:30am

Maybe Stu, can't see myself shelling out anytime soon for brand new "premium" neoprene.

I expected violins and maybe a happy ending , so maybe I expected too much.

Doesn't feel any easier to paddle around in than my 3/2 RC Dawn patrol.

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loungelizard Thursday, 17 Jun 2021 at 2:56pm

i wonder about the recent rc ad campaign, "fastest drying" is low on my priorities (warmth, no flush, flexible, getting in and out ) dont mind a bit of moisture, i think it dilutes the shock hitting the ocean

kbomb's picture
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kbomb Thursday, 17 Jun 2021 at 10:01pm

After reading about the Isurus on this thread a couple of months ago I picked one up on sale, 2mm zipper less. As Stu says, my only complaint is the flushing, the wettie I bought is old stock so it may have been sorted in the newer model. It's super comfy, thin and warm. Like all wetties I find it too tight around the ankles and hard to get off the foot, however, getting in and out is easier than others. Time will tell, I've only had it 2 months but it's impressive. Drys super quick too.

FrazP's picture
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FrazP Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 12:21pm

I did a test between my 2/2 Fbomb RC (older model but still said fast drying) and my 3mm SeventhWave with the limestone Yamamoto and the Seventh Wave dries quicker by a fair margin i.e. fairly dry from morn to arvo compared to fairly dry the next day. Drying was inside out of the sun.

stunet's picture
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stunet Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 1:31pm

The other day I had my first swim in saltwater for two months, and bloody hell it was good.

I wore one of those Needs Yulex suits and it's a million miles from the Yulex suits of old. Makes them feel like 70s dive suits in comparison. As soft and stretchy as any I've felt.

Just a ten minute dip, no surfing yet, so I've no idea about durability but it's impressive so far.

Didn't note dry time, but like LL said, it's not something I factor into a choice of wetty.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 1:46pm

Welcome home

Craig's picture
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Craig Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 1:48pm

There have been a couple of times in my life where I've been out of the water for a month or more and that feeling of jumping into the ocean/salt water is electrifying. Can't describe it but you don't notice it when jumping in every day. Only when there's been a chunk of time out of it and jeez it feels good.

Great to hear Stu!

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A Salty Dog Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 1:56pm

I'd used 3/2 Ripcurl for many years to keep out the cold here in Vic, but went and purchased a Seventh Wave 3/3 Titanium front zip four years ago. Best wetsuit I've ever had. Much easier to paddle in than the 3/2 RC and extremely warm even on the coldest days. No flushing and all the seals tapes etc are still in EC

So impressed I was ,I bought a 2/2 for the not so cold days, then a 1.5 for summer. All are the Yamamoto Neoprene.

The 3/3 can be a bit difficult to get out of, but in my old age I'm not as flexible as I used to be. The other two are no problem at all.

I did try on a Patagonia Yulex a few years back: I got into it without too much trouble but I needed the shop assistant's help to get out of it.

Will buy Seventh Wave again, but the new 3/3 will be a back zip. They are pricey but worth it.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 2:02pm

1. Ease of use
2. Price
3. Flexibility
4. Warmth
5. Design.
6. Durability.

Quick drying is nice.
Even though I'm in the sub-tropics I'm a winter, dark, pre-dawn patroller, which means cold low single digit air temps.

cold, wet wetsuits suck donkey dicks.

Ease of use is number one for me.
When it's time to surf it's time to surf, not wrestle with a wetsuit.

That is also the biggest factor in durability, I reckon.
The more wrestling, the quicker they degrade.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:15pm

Agree with the ease of use. I took it for granted when I wore back zips up until quite recently. My latest chest zip steamer is seriously comfortable but seriously hard to remove. I swear it’s the disrobing equivalent of a dachshund bitch giving birth to Saint Bernard pups.

stunet's picture
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stunet Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:26pm

One of the more confounding complaints in modern surfing: It's hard to get into chest zip / zipperless wetties.

You sure you're doing it right..?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:32pm

getting in is OK, it's getting out of them thats the rolled gold bitch.

when I first came out of the surf last winter with the new RC backzip, walked up to the shower, went zip and was free it was a Eureka! moment.

I checked out all the seams and rubber on it recently...everything is still brand new, because there is zero stress getting in and out of it.

I'm sure it will last me longer.

Craig's picture
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Craig Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:35pm

Chest zips easy peasy.

Zipless I can understand as they require a technique of doing little bits of one shoulder at a time, cycling back and forth. If you've got limited mobility from some kind of shoulder injury it would be very hard.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:36pm

Ive only ever tried chest zips on in the store, but have been put off by how hard they are to get in and out of, i figured the same as Freeride that the process must put a lot of stress on the wetsuit and lifespan.

stunet's picture
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stunet Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:38pm

Craig wrote: Zipless I can understand as they require a technique of doing little bits of one shoulder at a time, cycling back and forth. If you've got limited mobility from some kind of shoulder injury it would be very hard.

Hosh posh...I did it the other day with barely-knitted bones.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:41pm

Yep, it’s getting out is the problem. Getting it past the elbow on the first arm is hardcore. Putting it on is no issue.

I too can see the suit becoming fckd before it’s time due to the stretching and stresses of getting it on/off. Feels divine whilst I’m surfing though.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 3:41pm

thank god the back zip has come back into general usage now.

we've got O'neill to thank for that.

lets be honest, chest zips are OK, but no improvement and zipper less is just a very bad fashion trend that can't die out soon enough.

In 5 years time we'll wonder what made people so insane that they thought it was a good idea.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 4:02pm

No fan of zipperless; too much stress on the material. Reckon they're a con too - cheaper to produce (no zip, doh!) but expensive.

Been very very happy with O'Neill the last few years, both PsychoTech and HyperFreak (yeah, except for the names). Front zip, but very easy on/off. Super comfy. Warm and zero leaks.

Keen to try a Seventh Wave, so my next cold water wettie will probably be a 4/3 from them.

Had a 4/3 RC HeatSeeker, and it was insanely warm for about 30 surfs, then leaked like a fucken sieve.

udo's picture
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udo Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 4:13pm
simba's picture
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simba Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 4:30pm

had two front zip wetsuits ......wont buy another one ...back zips all the way

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 4:44pm

Chest zips are good and make sense if you wear a hooded suit. Also, If you wear a separate hood, chest zippers are much better imo to put the hood on and the whole flap goes over rather than trying to tuck it in around the back.

I don't have too much problem with chest zip suits, didn't like them at first and they are slower to get out of, but I've got my technique sorted and it's no real drama either way.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 5:50pm

jeezus, watching that Seventh Wave vid.

life too short to struggle with wetsuits!

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 6:13pm

Just got my $140 Quicksilver Syhcro 3/2 wetsuit from Ebay absolute bargain.
feels a little more flexible than my 3/2 Needs but not quite as warm also its
a front zip so after the last few months using a back zip it will be my 2nd choice
dry backup wetti. Just hate the difficulties associated with front zips the gimmick
is over for me.

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H2O Friday, 18 Jun 2021 at 8:14pm

Try Adelio - limestone based material I found vest zip 3/2 ok entry and exit Warm and flexible All wetsuits have there own little difficulties getting in and out Def quick drying. Pricing good too