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06-18-2011, 05:00 PM #1
Thought I'd start this thread to discuss wetsuits. Just because I have been trying to figure out my next purchase.
I live in central California where the water is almost always in the low 50s. Summer sometimes warms up a bit in town, but I hardly surf there.
My main go to suit in the cold weather is a Hotline hooded 4/3 front zip.
I like having a second suit and am looking to find one for less than $100. No hood. Used for warmer days, afternoon sessions and when the other one is just too damn wet and cold in the morning.
Trying to figure out if I should go with a 3/2 front zip with solid seams or a 4/3 back zip with slightly cheaper construction. They both come in about the same price.
What I am thinking is the 3/2 will be nearly (if not just) as warm as the 4/3 due to (1) no zipper flush and (2) good seams.
Any suggestions out there or thoughts on wetsuits in general?
Also starting to consider dropping some coin on a R3 Patagonia when I need to replace the 4/3. Any one try these out? A buddy of mine has one and thinks it is much warmer than a regular 4/3 and much more durable. Is it worth the $500?
06-18-2011, 07:20 PM #2
A: Dunno about the 3/2 being as warm as a backzip 4/3, but you can always throw a hooded vest underneath if it's too cold. I had a cheap zipperless Quicksilver 3/2 a while ago and shivered through some warm air/cold water summers in OR. Doable, but not great.
B: My friend got the R3, got in water once, and was too cold (Oregon). Couldn't be happier with the R4. However, he surfed in a 5/4 XCEL. I'll probably be getting the R3 in a year or two when my current suit gives up. Little worried about throwing down so much money, but Patagonia warranty is awesome. Another one I've been looking at is Oneil Mutant. Like the idea of a hood I could throw on if it's cold/rainy.
06-18-2011, 09:55 PM #3
I'd rather have a thicker but stretchier wetsuit. On that note, I find the front zips to be marginally stretchier than the back zips, not to mention more comfortable and easier to put on. YMMV.
06-19-2011, 01:25 AM #4
Out of curiosity, why are you done with Hotline? I'm not sure that I can keep doing this Isurus thing, so was looking at two 5/4's from Hotline. Mollusk quoted me $580 on the R3.
For the record, the Mutant is a kick ass suit. Very durable, well made. I put a 4/3 though the ringer. Probably over 220 sessions in it, for $330. Great bargain.
Has anyone used Hyperflex? Price is definitely a plus."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-19-2011, 08:46 AM #5
I don't know shit about wetsuits, but this one looks pretty good to me...
Decent people shouldn't live here...they'd be happier somewhere else.
06-19-2011, 11:33 AM #6
06-19-2011, 03:07 PM #7
I've had a little durability issue. They are advertised as being for the surfer that puts in 200 days a year. I had probably 80 in mine before I noticed problems with the seams. So far, warrantee has helped a little with stitching, but seams aren't lasting that long. I take excellent care of my suits. I'm probably going to give them another shot this winter, but this is last shot."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-19-2011, 05:58 PM #8
I am not over Hotline, but I do like me a cheap wetsuit on the side. I find that it is hard to come by a Hotline for much less that $240. And that is a bargain. In general, I've found them to be pretty durable, and I really only buy their "more durable, less stretchy" neoprene. And they seem plenty stretchy for me.
Hotline seems a bit inconsistent. I've had suits last 300 surf days over several years. I had one suit with perhaps 250 surf days and over 8 years old. Neoprene was great; seems not so great. And I have had suits seem to rot or pull after 50-75 surf days. Still, for the most part, I like them.
But I wonder if the R3 is that much better and more durable. It would put me back at least twice as much. Same with the Isurus.
I am surprised about the Mutant. I wrote O'neil off several years ago. I just had too many issues with super comfy suits just falling apart on me. I still frequent their parking lot sales, but usually buy board bags, sandals, rash guards, glasses etc. I think it has been a decade since I have owned an O'neil.
I fit well into the Xcel suits, and they tend to be available for cheap from time to time. I have one in my cart on SAC , but I think I am going to dump it. I just think a 3/2 will not quite hold up to our water. I mean, it rarely hits 55F around here.
BS720 - why a 5/4? Even up north that seems like a lot of rubber. Even when out in big surf and waiting out sets.
06-19-2011, 08:19 PM #9
I owned 4/3 for the first three years here. This year, my winter suit was a 4/3/4, from Isurus, which they bill as the equivalent to a 5/4. I was warm enough most days, but on big days, i still got cold. On most offshore days, I think most at OB are using 5/4. If I go south of here, 4/3 is always enough. North, 5/4 is pretty much needed. I keep a 3/4/3 from isurus that works for just about anything. Then again, the seams haven't come apart yet."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-19-2011, 08:44 PM #10
06-19-2011, 08:55 PM #11
So, you're saying it performed better than my Isurus(80 days), for half the price??"Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-19-2011, 09:01 PM #12
I guess maybe I am....although I couldn't say when the seams started breaking down b/c it was quite a few sessions back. It's been limping along for about 20 sessions with rubber cement and stitching so maybe not 100 after all.
06-19-2011, 09:17 PM #13
Hmmm. 3 Hyperflex, 2 Hotline, 1 pattagucirus."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-19-2011, 10:04 PM #14
06-20-2011, 06:26 AM #15
I think it's a bit more, like $630-$800. Hotlines are $380-$400 each for 5/4/3, Patagonia is $580 + tax(I'm not getting any breaks at Mollusk, I don't wear skinny jeans and cable-knit cardigans). The only break I'll get is with Isurus. Still, two suits will run me close to a G."Yo!! Brentley! Ya wanna get faded before work?"
06-22-2011, 10:14 AM #16
06-22-2011, 03:12 PM #17
06-22-2011, 08:59 PM #18
06-22-2011, 10:50 PM #19Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
06-23-2011, 10:34 AM #20
^^^ Not really. Perhaps that was part of the idea when suits were first put together, but it was also about flexibility and ability to get in/out of a suit.
The front zip (and to be more specific, [U]chest[U] zip) does a few thing. It (1) decreases the length of zipper and hence area for water to flush through the zipper (2) is placed where a breaking wave is less likely to cause flush (3) allows greater flexibility across the back. They tend to be IMO a bit more comfortable and quite a bit warmer. I also find them easier to put on/off.
The chest zip should not dig into your chest, as your back will be arched while paddling. As for the fiish of my surfboard, worse things have happened. Besides, wax will offer a pretty good barrier.
06-23-2011, 11:18 AM #21
I can't imagine the chest zip of my wetsuit getting anywhere near my board unless my neck was broken.
06-23-2011, 01:18 PM #22
^^^ever? Some times I lay on my board like a dead seal. You know those sessions are either the epic ones where you are almost getting too many sick waves, or the slow ones with twenty minute waits in between sets. Either way, I don't see it messing with the gloss coat and messing my look up.
06-23-2011, 03:13 PM #23
My moobs must be much more developed than yours because even when I'm "hauled out" on my board the zipper is still not close to touching. I've got an Xcel infiniti 5/4/3 if it matters.
06-23-2011, 07:42 PM #24
Get the r3 if you can afford it. If not, order a drylock off of wm.
I got a r3 early last winter, and love it.
06-23-2011, 07:50 PM #25COWHAMPSHIRE PARADISE
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
i've been extremely pleased with my ripcurl insulator 4/3. i use it all spring/summer/fall here in nh, and use an excel 5/4/3 all winter. the ripcurl is def the fave of the two. amazing fit, great durability, and is very easy to move in.
rogSKI THE EAST
cuz it ain't fucking cool