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  1. #1

    Isurus wetsuit, definitely worth taking a serious look at

    First off, I am not one to post anything on a forum, but after several weeks researching and reading, I feel like I should share this info to anyone else in the wetsuit decision making process.

    I have owned many Xcel, RipCurl, Oneill, West, and Hotline. Over the last decade, Xcel was my go to winter suit. I surf in Oregon year round, using a 5/4/3 in the colder months, and 4/3's summertime-early fall. I have no major complaints on any of the wetsuits I've owned, but I always felt like each one had something negative that was holding me back from purchasing another.

    After a few weeks of research and weighing all my options, I more than hesitantly pulled the trigger on an ISURUS Evade 434. The price tag was higher than I wanted, they are a relatively new/small company, and I was nervous about wearing a 4/3 year round in Oregon.

    I chose the 4/3 hooded model because almost every review I read mentioned they could be a worn 1mm thinner than your normal suit. The day my suit is set to arrive, the weather has taken a nasty turn and I'm hoping to surf the next day. FedEx arrives LATE in the evening due to snow and ice on the roads, I'm thankful I won't be putting my leaky crotch Xcel on in the morning.

    First thing I notice is how EASY the suit is to get on as I make sure I've got the right fit. I'm 6'1 190 athletic build, and the LT was a perfect fit. By far the EASIEST top entry suit I've ever put on. A lot of reviews I read had guys unable to get the suit on, sizing up to a larger one and still having trouble, etc. I'm not sure if ISURUS has changed the 2013-14 model, but it was silky smooth and felt perfect when on.

    The next morning, pull up to the surf spot. 25 degrees, offshores at 10-15 knots coming right off the snowy hills, snow and ice on the beach. My buddies are laughing as I pull the 4/3 out, and I'm definitely having second thoughts. Suit up quickly, 5mm booties and 2mm gloves...hate booties and gloves, but it's that cold today. My feet are near numb by the time I get in the water. The 48 degree water temp almost feels tropical compared to the air and wind. I paddle out and duck dive a few sets. I can tell IMMEDIATELY this suit is cut different than anything else I've worn. The lack of resistance paddling is extremely different and it feels like I'm unrestricted. Make it out to the lineup, completely dry, no flushing. Catch a few waves, feels great on the pop up and driving down the line. As I sit and wait for waves, I can feel the warmth of the suit, keeping my body heat in...not sure if I was feeling the aeroprene working, or I was just overly sensitive because of how cold the air was, but regardless, it felt great.

    After 3.5 hours, I was still feeling warm, my buddies in their 5/4's starting to get chilled. I had some very minor flushing pulling into few closeout barrels, but the little water that did get in went to my gloves which I drained half way through the session. Suit fit nice and snug, but didn't feel restrictive at all.

    Durability reviews seem promising, so I'll need to re-evaluate in 1.5-2 years, but I'm completely satisfied with my purchase. Sure the price tag is a bit steep, but when you consider the trade-offs, I think it will be worth it...Ease of paddling, unrestricted movement, hardly ANY water absorption due to the Yamamoto neoprene, and all the other technology that keeps me warm and surfing longer. I also saved over $100 on a black Friday deal, which dropped the suit below what I'd pay for an FBomb or Drylock, that definitely helped my decision. Anyway, hopefully this little review will help inform anyone else who is looking for a higher end suit that lives up to expectations. I can say that I am completely STOKED and sold as of now....and I don't think durability is going to be an issue.

  2. Man you did a stellar job covering all the bases discretely, rep of the month award dec 2013.

    Regardless, I will have to agree that any new technology in wetsuits is worth taking a look into. Every year it seems they get better. thanks for the info.

  3. #3
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    Yeah man, thanks for taking the time to put together such a thorough review. Sounds like you scored an awesome suit.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by surfingwasteland View Post
    Man you did a stellar job covering all the bases discretely, rep of the month award dec 2013.

    Regardless, I will have to agree that any new technology in wetsuits is worth taking a look into. Every year it seems they get better. thanks for the info.
    Don't rep for anyone or have anything to gain, just want to surf the best I can. I'd be a terrible salesman/rep, as I usually don't see anyone but the guys I surf with...big time loner and seeking refuge in all the overlooked nooks, cranny's and miles of beach break away from civilization. The beauty of the PNW.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    So how much was the suit? How much would you pay without your black Friday discount?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Monmouth County
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    My experience with Isurus is a bit different. I own a 4/5/4 i-soldier and 222 SAF

    The cons

    1. Fit is an issue with most people. The suit is designed to fit very tight. The compression technology makes it very difficult to pull the suit on if you have the correct size. Two guys I know must use the plastic bag trick to get into their suits.

