Expensive Wetsuits

YonderMatt's picture
YonderMatt started the topic in Monday, 7 Sep 2015 at 2:10pm

Long time lurker... I surf a bunch and generally love the ocean. But I don't understand how brands can charge $500+ for wetsuits.

What exactly makes a good wetsuit? I've looked into the stitching, neoprene, glue and taping differences and there doesn't seem to be anything special (maybe the RC flashbomb quick dry stuff aside) between brands.

I'm a little sick of these silly prices and believe you can make a quality wetsuit that you don't have to mortgage your house for. So i'm thinking about designing my own.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 7 Sep 2015 at 7:26pm

Get online....some very cheap suits out at the moment. Quicksilver, Surfstich, Torpedo 7
example a base model 4x3mm back zip known brand Steamer $135 delivered and for around $300 a top line steamer taped seams etc.
Good luck trying to make your own, by the time you source the rubber, zip, glue, sewing machine......?
Have you looked at the Need Essentials Wetsuits ,quality and cheap..but the no warranty thing concerns me.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Monday, 7 Sep 2015 at 8:04pm

Making your own will surely cost more than $500. The sowing machines alone are rubber specific and costly.

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Monday, 7 Sep 2015 at 8:33pm

I hear ya YonderMatt. I'm a long time lurker myself.

I’ve created a monster. Cause nobody wants to ride faceys no more, they want Gary; I’m chopped liver.

But if ya want Gary this is what I’ll give ya: a little creatine kiss from a hard licker

grufnut's picture
grufnut's picture
grufnut commented Monday, 7 Sep 2015 at 11:23pm

Get a 3:2 mm RC e bomb and an army disposal long sleeve thermal top ($15). Bobs your uncle warm as a 4:3 flash bomb, more flex and i just saved you $165 odd bucks. You're welcome!

Balance's picture
Balance's picture
Balance commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 10:46am

http://www.tracksmag.com/wetsuit-guide/

I found this pretty helpful

I have always bought the known brands cheap suits, 3 2s, I dont live in a cold part of the world, but have no fat on me so dont have a high tolerance for the chill. I havent had a steamer last more than one season for the last six years. They havent fallen apart, except for a Rip Curl, but they just get cold.

So I thought I would try the expensive line this year after reading this review, figure if I get two seasons out of a suit its actually cost effective, though I do agree with initial post, its way too much to be paying.

I guess thats why I opted for the Peak. Exactly like the review mentioned, it does leak all over the place, but its also really warm. Will have to wait til next winter for the verdict.

Anyone else got something to add, am genuinely interested???

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 10:59am

Some of those wetties in the link - the over $500 range can now be bought on sale for about $285

pointy's picture
pointy's picture
pointy commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 1:07pm

try needessentials.com

$180 for a 3/2 and $200 for a 4/3 and as good as any other wettie i've owned before

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 3:15pm

Got a quiksilver 3/2 cyper (sealed with the fleece lining) just $220
very lite and toasty so far

norchock's picture
norchock's picture
norchock commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 6:34pm

saltman wrote: Got a quiksilver 3/2 cyper (sealed with the fleece lining) just $220
very lite and toasty so far

Haha wellys choice suit
udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 6:57pm

Saltman your live around 28 deg L don't you ? shit that wont get much use with your water temps.

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 8:12pm

true and might pull it out a handful of times
but I get over to NZ a few times a year
sydney regularly
WA occassionally
Just dont want to pass up a hit and run session because of the cold

