so I wear a 4/3 in the winter and it fits tight as a nun's....well you know. which I thought would be great. However, that first duck dive/trip over the falls always leaves me with a wet wetsuit. any comments? it's an o'neil Heat (sort of the predecessor to the hyperfreak in the earlier part of the decade i'm told) which I bought used at a local shop for cheap. it's literally in brand new condition so I'm quite sure it's not leaky. would wearing a hood help seal it off around my neck?
They're called WETsuits for a reason. Flushing is the single most counterproductive feature of ill-fitting suits since the idea is to get the water into the suit layer and then your body heat warms it up. When that more temperate water gets flushed away with new cold water. . . you're going to get cold. The key here is to have a flexible well-fit suit with good seals to minimize the inflow of fresh cold water. The Heat has been updated to alleviate that issue over the years and in typical marketing fashion, wetsuit makers (just like car makers) love to sell you a new improved suit, and you really want one so you can stay warm.
That being said, wind conditions and wetted surface area and type of wetsuit skin can also compromise warmth.
Definitely add a hood, but a really good hood that's attached as a part of the suit will optimize your negating the flushing effect. In a worse case scenario, a hood can trap the really cold water against your skull for extended periods of time, and the resulting ice-cream headache takes a while to subside. On balance, an extended ice-cream headache with hood, attached or not, is still better than one that stays permanently because of no hood.
The trick to it all is staying adequately warm with maximum flexibility. Taped seams are also a very worthwhile way to battle flushing. For my money, I'd look into something newer with insulating air cells in the rubber, the Heat is a decent suit so long as it fits well, but I've upgraded mine to a Psycho 3 with ADS rubber @ 3.5m, so it's quite warm and flexible. Maybe your problem is the fit, either that or the need for oversized huevos.
Now all we need are waves.
Last edited by MDSurfer; Jan 11, 2011 at 07:49 PM.
Reason: added taped seams