Wetsuit Recommendations

bud humphrey's picture
bud humphrey started the topic in Thursday, 31 Mar 2016 at 10:53am

In the market for a new wettie. Just getting back into the water wondering what's the hot commodity. I'm a tall lanky guy so I'm considering a custom-fit wetsuit too just don't know of any reputable brands. Any recommendations would be awesome. Cheers!

chook's picture
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chook Thursday, 31 Mar 2016 at 11:46am

just how tall are you? where are you located?
rip curl dawn patrol, medium tall.

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staitey Thursday, 31 Mar 2016 at 11:54am

anyone tried a Patagonia before?

I've loved Xcel's in the past but am in the market for something new too

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bishmann Thursday, 31 Mar 2016 at 12:23pm

@staitey .... yeah I own a couple of Patagonia wetsuits there good , well made and warm as , I have had one 4 years now and its still going strong there expensive but good quality .

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bud humphrey Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 5:51am

@chook I'm 6'3 located in Hermosa Beach, CA. I've heard Patagonia's good stuff. I'm starting to research some custom-fit wetsuit brands because I've had some trouble fitting into standard sized wetsuits.

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indo-dreaming Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 8:24am

Hows the flex in those Patagonias these days?...say compared to a Ripcurl E-bomb?

It's been a few years since ive checked them out, when i did they looked well made and warm but the flex looked terrible more like an old school wetsuit.

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udo Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 8:35am

$800 for there r4 full suit ---- made in thailand

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thebeard Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 9:10am

http://www.needessentials.com/ hands down best suits I owned.

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cycd Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 1:03pm

Patagonia suits are great, all I use now. Flex has improved in leaps and bounds

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memlasurf Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 3:05pm

thebeard, I heard they were a bit stiff with chunky taping on the seams and stuff RipCurl tried but ditched long ago, in other words a real $200 suit. The price is certainly right though.

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chook Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 6:38pm

ok, so same height as me... i find the MT rip curl fits well.
but you'll probably want something warmer than the dawn patrol 3/2 at hermosa beach. the water in southern cali is damn cold!

bud humphrey wrote: @chook I'm 6'3 located in Hermosa Beach, CA. I've heard Patagonia's good stuff. I'm starting to research some custom-fit wetsuit brands because I've had some trouble fitting into standard sized wetsuits.
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wellymon Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 7:59pm

Give me a small man's wetsuit please.
Ladies size.

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saltman Monday, 4 Apr 2016 at 9:42pm

wellymon wrote: Give me a small man's wetsuit please.
Ladies size.

You want a suit built just like the ballroom at central station

Wait there is no Ball Room at central station either

bud humphrey's picture
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bud humphrey Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016 at 3:38am

Heard good stuff about the Patagonia's. Looking for something a little cheaper. Anyone have experience with Vissla, Matuse or Carapace?

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mcsc Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016 at 12:59pm

bud humphrey wrote: In the market for a new wettie. Just getting back into the water wondering what's the hot commodity. I'm a tall lanky guy so I'm considering a custom-fit wetsuit too just don't know of any reputable brands. Any recommendations would be awesome. Cheers!

Give need essentials a look, available in US now I believe. Best value for money hands down

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KR Beast Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016 at 6:04pm

thebeard wrote: http://www.needessentials.com/ hands down best suits I owned.

I'm with you Beard, the best value for money wetties I've had.I can't fault them and I'm hard on my suits. I don't like all the fluffy shit in Ripcurl wetties and I refuse to buy a suit or products made by some other companies owned by American private equity firms.
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udo Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016 at 6:11pm

Any problems with stiffness re the taping as Memla mentioned ?

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mcsc Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016 at 6:18pm

udo wrote: Any problems with stiffness re the taping as Memla mentioned ?

No issue for me Udo. Fyi my last wettie was Ebomb

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KR Beast Tuesday, 5 Apr 2016 at 6:30pm

udo wrote: Any problems with stiffness re the taping as Memla mentioned ?

No problems for me either.
woohcs's picture
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woohcs Monday, 18 Apr 2016 at 7:11pm

Anyone tried those 'sanctum' wetsuits? $100 for a 3/2 chest gbs with some taping...they say super stretchy, but...they say that about rip curl...hhmmmm
The rubber etc probably comes out of the same factories in Thailand anyway...isn't peak and ripcurl the same with different stickers

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simba Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 6:23am

woohcs,mate forget it,crap.

