Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Shoot the breeze and stay in the loop with the unhinged and unhooked word on the street.
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Rossall
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Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by Rossall »

As Winter approaches we will undoubtedly shortly be hit with the same old Winter Wetsuit reviews that appear year in year out in just about all the kitesurf magazines.

I don’t know about you but other than filling up the magazine with pages of glossy photo’s and generally beefing up the content these “Reviews” serve absolutely no purpose what so ever and are mealy a repeat of the information that appears on the websites of the wetsuit companies. Not ever do we get a hint on comfort, warmth, ease of getting on/off, water flush and penetration, durability, cost, sizing etc etc.

I am about to purchase a new winter suit for use in the Netherlands so armed with previous experience from countless and pointless windsurf/kitesurf mag suit reviews over the years I thought I would hunt out the surf mags instead. Purchased 2 and guess apart from some very nice photo’s of large breasted girls in suits, which was very nice BTW, what I found was the same old crappy reviews as the kitesurf mags !!!!! no real info to plan my purchase on. Now I now everyone will say get to the shop and try it on but that’s great and most suits will be very effective and warm in the confines of your local shop but what really counts is when you get in the water. Must admit over the years I have had many suits which do not live up to the manufacturers technical specifications and claims.

Any thoughts or even independent reviews from the forum users ???


phil

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glyn
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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by glyn »

Rossall wrote:
Any thoughts or even independent reviews from the forum users ???



'bout as much chance of getting an 'independent' review of a kite or a board mate :evil:

FWIW, I find that the most important bits of winter rubberwear are gloves boots and hat, get those right and mostly I am happy, except on bad days we don't spend as much time in the water as (say) surfers so the thermal insulation is less important than the resistance to flushing.

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by jtkiter »

Phil i totally agree!! all the manafactures have enough money to allow test suits for shops, importers and so on so i recon Rou from iksurf should do a wetsuit article!

on the desicion front i have put on a few in the past few weeks.. the likes of quick, ion, oniel, xcel.. and the one that stood out the most to me is the ION Strike series 5/5 semi dry.. it felt like wearing a duvet, so soft inside, nice and spongy feel.. it was super warm and cosy. I am going for one of these cause the quality just felt way better than any wetsuit i have tried.. plus it was only £210 in edgewatersports so not bad price really...

I was also thinking mystic cause of the new lenten doo dah.. but going on the quality of my last harness and the fact everyones are breaking this year im going to stear clear, plus it just doesnt look as technical as the ION one... hope that helps

how far to the coast
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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by how far to the coast »

British made Spartan wetsuits all the way, I bought the Reflex last winter. I'd previously used Neil Pryde wetsuits as i came from a windsurfing background, but the new spartan gear is far better than any suit ive ever used. My friends used to always rave about spartan back in the 90's but i always stuck with neil pryde. I think the Reflex is 6mm on the body & 5mm on the legs & arms & it comes with a nice furry silver lining which reflects the heat back onto your body. This coupled with a nice thermal vest will keep you well toasty in the depths of winter.
All that for less than £200 - Bargain!!

http://www.spartanwetsuits.com/products/reflex.php

skyte
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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by skyte »

I think your best bet is to find out about the materials used and then the construction...

SUper Stretch Neoprenes will be more likely to fit your shape!

Fluid Weld seams help keep water flushes to a minimum and I think they are more durable!

Many wetsuits come out of the same factories and probably use the same materials?

Over the years, I have had Neil Pryde, O'Neill PsychoII and Mystic wetsuits...
Neil Pryde were by far the warmest and kept me dryest but they were mostly smooth skin which was prone to tears and holes.
O'Neill were the comfiest but not the warmest and I am always soaked to the bone after a session.
Mystic were the lest comfy, flushed the most, but had good durability and kept me warm for the first winter!

I really want a semi dry for the winter I think because I think keeping the water out as much as possible helps keeps you warmer for longer!

One wetsuit I saw in a shop in Newquay that looked good was the Animal 5x4x3 wetsuit... stretchy, fluid seams, fleecey lining! £249 :-(

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by CKC »

Approaching my 7th winter on the water, and have kited through all 6 previous winters regardless of how cold they got.

I've had 3 good (at least I was told they were :roll: ) winter suits from big name brands and have been disappointed with all of them, either build quality, fit or warmth or all three. Worst one was a Mystic suit that fell apart in the first week of use, got a warranty replacement and within a month the arm had pulled off and the seams came unstuck. No stitching of panels, they were just glued together (still got it if anyone from Mystic reads this.....)