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2015 at 10:25pm

Good quailtiy wetsuits are better than the cheap ones for sure ,way warmer, flexy comfortable but they seem to fall apart just a fast as their cheaper counterparts. 2 winters seems to be a maximum lifespan for a suit these days even shorter sometimes with the wetsuit "cancer"that you get in the extra stretchy parts under arms etc. The most expensive it seems it Patagonia and they are much heavier than the rest (3x heavier when wet) but look to last a bit longer as mostly constructed with mostly neoprene style material rather than smoothy and stretchy panels so maybe get longer life for your buck? Sucks really that most wetsuits which are all made in asian sweatshops cost nearly as much as actual surfboards (some of which are made in asian sweatshops also). bottom line you pay for the degree of warmth you need. The yanks pay heaps less than us (half price generally) so buy online if that doesnt bother your "buy local" mindset.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 9 Sep 2015 at 6:18am

I always thought the mid-rangers lasted longer because they didn't use the more buttery, stretchier material which got cancer quicker. I usually get 3 seasons out of a wetty but I'm in the sub-tropics so they don't get more than 5 months use a year.
I got a quik 3/2 off that Torpedo 7 site which I've mothballed till next winter, get most of my other stuff off the local bloke :TripleX at Ballina.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 9 Sep 2015 at 7:48am

Good idea about mothballing suits. If you buy at the begiining of winter prices will be at their highest. Buy at the end of winter or early summer and put it away. Also, nothing wrong with buying last years model.

I'll get slammed on this but buying from the US or the UK online is so much cheaper too and the size charts are pretty accurate.

1173

sharkman's picture
sharkman's picture
sharkman commented Wednesday, 9 Sep 2015 at 12:07pm

zen , don't you Japanese have the best suits in the world??

x

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 9 Sep 2015 at 12:18pm

I wouldn't necessarily say the best wetsuits but the neoprene has a reputation for being the best rubber, hence a lot of the manufacturers including 'Japanese neoprene' in their advertising blurb.

I usually have a preference for Billabong suits but the last suit I bought just a few months ago was an O'Neill Psycho III 4/3 which I bought after reading user reviews. In my opinion it doesn't live up to the hype. Sure it's flexy but it's nowhere near as warm as a 4/3 should be I think in addition to being quite pricey.

1173

YonderMatt's picture
YonderMatt's picture
YonderMatt commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 3:22pm

Certainly some interesting replies here - Still feel like people are paying too much.

More to come :)

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 5:53pm

YonderMatt wrote: Certainly some interesting replies here - Still feel like people are paying too much.

More to come :)

Ha ha..that was a bit sneaky.

But I've actually heard good things about these wetty's and like the no logo etc deal.

My mate just bought one so we will check it out and see how he goes with it and in good time report back, he treats his wettys like crap and surfs like he is still a grom so will be the perefect guinea pig.

EDIT: After reading the below comments "need essentials" was the brand i was thinking off, good to see brands like this though giving us more affordable options.

http://www.needessentials.com

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 5:32pm

YonderMatt wrote: Long time lurker... I surf a bunch and generally love the ocean. But I don't understand how brands can charge $500+ for wetsuits.

What exactly makes a good wetsuit? I've looked into the stitching, neoprene, glue and taping differences and there doesn't seem to be anything special (maybe the RC flashbomb quick dry stuff aside) between brands.

I'm a little sick of these silly prices and believe you can make a quality wetsuit that you don't have to mortgage your house for. So i'm thinking about designing my own.


From I'm thinking about it, to setting up an online shop in 2 weeks, your awesome.:-D Wish I had that work ethic. (na not really)

Are these need essentials rebranded? Warranty?Bit sus on the cheapies myself, was out surfing the other week in 12 deg. water and talking wetsuits and mate says another mate has needessential and was real happy with it, we both looked over to see him sitting there with his arms hugging himself freezing:-D)

pointy's picture
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pointy commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 5:44pm

"Are these need essentials rebranded? Warranty?Bit sus on the cheapies myself, was out surfing the other week in 12 deg. water and talking wetsuits and mate says another mate has needessential and was real happy with it, we both looked over to see him sitting there with his arms hugging himself freezing:-D "

I have one and love it. I surf in w/gong so the water is not freezing cold but also have 3 mates that have them and two of those guys have two each and all of us are happy with them. They are definitely not cheap from a quality perspective only from the price.

