I've had a couple different makes of 6/5/4 winter suits over the years, and I end up with a tight/stiff jaw and sometimes a stiff neck after most sessions over an hour in the winter. I wear a large-long/tall in most brands - doesn't matter if the wrists or ankles are a bit short - but I think part of the problem might be the giraffe neck that mother nature has delivered to me. Sort of thinking "tall/long" size suits don't account for the fact that many taller guys have longer necks - resulting in a lot more pulling on the shoulders/leading to more resistance. Particularly bad for me since I had a pretty bad back/neck injury in my early 20s that kicks into gear when the winter suit has too much tension.
Any of you in the 6'2"+ range who have found a winter suit that has less pull/resistance (or a longer neck/hood)? Do others have issues with this?
It's bad enough that I'm thinking about getting a 5/4 without a hood & then buying a separate hood (hoping that it would cut down on the pull/resistance). Bad enough that I'm posting here to figure it out.
Seconding the claim that no more than a 5/4 is needed anywhere unless you are a circulatory patient and you probably shouldn't be charging winter waves anyway.
How strong are your neck, shoulders, and upper back? Mine are on the higher end and I know that helps me so I won't take for granted what it's like for someone who's more ectomorph than I am. The cold itself is causing all muscles to contract more than normal and that will result in greater tension, burn, etc. Also, if you're only charging every so often then your paddle muscles will be shocked on and after the days you charge. Keep in mind that restriction of suits makes for less efficient biomechanics which is actually more work and tension than skilled movements. It takes me a day of "practice" to get my quality movement patterns back if I haven't paddled in the 5/4 in a couple weeks or first time in a season.
The consensus on an unattached hood is that washout is way increased so rule that out. They even make 5/4mm suits without hoods? That blows me away, both that I didn't know that (my wetty quiver is as excessive as board and Carver quivers) and that to be in water where your legs or other parts need 5/4 coverage but not your head, you definitely have a circulatory issue.
Custom made wetty solves ALL such fitment issues. The more you're in the cold gnarl the more it perplexes you how anyone could go out in this in anything that's not like a second skin.
You can get away with a 5/4 anywhere as long as it's a high-end, sealed suit. The advances in seam sealing are what allows us to go 1 mil thinner (5mil instead of 6mil). At this point I believe the 6mils are low-end suits.
That said, I'd try a hooded 5/4 or 5.5/4.5, and maybe try a size bigger than you currently have. Try different brands too...they all vary a bit. Most surf shops will let you take them home, try them on and return them if they don't fit. I agree with Emass...the separate hood will likely flush horribly.
Get a custom made suit. It might cost a bit more than a regular suit that's very good in quality, if even more at all. If you spend hundreds on a suit that doesn't fit in one or more areas, it's costing you enjoyment and safety, not just money. People's' bodies are so disproportionate on many occasions, but comfort and safety and efficacy of a suit comes from an ideal fit. Wettys are made for a proportionate frame relative to regular, tall, and short frames. A wider shoulder girdle, longer or shorter trunk, long neck and many other singular irregularities aren't accounted for. Get a custom suit.