flashbomb wetsuit concerns
I like mine so far. It's a 3/2. Dries fast. Good fit (for me). Doing the trick so far for early morning surfing in Sydney through winter. Not sure about VIC. It's the windchill that occasionally cuts a session short
Can't say much for durability yet. I surf nearly every day in it but have only had it 2 months. We'll see..... I hope it holds out because it wasn't cheap.
4 years feels a bit optimistic!. I guess it depends on how often you surf.
I did exactly that with a 3/2 Flashbomb through a winter here a few years back, I'd reckon you can do it *just*.
This year has been colder - note that day 28th June when Melbourne got coldest max since 1990, Geelong was in fog and 3 degrees at 11am.
This winter for me I'm cycling through an old 5/4 Quikkie on the really cold/windy/early days, a 4/3 Dawn Patrol and the 3/2 Flashbomb, which I use for afternoon surfs more as the sun comes out. Doing this has one dry at all times which is nice. Wind chill factor and being far out in the ocean where it will affect you means its nice to have the thicker suit. Grom has a 4/3 Flashbomb which keeps grom toasty, and the fluffy stuff dries quicker.
For the durability - I go through a lot of wetties as I'm out in the water a lot and some of this is work too. Certain brands are more durable, Rippies have been OK but the best feature is any leaks you can get a warranty repair in town, which keeps them feeling new over a 4 year period. Cycling wetsuits and holding on to the older ones just in case one busts can be good insurance. I've heard good things about O'Neill and Patagonia as well but yet to try. Need seems to get fans too and is affordable.
Hope this helps.
Unless you're happy being in the water for an hour or less, go a fully sealed 4/3 at an absolute minimum. As a skinny tall bloke in vicco I run a 5/4 xcel drylock with hood on the windy days and a 5/4 rip curl e-bomb when sunny. I'll wear booties if cold/rocky enough but I like to avoid them.
Avoid O'Neill wetsuits. Yes they are warm and easy to paddle in, but they fall apart too quickly and O'Neil don't care. I paid top dollar for a Psychofreak in 2016, left it in the bag it came in until I used it about 14 month later. (Like many I run a couple of wetties at the same time to avoid putting on a wet one). After two surfs in two days a couple of seams started to come apart. I contacted O'Neill with photos and all details. They just said as its over 12 months old I would have to pay to get it repaired. I gave them every opportunity to do the right thing, but they didn't care. After eleven surfs, and less than three weeks use it had fallen apart so much I threw it away and replaced it with a Needesstentials. Thanks Tom at Needessentials. I still feel ripped off and gladly tell everyone to avoid O'Neill. BTW I would be going 4:3 rather than 3:2 in Vic.
A new 3/2 should be fine in Vicco's winter so long as it has fully sealed seams and top rubber ... and you keep on paddling during your surfs. Those days when there is a wait between sets a 3/2 might be too cold. I've done it but I also use booties and a hood and on the coldest days a 2mm singlet vest underneath.
A 3/2 is noticeably lighter than a 4/3.
I now have new & old 4/3s and 3/2s and 2mms for all the seasons .... I only mention this as I think hoping to get 4 years out of one wettie is very optimistic, the rubber gets stiff, seams deteriorate and anyway rubber quality always improves. Every two years or so I update and retire the oldest ones by giving them away or selling them on gumtree.
Given the use we get out of them especially down in the colder states wetties are cheap, especially when brought overseas way cheaper than AU prices.
My 3/2 flashbomb is into its 4th year. I have had to do some serious patching to keep it going (O&E kit is the go) and only use it in warmer conditions now as there is still some water getting in from a spot I haven't patched yet. Vic winters? Shit I use a 4/3 in colder conditions in Sydney, so good luck with that.
I've got an O'Neill 4/3 Epic that's pushing 5 years and is still doing the job and I treat my wetties like crap. Also got a Riipie 3/2 which is patched to the shithouse that's around 3 years old and are breaking in a Vissla 4/3 which is toasty warm and super flexible. All different suits that have reacted differently to the same treatment and conditions.
Mammoth - just to throw another option into the mix - Seventh Wave wetsuits New Zealand - superb, high quality yamamoto materials and super warm with good flex - will give many seasons good use and perfect for cold Vico winter paddles.
Just thought I'd come back - since I first replied earlier saying I like my flashbomb 3/2... I don't so much now. The thing seems to just let water in all over. I can't see tears or rips and even though it's a perfect tight fit, it just gets wet and cold inside now. Was good for the first month maybe.
I got a cheaper O'neill 4/3 and am super glad I did. Been using that. Surfing out there at the mo, early pre-dawn, cold ass wind... others are shivering and I'm fine.
I'm over super expensive suits. My mate got a Patagonia and doesn't rate it either. I think it's very subjective with all different body types and fits though.. so you milage may vary. But I'll be sticking to O'neill from now on.
Vissla wetties are excellent value for the money and endure well through the seasons if washed out and hung up properly.
looking to get a new wetsuit, had a need one but the sizing is to large and is letting in a lot of water and making my sessions much shorter than id like. the rip curl salesperson said that the flashbomb 3:2 with a proper tight fit was enough to get through all of a vico winter and also said if looked after the suit can last 4 years plus. just wondering what peoples experience is with the flashbomb like if the 3:2 would really be enough in a vico winter when it gets colder and if they can last 4 years as ive heard a few stories of suits leaking and putting holes in them within the year, and also if the flashbomb lining is really that warm and good at keeping water out or if its all marketing.
thanks guys !