I'm planning to try these on but I want to know your opinions/knowledge about these couple of wetsuits if you have any.
Here's my deal:
I want to be warm 1st and foremost. Quality/endurance is 2nd criteria as I want something that can last me a 5-10 years (I only surf about 5-15 sessions a year). Performance/comfort is just but not essential...since I'm still pretty much a novice surfer.
Due to the distance I live from the beach and other non-surfing commitments, I usually only get in between 5-15 sessions a year. The primary season I surf is summertime, but I want to buy 1 suit that I can stay warm from April through November to give me plenty of options/opportunities if they present themselves.
Here are the suits that fit my price range that I'm contemplating buying (basically <$200):
Option 13/2 JetPilot Capsule
100% flex/ sealed & taped seams / polyfleece lined
Will a 3/2 sealed/taped full suit be warm enough in water temps getting down in the mid 50's? I have my doubts. As a point of reference, my very old O'Neil Reactor suit doesn't work keep me very warn in water temps below 63 degrees. My Reactor only has flatlock seams though (not taped/sealed like the JetPilot) and cold water flushes through all the seams pretty much all the time. Same for the back zipper.
Main question I have regarding these 3 options is if I find any defects or problems with the suit after just a couple of wearings, which companies have the best warranties and can get me a fixed up suit (i.e. best customer service)?
a) I've already searched for wetsuit links on this site (and others) and have read plenty of comments on various wetsuit info. Sorry if I've wasted anyone's time with yet another one. I didn't see any postings on the subject over the last couple of days, so I figure its fair game to start a new one. If repeated topics bore you, don't comment or bother opening the post, that's what I do anyway, so I'm not wasting my time or adding needless comments to waste others time reading.
b) I live in Frederick County, MD therefore I don't have any "local surf shops"...beaches are 150-200 miles away or 3+ hour drive. There is an wetsuit distribution center/warehouse out of Hagerstown (only 30 miles away) which I can set up an appointment with the owner and go there and try on the suits that cost probably 1/2 of what the surf shops down at the shore charge with 20x the selection options. I still support the shops at the beaches and have bought plenty of various items from them over the years.
c) I've been surfing for 3 years now, admit I'm a total novice surfer, kook, newbie, whatever label you want to call me, I don't care.
d) With my limited annual sessions of surfing (around 10 max), shouldn't a decent suit without any factory defects last?. Heck, the low-end 3/2 O'Neil Reactor I've been wearing for the last 3 years is a misfitted "hand-me-down" and its probably an early 90's model. Of course the back zipper isn't working well, and I've had to aquaseal a bunch of tears in some seams, but its still functional (just barely...and only over 63-65 degree water).
d) I've never seen at any shop carry a 4/3 Mutant for anything close to $200. They are pushing $400. If money were no object, I'd just go out and buy a $400+ Psycho 2 with the double taped seams, and not have waste my time posting on surf forums to seek advice.
Now back to the topic, If anyone has any constructive comments or opinions to help me out on deciding between the JetPilot Capsule, Hyperflex Flow, or O'Neil Epic 2 wetsuit models, I'll appreciate all comments.
Last edited by RobfromFredneck; Mar 27, 2009 at 01:37 PM.