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surfing-cronulla Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 7:36am

They are claiming they use Japanese neoprene which seems highly unlikely as it is quite expensive. Only thing I can think of is Japs now using M Flex 2.0 so they might have got a huge discount on original M Flex (2 way stretch)? But for 100 bucks, who cares if you only get 1 season.
Yes, Rip Curl and Peak from same factory in Thailand.

woohcs wrote: Anyone tried those 'sanctum' wetsuits? $100 for a 3/2 chest gbs with some taping...they say super stretchy, but...they say that about rip curl...hhmmmm
The rubber etc probably comes out of the same factories in Thailand anyway...isn't peak and ripcurl the same with different stickers
Willow995's picture
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Willow995 Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 1:53pm

Got a ATTICA wetsuit last winter for $250 on special and have been super impressed and kept me really warm, would recommend it highly. They do have small sizing I'm a MT in most brand suits even medium in quicksilver and was a large in the ATTICA.
(They are a "bodyboarding' suit but i have had no problem with flex)

http://www.atticawetsuits.com/wetsuits/steamers/4x3steamers.html

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udo Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 5:06pm

Trump wetsuits. $1k for steamer ...shit.

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woohcs Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 5:22pm

Cheers Simba, wasn't crossing my fingers, but ya never know these days...patents run out and everybody steals the old tech/designs...i'd guess the 'need' suits from above are just that

best suit I've had was an o'neill gooru 3/2 chest from about 5 years ago. like wearing lycra. but wore out pretty quick. new ones supposed to be better, but feel heaps stiffer to me, like the cut has changed-maybe 3mm across the shoulders where it used to be 2mm?

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woohcs Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 5:27pm

HaHa, just looked at the Trump suit-MADE IN JAPAN-(only available from Taiwan)....so...made in Taiwan maybe?

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zenagain Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 7:17pm

I'll tell you a wetsuit I don't recommend-

O'Neill Psycho III 4/3.

As far as comfort and stretch go, second to none, very comfy suit. Rubber is very nice.

But, nowhere near as warm as a 4/3 should be. I reckon you would struggle in it in a Vicco winter, Sydney you would be fine but I reckon the warmth is only on par with a decent 3/2. Also, the neck thingy is a pain in the arse to pull up over your head on the back zipper model. They've made it too short and I struggle and I've got pretty long arms. I suppose a chest-zip would preclude this. I haven't had it long enough to comment on wear and tear but seems ok so far, I only wear a 4/3 late autumn/early winter and around the middle of spring. Also, at around USD$450, it's pretty pricey. I actually regret buying this suit as I reckon there must be warmer ones out there at half the price.

I picked up an Xcel 3/2 last year at half the above price and the quality is excellent, easily as comfy and flexible as the O'Neill but importantly just as warm. Got a Patagonia R2 Chest-zip I'm going to bust out this summer too so can comment on that further down the track.

A lot of people bag Billabong suits but they probably have made the two best suits I've had in recent times and that's been a Solution Platinum 4/3 (Brilliantly warm and flexy on all levels) and I'm still in my RG5 5/4 Chest zip after four seasons and with only a couple of minor repais still keeping me warm. And I surf in sub zero conditions in winter.

Anyway, rambled on a bit but if you want longevity in the water in winter say south of Sydney, I'd stay away from the O'Neill.

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udo Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 7:37pm

Xcel are Billabong?

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floyd Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 7:42pm

Hey Zen, I have an O'Neill Psycho III 4/3 and 3/2 (back zips) and use both in Vicco throughout winter** ... both are toasty warm. On very cold days with strong N or NWs and also use a vest with sewn in hood on both suits. Both suits are both 3 years old now and will hopefully last this coming winter, although I have a brand new 4/3 hanging up to also use this winter - just over $300 AUD online .... nod nod wink wink say no more.

On your back zip problem ... it might be just practice or perhaps you might need a little more flexibility in your shoulders but I have no problems in that regard.

** still using a 3/2 unsealed O'Neill steamer, perhaps start using the 3.2 Psycho 111 late May.

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pointy Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 7:42pm

thebeard wrote: http://www.needessentials.com/ hands down best suits I owned.

you'd be crazy to buy anything else. 3/2 for $200 and as good as quality as any $500 - $600 wetty on the market.

buy 2 or 3 different ones for the price of one big name brand...

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woohcs Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 8:13pm

Zen, know what you mean with those backflap things...got a West 4/3 lotus (best winter suit so far) for vicco winters, and most days it's fine...but those really cold days when the lovely heat on ya feet from your car and the outside windblown carpark temp seem 100' apart, I struggle to get the damn thing in my hand, let alone get it over my head...3 seasons old now though...see how the seals fair this winter

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zenagain Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 8:14pm

Hmmmm..... Floydo, maybe I bought a dud but my mate who has exactly the same suit said the same thing.