Having said that, if a wetsuit doesn't fit right it won't keep you warm and not all suits fit all people properly so it is possible that what I think is a great suit won't be liked by another person

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 5:46pm

YonderMatt wrote: Long time lurker... I surf a bunch and generally love the ocean. But I don't understand how brands can charge $500+ for wetsuits.

What exactly makes a good wetsuit? I've looked into the stitching, neoprene, glue and taping differences and there doesn't seem to be anything special (maybe the RC flashbomb quick dry stuff aside) between brands.

I'm a little sick of these silly prices and believe you can make a quality wetsuit that you don't have to mortgage your house for. So i'm thinking about designing my own.

I cant believe someone actually pays $500 plus given the competitive nature of the e market.
Dont fool yourself you can do much better than the commercial wetty designers with seasons of experience - they would be way ahead of you and me (a few brands are made out of the same factory, same materials are given different names for marketing purposes)

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 6:10pm

Needs connection for sure
Google: Ryan Scanlon Geelong advertiser.
Paul Morgan was chasing one recently, Morgs wettie report if youre out there ?

leckiep's picture
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leckiep commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 10:01pm

Well played YonderMatt, a very well phrased first question to start the discussion and lead the witness.

Anyway, I've got a question about mothballing wetties as per above. I've just bought a schmick 4/3 that was heavily discounted due to the change of seasons. Hoping to save it until next Autumn: What's the best way to store it? Folded? Hanging? etc. Any specific tips?

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Friday, 25 Sep 2015 at 10:18pm

Hey leckiep,

I don't generally store wetsuits but otherwise I like to keep my most prized possessions out of direct sunlight and lower in a bucket of soap and moisturiser once a week or so.

I’ve created a monster. Cause nobody wants to ride faceys no more, they want Gary; I’m chopped liver.

But if ya want Gary this is what I’ll give ya: a little creatine kiss from a hard licker

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Saturday, 26 Sep 2015 at 1:09am

Extremely important IMO .)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

mpow89's picture
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mpow89 commented Saturday, 26 Sep 2015 at 10:56pm

pointy wrote: "Are these need essentials rebranded? Warranty?Bit sus on the cheapies myself, was out surfing the other week in 12 deg. water and talking wetsuits and mate says another mate has needessential and was real happy with it, we both looked over to see him sitting there with his arms hugging himself freezing:-D "

I have one and love it. I surf in w/gong so the water is not freezing cold but also have 3 mates that have them and two of those guys have two each and all of us are happy with them. They are definitely not cheap from a quality perspective only from the price.

Having said that, if a wetsuit doesn't fit right it won't keep you warm and not all suits fit all people properly so it is possible that what I think is a great suit won't be liked by another person

- I was looking at these the other day and reviews seem pretty good, can you tell me what the sizing is like (ie. Normal or bigger/smaller than expected) and what the inner lining across the chest and back is (ie. Fleece, neoprene only, etc)?

Cheers

crustt's picture
crustt's picture
crustt commented Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 6:50am

saltman wrote:
YonderMatt wrote: Long time lurker... I surf a bunch and generally love the ocean. But I don't understand how brands can charge $500+ for wetsuits.

What exactly makes a good wetsuit? I've looked into the stitching, neoprene, glue and taping differences and there doesn't seem to be anything special (maybe the RC flashbomb quick dry stuff aside) between brands.

I'm a little sick of these silly prices and believe you can make a quality wetsuit that you don't have to mortgage your house for. So i'm thinking about designing my own.

