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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    780

    Wet Suit Advice.

    My son lives in ME, and has got into surfing, so I'm thinking of a wet suit as a gift. What type and brand for late spring to fall use.

    I see some 3mm on fleabay, but not sure what brand and features to look for.



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    695
    Take a look at ME water temperatures. Most wetsuit manufacturers will have a chart with recommended thicknesses vs. water temperatures. I'd guess 3mm may be a little thin, but I haven't done my homework.

    As for brands, up to $500, maybe a little more, you tend to get what you pay for. As important as thickness is flexibility. The more flexible the suit is, the better it will fit and the more comfortable he'll be. Ironically, the more expensive, more flexible neoprene often wears out faster. Yamamoto rubber is held in high regard, but it's expensive. I've been happy with my patagonia wetsuit, in large part because I've been able to send it back in for repairs while only paying shipping one-way, but there are lots of good options out there. In contrast, I started with a cheap ($120? $150?) Rip Curl 3/2 that acts like a thinner spring suit because it's so leaky. You get what you pay for to a fair extent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    You don't want a zipper down the front which will scratch up the board
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Ellensburg
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    29
    You've got a bigger temp swing in ME (30s to 60s?) than we do here in WA (upper 40s to upper 50s)... You get colder in the winter and warmer in the summer so it's going to be harder to do it all in one suit. If you're a summer only kinda guy I bet a 3/2 would be fine. A 4/3 would probably get you in to the spring and fall months with the addition of hood, gloves and boots... Could be a little warm in the summer though. I use a 5/4 and a 4/3... The 5/4 is overkill for most spring-fall days but I like to be warm.

    Chest zip is a little harder to get in to but imo the best option.

    Don't pick up some crusty old neon wetsuit from Goodwill... You'll be cold and exhausted because of the stiff heavy inflexible rubber.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
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    1,091
    Check the aforementioned water temps to get an idea of the thicknesses you should be looking at. Suits with multiple numbers mean torso thickness/leg thickness/arm thickness. A 3/2 is 3mm torso, 2mm arms & legs. A 5/4/3 is 5mm torso, 4mm legs, 3mm arms and so on.

    I asked this question in the surf section awhile ago and got a lot of good responses. I tried on a ton of wetsuits and decided that $400 MSRP was kinda the pricepoint for a decent 4/3 suit. They are usually on sale from the big online retailers for $200-$250. The thicker the suit (4/3 vs 3/2), the more it costs, and in general for suits in the same thickness category (ie 3/2 vs 3/2) the more expensive suit will be warmer (better sealing/taping) and more comfortable (flexibility, soft material backers). Go chest zip for anything that will see cold water.

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ns-from-a-Kook

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    76
    Excel Wetsuits will give you the expert advice you need. Very well respected in the surfing, kite boarding and windsurfing communities. Canadian so the exchange works for you too. Give them a call
    https://www.xcelwetsuits-ca.com/coll...xoC3AkQAvD_BwE

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    After you settle on the thickness I would suggest going to a surf shop to try several on.
    watch out for snakes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Dystopia
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    10,903
    Try it on.

    And used shit is used. And pee contaminated

    The rubber also hardens as it ages.

    Used and free is good. I’ve given several away.
    I’ve never sold a wetsuit.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Tech Bro Central
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    I peed in my wetsuit yesterday.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Suit View Post
    I peed in my wetsuit yesterday.
    It feelz good. I know. Been there and soiled that.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    11,617
    ^Heh. So, this one winter a long time ago (‘87/‘88) I went down to Baja on a surfing/windsurfing road trip with a couple of bros. We were camping at Punta Chivato for a while, and one day I was working on my (Jerry) water starts in a bay there in a stiff offshore breeze. Toward the end of the day I went in and met one of the other guys - The Wookie - and we cracked beers and waited for the third guy, Phil the Void, who never showed up. I vividly remember standing on a hill looking out over the Gulf as it went dark, and not seeing Phil the Void.

    The Wookie and I sort of freaked out when it got full dark. There’s a fly-in hotel at Punta Chivato, so we headed over there to see if we could line up someone with a plane for a search in the morning. We scored someone willing pretty quickly, and we figured the hard work would be in the morning, probably a body recovery. We noticed that there was a lobster dinner special at the hotel so we ordered those up. The Void would have wanted that was how we thought.

    In the morning, we flew out over the Gulf on recon and saw a broken board washed up on a small rocky island nearby, which pretty much convinced us that the Void was toast. Over an hour flight we only saw a couple small fishing boats, no Void. When we landed we were severely bummed. We headed back to the campsite, and the Wookie’s truck was gone. I said that was a good sign, but the Wookie said “Unless the Void died and my truck got stolen on the same day.”

    I was digesting this shitty thought when the Wookie’s truck rolled up to the site with the Void at the wheel. To try and shorten this tale, the Void had been blown out into the Gulf and spent the night out on his windsurf board. In the morning he’d been rescued by a small fishing boat out of Mulege. Now, to the point of this long narrative, the Void said the (only) high points of his night out at sea were when he peed in his wetsuit and he was warm for a few moments. So, now I think of that whenever a discussion of peeing in wetsuits comes up.