Comfort-wise and flexibilty they're really good and i like the tailored cuffs and drainage system, all good in that regard but I just feel for a 4/3 that it just doesn't stack up against other 4/3's I've had. Probably comes down to wearing it when I probably should have been in a 5 mil?

Maybe I've lost a little flexibilty too in my old age and these cold climes;)

Udo, I didn't know Billabong and Xcel were the same but this new Xcel is a great suit which I bought to replace a Quikky Cypher which was a very good suit too.

I'm not super brand loyal but a lot of the big brands have a lot of R&D behind them and I usually look for the specials online and buy last seasons suits.

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woohcs Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 8:30pm

pointy wrote:
thebeard wrote: http://www.needessentials.com/ hands down best suits I owned.

you'd be crazy to buy anything else. 3/2 for $200 and as good as quality as any $500 - $600 wetty on the market.

buy 2 or 3 different ones for the price of one big name brand...

Pointy, you own one?....stretchy/flexi like this years top range, or stretchy flexi like 3 years ago top range?...in the market for a new 3/2 and genuinely interested. Keepin my eyes on run out 3/2's leading into 4/3 season for a good deal. big risk buying an unknown brand without trying on. I can buy oniell and billabong confidently online, as I seem to fit their cut...albeit in different sizes...but know what i'm in for...are 'need' built for a beanpole, straight up and down, a frame, pear shape...etc

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snakeman Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 9:06pm

Just received a couple of "Need" wetties for my son & me, look the goods but time will tell.
Went for a 5/4 with hood $260 for those cold tassie winters.

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woohcs Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 9:21pm

snake, what body type/cut do they appear to be?...

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snakeman Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 10:16pm

I normally fit perfectly into a small rip curl , I managed to get the small" Need" on but it was super tight especially with the hood & I couldn't get it off by myself. I'm 173cm & 70kgs, tried the medium & it was fine.

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pointy Tuesday, 19 Apr 2016 at 10:31pm

woohcs wrote:
pointy wrote:
thebeard wrote: http://www.needessentials.com/ hands down best suits I owned.

you'd be crazy to buy anything else. 3/2 for $200 and as good as quality as any $500 - $600 wetty on the market.

buy 2 or 3 different ones for the price of one big name brand...

Pointy, you own one?....stretchy/flexi like this years top range, or stretchy flexi like 3 years ago top range?...in the market for a new 3/2 and genuinely interested. Keepin my eyes on run out 3/2's leading into 4/3 season for a good deal. big risk buying an unknown brand without trying on. I can buy oniell and billabong confidently online, as I seem to fit their cut...albeit in different sizes...but know what i'm in for...are 'need' built for a beanpole, straight up and down, a frame, pear shape...etc

I have a need 4/3 steamer, 2mm jacket and boardies.

I'm comparing it to a two year old ebomb. The Need is equal in stretch, comfort & warmth and it goes without saying it is miles in front for value.

not being able to try them on before buying is the only downside.

I'm 6ft and 77kg and have a medium. A mate is taller and skinnier than me (bean pole) and has one that he loves but I am not sure what size he has - maybe a large due to his height? but I'm not sure

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prothero Wednesday, 20 Apr 2016 at 2:04pm

......o neil psycho fell apart way too quickly

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bud humphrey Tuesday, 26 Apr 2016 at 6:23am

I went with carapace wetsuits. Custom fit and they've got that Japanese neoprene called Yamamoto. Great quality lovin it so far.

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udo Tuesday, 26 Apr 2016 at 6:43am

Don't they all use Yamamoto rubber for surf suits.....but in different grades ?

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bud humphrey Tuesday, 26 Apr 2016 at 7:19am

I thought the same thing but after I did a bunch of research found only a handful of companies use Yamamoto. None of the bigger companies use it so I decided to give Carapace a go.

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prothero Tuesday, 26 Apr 2016 at 9:13am

wellymon wrote: Give me a small man's wetsuit please.
Ladies size.

.....that would make a good song

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Chicinho Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 at 5:48pm

I used to have an old Solomon when they still made them last 4 years in the Irish winter. Had O'Neills then for about the last 6/7 years, 4.5s in Ireland and 3/2's here. All was good until..

Bought a Psycho 3 3/2 in Aug '14. 3 months wear until I put it in storage for the summer, took it out and 2 months later the seams at the shoulders went. Sent it back got a warranty replacement. Meant I had a new 3/2 for last winter. really cold days down I wore the vest with hood attached... anyway that one after about 6 months wear went into storage and reappeared 2 months ago and bang..same issues but this time was deemed out of warranty and just unlucky to have two crap batch suits! Must've been a shit load of bad batches judging by this and other forums. So I'll be picking up a tube of Black Witch to try glue the seams and get through the winter...hopefully. So never another O'Neill, Jack can get fooked.

