wetsuit hype

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by grainofsand, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    383
    Jun 26, 2014
    Every year, surfline bozos "review" the new season's wetsuits and write up a fluff piece about how the suits "performed." It's great that Meola can do a double-inverted corkscrew twist pop, but how about some serious analytics, like astm Consumer Report stuff. Thermal gradients/retentions/stretch/material durability. Suckers.
     
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  2. antoine

    antoine Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    I need a spring suite
     

  3. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Wetsuit companies: We'll send you this brand new suit to write a review.

    Also wetsuit companies: We won't send you one next year if you're negative about it or don't mention our proprietary Japanese hypnotic flex ball sack stitching.
     
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  4. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Wetsuit marketing and branding is the BEST. Ever.

    I NEED to get hired to smoke weed and come up with names for inside lining like:

    Thermonuclear mass retention war shield
     
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  5. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    LOL... Where do you guys come up with this stuff?! You're twisted...
     
  6. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    The names the companies come up with are wayy more out there, and don't actually describe the product at all haha. Like, wtf is technobutter? Robot jiz?

    I have to say though, the snowboard industry is even worse when it comes to crack-pot names for stuff.
     
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  7. Peajay4060

    Peajay4060 Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2011
    Betcha dollars to donuts thermonuclear mass retention warshield is on a wetsuit by next year.

    Because it sounds awesomely warm
     
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  8. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    A couple of years ago, Surfline had a full spread on Vissla or some other "soul" or "dank" wetsuit company, focusing on "cold water surfing". They did the entire shoot at my local...in the summertime. They brought a cast of 8 or ten surfers from both coasts, some of which are very well known and some not quite as popular.

    The entire spread focused on the surfers surfing, partying and lodging with very little information devoted to the properties of the suits being tested...in a place described as a "far-flung cold water outpost" while the water was a balmy (for here) 56°-58°.

    On top of all that, many of the pictures completely burned the spot after promising some of the concerned locals that they would take care not to. Not like the place is a big secret by any means, but anyone who lives by their local understands the impact that naturally occurs when you blow up spots in public (see: WannaSurf).

    Marketing in surfing, just like anything else, is huge. I have suits from Hyperflex, Rip Curl, O'Neiil, Xcel and Need Essentials. The differences in warmth, quality and fit are actually pretty stark.

    Caveat Emptor
     
  9. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    383
    Jun 26, 2014
    ^yeah that's what I'm saying, all about the hype
     
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  10. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Well? Post up... What's the best surfing wetsuite?
     
  11. World B Free

    World B Free Well-Known Member

    588
    Feb 7, 2013
    The one that fits Matheson's short girlfriend?
     
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  12. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    It's really a subjective matter, some suites fit other's needs "better" so it's a source of never-ending debate.

    I've posted up before on this subject dozens of times on this board, but at the risk of being redundant I'll keep it short.

    Warmest and longest lasting? Xcel. But heavy and lacks flexibility.

    Warmest, lightest and most flexible? Rip Curl Flashbomb, but may last 2-3 good seasons at most.

    Need Essentials is very close to Xcel, at half the price.

    The rest are just average imho
     
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  13. antoine

    antoine Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    Ima try the need essentials spring suite
     
  14. NJsurfer30

    NJsurfer30 Well-Known Member

    195
    Dec 28, 2016
    I've mainly used Xcel (two 5/4s now) and Need Essentials (one each of 4/3 and 3/2) in recent years, and would mostly agree with your thoughts on those. Got three solid winters out of my first Xcel 5/4, and it's still in good enough shape (warm and minimal leaking on the seams) to be a functional backup for 2-session days. And for the first year and a half I wore it (when it was my only winter suit) I didn't own a 4/3, meaning it was my only suite for about 5 months out of the year. This winter will be year number 3 of my second one and it is still functioning perfectly (and now I live in New England, so even though I do have a 4/3 I'm still in the 5mil for damn near 5 months out of the year). When the current one does fail I'll almost definitely just buy another Xcel without even thinking about anything else, why fix what's not broken.

    The Need Essentials suits were pretty warm initially but now going on ~3 years old the seams on both leak pretty noticeably, and started to leak within the first year. But, they're cheap and in the case of the 3/2 especially, it's not that big of a deal because the water's not that cold when I'm using it. I'm on the fence about whether I'll replace them with Need again or go higher-end. Most likely will upgrade the 4/3 but stick with NE for another 3/2. I should note that Need seems to fit pretty tight, though it's stretchy enough and loosened some from the out of the box fit, and I'm pretty fat (6'3" and 225-245 depending on current level of beer consumption, wear XXL in all brands), so the seams on mine definitely take more of a beating when taking the suite off anytime I'm toward the upper end of that range.

    Only experience with other brands is a few low-to-mid range O'Neill 3/2s when I was broke AF years ago. The budget (~$100ish in the early 2000s) ones were horrendous, in every case had a large hole within 1-3 sessions, the ~$200 one I bought in 2015 fared a little better but lasted less than a year before it was basically falling apart. Not impressed at all. I did have an O'Neill 5/4/3 that I got in 2000 or 2001 and used on and off for like 10-15 years, but I never really surfed anywhere close to every swell through a full winter during that time (many of those years I didn't even live near a coast). That said, when you add it all up I must've put 100+ sessions on it and it was still fairly warm and in tact and I replaced it not because it didn't work but to see how much wetsuite technology had improved from 2000 to 2015 (a lot, but you already knew that).
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
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  15. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    The difference I've noticed between Xcel and Need Essentials is where Xcel glues and tapes many critical areas, NE tends to blind stitch...maybe a cost-cutting move. I tend to look for suits that are taped, they seem to leak less.

    That being said, I have 2 O'Neill's that are taped. The tape is skinny, looks cheap and tends to start peeling at the biggest stress points.

    Up here, water temps range from 45°-56° year round so the 5/4 usually gets around 8-10 months of work. Weather is extremely wet, so wetsuits take a long time to dry so I keep 2 of each around, which also extends their lives. My Xcel sees the coldest days, while my cooler and more flexible O'Neill Mutant is used on more temperate days.
     
  16. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    I'm an Xcel man for the cold water gear. I agree, they're warm and last the longest. Worth the investment, IMO.
     
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  17. Adiespra

    Adiespra Member

    20
    Sep 17, 2017
    I wanna have a spring suite
     
  18. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    I used spring suits growing up in California.

    If I still lived where the water temps were in the 62°-68° range, I would forego a spring in favor of a nice, light cheap 2mm short sleeve full suit. Think Hyperflex.

    My legs get cold, not my arms. I like short sleeve springs ok, but the short legs will crawl on you, necessitating frequent grab-n-pulls. Also, cold water can and will eventually rush up your legs into the most critical heat retention spot.

    And, a cheap 2mm full is roughly the same price as a decent quality spring. Just my .02 cents
     
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  19. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    Who here has been surfing long enough to remember Bayley Wetsuits?
     
  20. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Spring suites in the fall... warm water and chilly air. Just makes sense. Short sleeve full in the spring... cool water and warm air. Although I think short sleeve fullsuites are more of a fashion of function thing. Definitely can't bodysurf in one, that's for sure.
     
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