    Apologies for the drift. Has anyone here used one of Patagonia’s wetsuits? They seem pretty nice.
    And I guess that I just don't know

  12. #12
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    Feb 2008
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    here and there
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    All pee in the wet suits stories have a happy ending.
    watch out for snakes

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    King Ridge
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    I have been using one of these for early/late season waterskiing in water temps down to around 40. Works great. Enough room for a light layer on the legs, and something a bit heavier on top. Not sure how you can zip/unzip it yourself, though.

    https://us.oneill.com/products/4921-...t=911423307791

    Don't pee in it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Washoe Valley
    Posts
    289
    Being a waterman for decades and using various brands, IMO, Pro Motion wetsuits out of Hood River is a great company with quality stuff made for all water sports. Best of all when you call for advise you get to talk to a real person who knows the products and will steer you in the right direction.
    http://www.wetsuit.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    804
    I’d be looking at a 4/3 Oniell Mutant....detachable hood and won’t break the bank...money left over for 5.0 gloves and boots. It’s a mid tier suit and Oniell warranty was great 2x for me.

    TONS of good options, I run an Xcel, Oniell and now a Patagucci as well. All have their pluses and minuses.

    Another to check out this the direct to consumer brand NEED Essentials...I have a 2mm comp suit and it’s been good. Great price point suit and nice rubber.

    I think 4/3 provides a lot of versatility for ME, def need that 5/4 though!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by powbmps View Post
    I have been using one of these for early/late season waterskiing in water temps down to around 40. Works great. Enough room for a light layer on the legs, and something a bit heavier on top. Not sure how you can zip/unzip it yourself, though.

    https://us.oneill.com/products/4921-...t=911423307791

    Don't pee in it.
    The zipper on the back means you always need help to get in/out

    don't piss in it cuz that is a dry suit

    I prefer dry suits to wetsuits

    drysuits are way mo money
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    8,547
    Have you tried slathering yourself in Aquaseal?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    SFCA
    Posts
    1,266
    Jmars for the truth. The mutant in a 4/3 is what I'd look at. Don't spend high dollar on a suit unless you're surfing a place where it counts. OB, Moss Landing, a few random places scattered over NorCal. It doesn't fucking matter, otherwise. People think they need a good wetsuit, but sometimes a flexy suit is the difference between you making it out or not. Otherwise, just buy what keeps you warm.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quadzilla View Post
    Being a waterman for decades and using various brands, IMO, Pro Motion wetsuits out of Hood River is a great company with quality stuff made for all water sports. Best of all when you call for advise you get to talk to a real person who knows the products and will steer you in the right direction.
    http://www.wetsuit.com
    Promotion is a great smallish company.
    Good fit and sizing.

    And dry suits are way more warm but harder to duck dive if surfing.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    Hunter S. Thompson

  20. #20
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    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conundrum View Post
    Have you tried slathering yourself in Aquaseal?
    actualy AQS also works on neorprene

    so does contact cement
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    160
    Used to live in maine and surfed year round. https://jackssurfboards.com is a great place to buy a suit online and I believe are currently offering 30% off. I really like O'Neill suits and have had good luck with both hyperfreak and psycho series suits and contrary to what was mentioned above, I prefer chest zip over back zip (and so do most people with whom I surfed.) I also have had decent luck with Xcel suits in the past and would not hesitate to buy another. In terms of suit thickness/year round compatibility I actually had 3 suits. 5/4 hooded for the winter months, 4/3 with removable insert for swing months, 3mm for summer. I do know some people who do wear a 4/3 with removable hood insert nearly year round and that is near as close as you can get for a one suit quiver. That will however be toasty on the warm days in the summer and chilly on the cold winter days. I never spent more than 300$ on a suit and have had great luck shopping end of season sales etc. Depending where in Maine I would also maybe suggest giving a gift card to a local Maine shop and have him go in, try on, and buy from them. Blackpoint in Scarborough is an awesome shop and super helpful. Also if he doesn't mind driving to NH coast Cinnamon Rainbows is a great shop and no sales tax. Feel free to pm me with any additional questions.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    DownEast
    Posts
    644
    I live on the water in Maine. Gift card to a local shop is a great idea... support local and he'll want to pick out his own suit and try it on. He'll eventually want two suits here as water temps are coldest in Spring (April 38*) and warmest in the Fall (September 58*) so think in terms of a Summer/Fall 4/3 suit and then a Winter/Spring 5/4 suit with 5mm hood, gloves, and booties. Ocean temp today is 50*.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    780
    Quote Originally Posted by singlecross View Post
    I live on the water in Maine. Gift card to a local shop is a great idea... support local and he'll want to pick out his own suit and try it on. He'll eventually want two suits here as water temps are coldest in Spring (April 38*) and warmest in the Fall (September 58*) so think in terms of a Summer/Fall 4/3 suit and then a Winter/Spring 5/4 suit with 5mm hood, gloves, and booties. Ocean temp today is 50*.
    Can you recommend a shop near Brunswick? He's at Bowdoin College, but is living in Lisbon for the summer. I guess any good shop around that general area, or within an hour or so. I'm pretty much unfamiliar, but have been in the ski shops in Freeport area.

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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    DownEast
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    644
    Quote Originally Posted by tango uniform View Post
    Can you recommend a shop near Brunswick? I guess any good shop around that general area, or within an hour or so.
    Blackpoint in Scarborough as mentioned above.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    780
    Quote Originally Posted by singlecross View Post
    Blackpoint in Scarborough as mentioned above.
    Sorry, missed that.
    I'll call them today.
    Thanks man.

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