I cant believe someone actually pays $500 plus given the competitive nature of the e market.
Dont fool yourself you can do much better than the commercial wetty designers with seasons of experience - they would be way ahead of you and me (a few brands are made out of the same factory, same materials are given different names for marketing purposes)


I paid around $500 for the last wettie I bought 5 years ago, the seams cracked after 8 months so they gave me a new one, after another winter there was a small hole and I took it back and asked if they could repair and I was willing to pay, considering it was a replacement, but I got a replacement for nothing:-) new model with all the design faults fixed and I have had this one for 3 years and still in good nick, my only complaint about it is that it did not fall apart after 8 months of constant surfing as I enjoyed a new wettie at the start of each winter. I really take good care of my wetties if they aren't in a bucket in my car being preserved in a mixture of salt water and urine it is hanging over the fence till the next surf, on average they last about 3 years with such gentle care.
I understand the logic in buying a cheap wetsuit online, it only lasts a year but the next year you get the same buzz from scoring a bargain buying another one.
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 8:16am

Cheap doesn't always mean bad quality and expensive doesn't always mean good quality.

Its quite obvious we are being screwed over big time with wetsuits when you see the difference in price paid OS to OZ, sadly with the AUD$ so weak i can't go buying my wettys from OS for a fraction of the price anymore when you add in delivery etc, so personally i will be looking elsewhere for cheaper options and will check out these guys wettys for sure.

I think fins are worse though, getting totally screwed over on those id love to know how much the cost to produce i bet under $20 a set.

pointy's picture
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pointy commented Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 2:54pm

"- I was looking at these the other day and reviews seem pretty good, can you tell me what the sizing is like (ie. Normal or bigger/smaller than expected) and what the inner lining across the chest and back is (ie. Fleece, neoprene only, etc)?

Cheers"

mpow98 - Sizing is fairly normal but I can't compare like for like as I lost 18kg from what I was when I bought my last suit to the Need suit and so dropped a size.

The lining is neoprene - no fancy quick dry stuff but it does dry quicker than my old E-bomb and is easy to slip on and off

mpow89's picture
mpow89's picture
mpow89 commented Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 6:39pm

pointy wrote: "- I was looking at these the other day and reviews seem pretty good, can you tell me what the sizing is like (ie. Normal or bigger/smaller than expected) and what the inner lining across the chest and back is (ie. Fleece, neoprene only, etc)?

Cheers"

mpow98 - Sizing is fairly normal but I can't compare like for like as I lost 18kg from what I was when I bought my last suit to the Need suit and so dropped a size.

The lining is neoprene - no fancy quick dry stuff but it does dry quicker than my old E-bomb and is easy to slip on and off

Thanks for the info. Interested re the flexibility also? Am tossing up getting a spare 4/3 but a little nervous re the stiffness given the low price...

Thanks

pointy's picture
pointy's picture
pointy commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 12:29pm

mpow89 wrote:
pointy wrote: "- I was looking at these the other day and reviews seem pretty good, can you tell me what the sizing is like (ie. Normal or bigger/smaller than expected) and what the inner lining across the chest and back is (ie. Fleece, neoprene only, etc)?

Cheers"

mpow98 - Sizing is fairly normal but I can't compare like for like as I lost 18kg from what I was when I bought my last suit to the Need suit and so dropped a size.

The lining is neoprene - no fancy quick dry stuff but it does dry quicker than my old E-bomb and is easy to slip on and off

Thanks for the info. Interested re the flexibility also? Am tossing up getting a spare 4/3 but a little nervous re the stiffness given the low price...

Thanks

Hey, I think that the flexibility is good but it is my 1st 4/3 so I can't compare it to another 4/3

It's stiffer than a 3/2 but not to the point where I consider it a problem - it's about what I expected out of a 4/3 - if that helps?

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 3:00pm

What suit best handles excessive urination??