Anyways, my current suit is a C-Skins Wired and it's in a different league. Over the head front zip means no more problems reaching a zip on your back, the whole neck piece tightens and minimises flushing (I've taken hard fast head-first slams and you only then do you get a small bit of water in), build quality is the best I've seen and materials look and feel like they'll last ages. Most importantly, it's ultra-warm, fits me like a glove and doesn't feel like you're wearing a big bulky suit. No problems getting it on and off, and doesn't feel like you're going to rip it to pieces if you pull it hard. Only thing, buy some velcro straps for the ankles but all my old suits have the same problem letting in water round the ankles.

Think I paid around £220 for mine this time last year and chose it over an Oneil Psycho 2 and Mutant.

I pay for all my kit out of my own pocket and don't have any ties with any shop.

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by Safety_Crab »

Ive been kitesurfing through the winter for ten years now and have recently upgraded to the chinese made 'banana bite' wetsuit. Really flexible seams (theyve been blind stitched). The material is top notch, exactly the same neoprene used in their pencil cases (top seller). They're definately at the low budget end of the market but thats a good thing right! I can also recommend the boots, they have a really nice lightweight feel.

I dont have any direct ties with the shop but I do have a nectar card.

SC

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by |Sam| »

check out the new windfreak series that oneill are releasing. i would avoid any smoothskin as its really inflexable and rips when kiting. personally i think the kiting brands suits are shit like mystic ion etc they fall apart.
its personal prefrence you can have an amazing suit but if its too big it will be rubbish and flush you. go try and load on

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by David »

xcel have been good for me, Snugg before that! Snugg will be ood for getting the right cut for your middle aged spread Phil!

T

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Rossall
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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by Rossall »

One I liked was the Oneil Mutant but I still get water flush in through the neck which seems to funnel into the neck area, C-Skins is probably the best made suit i have seen but i tried on the front zip version (in a shop) and found it hard work to get in and out of, whats this new windfreak oneil coming out like ????

phil

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by TonyP »

interesting this coming up on here today. i just had arrive a Gul Vortext 6/5/4 fits very good went for a ML from there size chart. most places were selling for around the £199 mark, but found one on ebay for £159. comes with hood. yet to test it in water yet though...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... K:MEWAX:IT
Last edited by TonyP on Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by Safety_Crab »

Perhaps I should share some wetsuit fix tips if you're interested.

In my spares bag I always carry:

Tube of blackwitch to glue seams together in a jiffy. Dry the area over your car heater for a few minutes, rub with towel.

Thick polyester thread and a bent needle to re-do the stitching afterwards. Stitch from the inside through the middle of the neoprene and back out, this gives a totally clean repair.

Ive blown the seams around the shoulders in nearly every wetsuit ive had, especially with smooth skinned wetsuit where rips dont stop. Carrying these tools, and knowing how to stitch well will get you back into the cold double quick. Although probably voids the warranty !

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by PGH »

just this week have taken the plunge and ordered a 5-4 snugg. will let you know how it shapes up to previous suits.

i have to say i have had a mystic DL 5-3 suit for 4 winters and its done really well...the fit was spot on, warmth was good except on the arms were i would feel the cold after a couple of hours in dec/jan...this is why i have gone for a 5-4 in the snugg rather than the 5-4-3 as the norm'
i used to layer up with a thermal hoodie under the mystic plus a long sleeve rashie but malcohm from snugg reckons with the thermal lining and 5-4 i should be toastie without any under layers..just maybe a gimp hood for super cold days

i've had gul suits before that...crap...fall to bits in a season
also still have a neil pryde ( npx ??) which was ok for a summer suit 4-3.

i also have a ion strike 4-3 which is supposed to do till autumm...na it wont ..i notice i feel the wind through this suit but other than that it fits lovely and doesnt let much water in either...but standing on the beach i can feel the chill.

i looked at the xcel 5-4 as a new suit but it was advertised as £330...so for £300 i can have a custom suit from snugg.....and you can choose the colour scheme as well.. :wink:

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by cyberdog1899 »

It doesn't matter how many winters you've done. It does matter on which days you actually go out. Amazes me how many posts I see raving 'bout them 'toasty wetsuits' and when it comes to decent NE and windchill substantialy below zero You only see 3-4 poeple out for 1hr (that's weekend) and they're not really looking toasty. Of course you're toasty when you stay at home :lol: .
It's not the wetsuit that makes you warm - it's the frame of mind - 'let's f***ing have it'. Also flask with tea and shouting 'f**k summer' out loud helps when getting changed after.

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Re: Magazine Wetsuit Reviews

Post by PGH »

I get out as often and as much as i can and never have i not bothered "cause its cold" so i can vouch for my 4 winters in a suit in all conditions...i'll admit i'm a southern softie and not a hardened NE coast north sea rider but the waters round my way still get pretty dam cold and with the wind chill a good warm suit is paramount..
the worst session i ever had was when i couldnt get my lines off the pigtails as my fingers were numb......but my wetsuit was "toastie" :lol: :lol:

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