    2. The neoprene is very fragile and subject to tears easily. You can't let your finger nails get even a touch long or they can tear the suit due to the force required to pull it on.

    3. The suits tend to leak at the ankles a bit, but are generally water tight otherwise. Several people have confirmed this.

    4. The neoprene tape they use to seal the seams is too thick, counter-acting some of the buttery flex of the Yamamoto neoprene. In fact the 4/5/4 i-soldier has similar flex to a 5/4 dry lock, but the actual neoprene is much much more flexible. This is a huge miss in the design in my opinion.

    The pros

    1. The neoprene absorbs no moisture making it noticeably the lightest weight suit I've ever worn.

    2. In the 222 SAF, which has no neoprene seam tape, the flex and feel of the suit is better than any I've ever worn.

    3. The hoods are designed well.

    4. The suit is super warm. I'm usually roasting in the 4/5/4 i-Soldier even in 45 degree water and 35 degree air. The water needs to be below 40 and air temps below freezing for me to get cold in the suit. Usually I'd be wearing a 6/5/4 in these conditions.

    5. The anatomical cut and buttery neoprene make the suit a pleasure to wear. Not nearly as uncomfortable as other suits. It also aids in paddling and posture while surfing.


    So there you have it. Right now my Isurus 222 SAF is probably my favorite suit I've ever owned, but because of a few minor design issues I actually prefer my 3.5/4.5 ebomb over the 4/5/4 i-Soldier for average winter surf. I'll usually opt for the i-Soldier when it gets really cold. I'd love to try a 4/3/4 i-evade for comparison, but I'd like to see an improvement in the neoprene tape used before dropping the hefty amount of cash these suits cost.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by deca View Post
    Don't rep for anyone or have anything to gain, just want to surf the best I can. I'd be a terrible salesman/rep, as I usually don't see anyone but the guys I surf with...big time loner and seeking refuge in all the overlooked nooks, cranny's and miles of beach break away from civilization. The beauty of the PNW.
    Well i'll be damned. you should contemplate getting into it, that was a pretty in depth review. And im jealous of life up there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    i got a oneill 4/3 epic and it has been great.

  9. #9
    They are worth the money. I have an 454 isoldier and I love it. Its tough to get into but other than that its a great suit and its super warm.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by foamdust View Post
    My experience with Isurus is a bit different. I own a 4/5/4 i-soldier and 222 SAF

    The cons

    1. Fit is an issue with most people. The suit is designed to fit very tight. The compression technology makes it very difficult to pull the suit on if you have the correct size. Two guys I know must use the plastic bag trick to get into their suits.

    2. The neoprene is very fragile and subject to tears easily. You can't let your finger nails get even a touch long or they can tear the suit due to the force required to pull it on.

    3. The suits tend to leak at the ankles a bit, but are generally water tight otherwise. Several people have confirmed this.

    4. The neoprene tape they use to seal the seams is too thick, counter-acting some of the buttery flex of the Yamamoto neoprene. In fact the 4/5/4 i-soldier has similar flex to a 5/4 dry lock, but the actual neoprene is much much more flexible. This is a huge miss in the design in my opinion.

    The pros

    1. The neoprene absorbs no moisture making it noticeably the lightest weight suit I've ever worn.

    2. In the 222 SAF, which has no neoprene seam tape, the flex and feel of the suit is better than any I've ever worn.

    3. The hoods are designed well.

    4. The suit is super warm. I'm usually roasting in the 4/5/4 i-Soldier even in 45 degree water and 35 degree air. The water needs to be below 40 and air temps below freezing for me to get cold in the suit. Usually I'd be wearing a 6/5/4 in these conditions.

    5. The anatomical cut and buttery neoprene make the suit a pleasure to wear. Not nearly as uncomfortable as other suits. It also aids in paddling and posture while surfing.


    So there you have it. Right now my Isurus 222 SAF is probably my favorite suit I've ever owned, but because of a few minor design issues I actually prefer my 3.5/4.5 ebomb over the 4/5/4 i-Soldier for average winter surf. I'll usually opt for the i-Soldier when it gets really cold. I'd love to try a 4/3/4 i-evade for comparison, but I'd like to see an improvement in the neoprene tape used before dropping the hefty amount of cash these suits cost.
    I'm curious if the suits have clanged at all with the new models, because mine seriously slid on super easy. I'm toward the middle of the size range, but I also have maybe a slimmer ankle/wrist girth. Good to know on being careful with the neoprene, it didnt seem any less durable, but I don't want to find out the hard way either. Paid $430 for the 434 hooded Evade. As far as the fluid seams, mine only has it in the torso and not arms/legs, so again, maybe that is a design change. Regardless, surfing in a thinner suit is always going to feel more freeing, so not sure i could tell if seams are working against the rubber.