Smurfburger's picture
Smurfburger's picture
Smurfburger commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 4:36pm

You need the tefloncrotch pissbomb I think Wharfjunkie

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 5:19pm

Yonder, do you have a approx arrival date for your next container of suits from China ?

keegz's picture
keegz's picture
keegz commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 5:18pm

Heard good things about the new rip curl p-bomb pro - good flow and stretch allowing for maximum urination

crustt's picture
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crustt commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 5:51pm

Patagonia, the woolen lining soaks it up like a nappy.:-D

Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie's picture
Wharfjunkie commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 7:16pm

The biggest problem with the modern wetsuit is their urine absorbent capacity they hold piss and soon become rancid after hanging on the gate in the sun post 3 hour surf. Theres only two logical solutions 1. A piss flap that can be stretched open when necessary or 2. The patented rip curl white lightning man nappy.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 7:42pm

WJ you need to stop eating sooo much asparagus.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2016 at 2:39pm

Narval wetsuits chest zip 4x3 - $168 from surfstich.

Willow995's picture
Willow995's picture
Willow995 commented Wednesday, 3 Feb 2016 at 6:20pm

I picked up a ATTICA 4/3 for winter admittedly I’m not an everyday surfer but get down a couple times a week during winter. After struggling in a quicksilver 3/2 the previous year I decided to try a 4/3. Not wanting to spend a fortune I decided on a ATTICA never heard of the brand but after hearing some good things from the guy in the surf shop (taking his word with a grain of salt) I decided to give it a go. Set me back $260 which seemed to be a relatively good price and was on sale. It has ticked all the boxes this winter just gone.

Taco's picture
Taco's picture
Taco commented Thursday, 4 Feb 2016 at 10:54am

Carapice customs..Im a strangely shaped little human who has never found a suit which fits properly..Legs always too long to substitute width i need through shoulders ect..Tried aleeda but found i didnt like them so have generally just put up with it for years until i saw these guys.

surfing-cronulla's picture
surfing-cronulla's picture
surfing-cronulla commented Saturday, 6 Feb 2016 at 7:27am

Seems they are now out of stock of 4/3 ... you were lucky. Look good from their pics and description too.

Willow995 wrote: I picked up a ATTICA 4/3 for winter admittedly I’m not an everyday surfer but get down a couple times a week during winter. After struggling in a quicksilver 3/2 the previous year I decided to try a 4/3. Not wanting to spend a fortune I decided on a ATTICA never heard of the brand but after hearing some good things from the guy in the surf shop (taking his word with a grain of salt) I decided to give it a go. Set me back $260 which seemed to be a relatively good price and was on sale. It has ticked all the boxes this winter just gone.
batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Saturday, 6 Feb 2016 at 12:08pm

That needessentials site looks great. I love the idea of paying just for the product.

Out of 3/2 medium at the moment, almost tempted to get a 4/3 at those prices, but can't say I need one. Bought a top of the line something or other big name brand at half price in the spring sales of 2014, so that's only had one winter and will definitely get another out of it, or two.

While the 4/3 is a good idea, I'm trying to go the other way of dealing with cold my becoming a bit more resilient rather than finding the perfect suit to keep me warm in antarctic conditions. Will let you know how I go with that plan. :-)

At those prices though, a backup suit is a very viable option.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Saturday, 6 Feb 2016 at 12:17pm

If the product is any good I may never buy a brand wetsuit again!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 6 Feb 2016 at 12:18pm

Noticed on Needs site - now added USA and Europe .....

Pintail's picture
Pintail's picture
Pintail commented Wednesday, 15 Aug 2018 at 1:34pm

Hi Swellnet,
Thanks for this reviews page and a great surf/surf forecast site! I haven't posted before but thought I'd jump in. I had a good read of the comments above, at the beginning of this winter, before getting myself a new steamer. I wasn’t keen to pay for a big brand suit again...
I ended up getting recommendation and got an Arzen 3:2 steamer and it has been amazing...$220 delivered to my door, 1 year warranty I have been surfing for the last 30 years and always forked out the cash, usually out of season, for a Ripcurl e-bomb or O’Neil Psycho...
Another mate of mine got a Need Essentials 3:2 and it’s not as good in quality, he said it’s a little leaky.