On the look out for a new one though if a bargain pops up, tried on a Flash Bomb in Torquay the other week, good snug fit. The guys in Islantis too claiming the Rip Curls have least warranty issues too, O'Neill 2nd best... does that mean it's pot luck with every brand anymore and gone are the days of 2-3 seasons. Anyone concur or otherwise? Also anyone know much about Vissla suits? $300 for a 3/2, 'seems' well put together!

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Two words Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 at 9:02pm

Yeh, I had a couple of those Solomons, got them from US. Really warm, off centre zip took a little bit to get used to, but great suits. Got a few for some friends west, they loved them too. Just a bit small sizing.

I have found the Hotline 4/3 Reflex front zip really good, really warm and flexible, heaps better than a Psycho 3, or rip Curl bomb out models. Plus, the rubber doesn't compress quickly like them, where a 4/3 ends up like a 2/1 tissue in a couple of weeks. Comedy. I would easy get 2 years, wearing full on, washing in limestone/ hard water also. I'd listen to guys in new suits complaining about cold, and be feeling really warm. The size charts cater to virtually custom fit. They are longer in arms and legs than most suits, important with booties. I am 6', 105 - 110kg and an XLS fits like a custom. Whereas XL is too short and too tight in the brands here. Even with the exchange rate now, I recently got a 3/2 on sale, wouldn't waste my time on the big 3. Their 5/4 hooded look really good too. I've always found them helpful and easy to deal with. Their summer is coming and they often sell off winter stock cheap.

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Dingdoctor Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 at 9:42pm

Where did you get the hotline wet ties from two words?

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Two words Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 at 10:06pm

Direct from the website. Postage is quick, not bad cost wise. Lightweight, they just roll them up in a plastic satchel/ envelope. Not the best exchange rate now, but still heaps better value than the stuff available here. I've tried so many hyped up suits. Those Boz things are funny. So heavy, soak up water like a sponge, ala Psycho 3's. Body Glove had some good ones for a while, then became really shitty. The US have heaps of different model suits to what we can get, even in the big three, etc. Some brands try to ban selling them to us, so the middleman in Oz gets a sheltered life. You just get a US mailing set up. I use borderlinx, but there's heaps. They have awesome sales in their summer, really move all the winter stuff. Our markups, middle men, and every tom dick and harry cuts, taxes, etc are ludicrous. Rip off. Same with supplements etc.

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Dingdoctor Thursday, 28 Apr 2016 at 10:28pm

Cheers TW. I have been using need wetties the last few years and find their 3/2 really good but their 4/3 isn't quite there yet IMO. Less comfortable for me than other more expensive suits but still good warmth and value for money. Will give hotline a go this winter. So the site is run by hotline?

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Two words Friday, 29 Apr 2016 at 12:26am

Gidday Dingdoctor, no worries, yeh its their website. If you aren't sure of sizing, email, ask them, they are really helpful. For me, if one or the other, go smaller is better. Their US sizes, including wrist, ankle openings are bigger than here, and the rubber is really stretchy anyway. Snug fit wetties are warmest, and they stretch more when wet. There's a few shops that stock them, they have end of season sales too, so its worth a google search.

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Dingdoctor Friday, 29 Apr 2016 at 6:19am

No worries TW cheers

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zenagain Friday, 29 Apr 2016 at 9:08am

+1 on using the freight fowarding services if they don't ship to Oz. I use Amforward (not an endorsement) and essentially you get a US mailing address in Oregon USA where you don't pay US sales tax and they ship it to you on your behalf. You can just select the cheapest mailing option which is usually UPS and the package arrives usually within about 10 days.

I often buy wetsuits or snowboarding gear from the US and saves me heaps. Of course you don't have the luxury of trying them on but unless you're a really awkward shape, the sizing charts are pretty accurate.

The UK can be good for cheap(er) wetties online too.

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surfing-cronulla Saturday, 30 Apr 2016 at 8:47am

The "over your head" ones are way easier than "batwing" that are cut in a curve across your back and roll up in an annoying lump eg QS Synchro. Used West last few years. The LOTUS front zip warmer ($400 plus incl. discount) than Nitro but they'll do for Spring/Autumn. Last one 3/2 NITRO $99 from NZ post $8 extra.

woohcs wrote: Zen, know what you mean with those backflap things...got a West 4/3 lotus (best winter suit so far) for vicco winters, and most days it's fine...but those really cold days when the lovely heat on ya feet from your car and the outside windblown carpark temp seem 100' apart, I struggle to get the damn thing in my hand, let alone get it over my head...3 seasons old now though...see how the seals fair this winter