front entry wetsuits

Shoot the breeze and stay in the loop with the unhinged and unhooked word on the street.
Posts: 828
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:53 pm

Are front entry wetsuits a real hassle to get in/out... they look it...

after a new winter suit and about 90% of them are now front entry. Since when were decent wetsuits all around £220 to £350 :shock:

Looking for a decent 5/4mm or 5mm back zip wetsuit for around £150. The Ion element looks fairly good ? Not sure a 5/3mm is going to cut it any more after the last UK winter
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:22 pm
Location: A Poole Harbour Escape :)

Why don't you get a mystic storm wind beater top. I got one and certainly helps on those bitter days to keep toasty. I wore it over my summer shorty today and was toasty
Posts: 429
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:40 pm
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Location: West Sussex

I went wetsuit shopping at the weekend, and agred most suits were front entry. That seams to be the trend at the moment.

Tried one on and can't get in to the dame thing due to the size if my shoulders!

Went for a 5/3 C-Skins back zipped suit instead. Have been thinking about getting a storm top if I need one at a later date, but never had an issue with being cold in my last 5/3 suit, especially once I had my thermal rashie on!
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 4:56 pm

Front entry wetsuits are warmer because water leakage is reduced. Thus there are more front zip suits produced. But they can be a pain to get in/out.
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Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 11:46 pm
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Location: East Sussex

Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 1:06 pm
Antispam: No
Location: Tunbridge Wells

yes - had one for about a year and still struggle. In the early days got stuck a few times and had to ask for help!!!
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:13 pm

getting in and out can be a struggle, particularly getting out, but it's certainly not impossible and they're so much warmer and more comfortable.
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 10:01 pm
Location: Hillhead: where's it's happening

I cant stand top zip I tried a few I can't get in two of them!!

Bought a Ion semi dry I hope this stupid trend passes!! it's clearly for stick thin people! :lol: not normal people wet suit makers pay attention!
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: Brighton

On a side note - someone gave me a tip the other day when I was hopping about trying to get in my suit looking like a twit.
The tip was to put plastic bags on your feet while putting the suit on - it works a treat - my feet glided in so much easier! - doesn't make the rest of it any easier - but thought I'd share....
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:02 pm

I have the Ion Onyx suits which is a front zip

Last winter i got away with a 5/3 all winter with no thermals, i find them alot more comfortable and alot warmer

As for them only being for thin people, i am over 100kg 6'3 with broad shoulder and i actually find them easier to put on than back zip suits, and since going to front zip i will never go back to normal suits
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:20 pm

Skip the ions, have had a few and not great. Just bought an oneil pshyco zen zip (more than 150 i know) but makes similarly priced ions look like antiques!

Oneil aren't doing smooth skin now either as they reckon their neoprene is no so good there is no need, so no more fin cuts.

Two of my mates have made the same switch to different oneil sand have the same opinion, definitely worth looking at them.
Posts: 216
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:05 am
Location: Team F-One UK - Fraserburgh

If you intend kiting over the winter then it is not worth skimping on a wetsuit. I've been surfing over 20 years and the best bit of advice I ever got was to buy a shi**y board and a good wetsuit. Get a well fitting wetsuit from a reputable manufacturer and you won't go wrong. The suits I've seen from 'kite related' brands have been pretty poor. A real false economy. If you hunt about you will find a bargain from a reputable company. I'll be wearing this all winter - ... fsw/black/
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 7:48 pm
Location: Surrey

+1, Surfing 30 years. Buy a wetsuit made for surfers, the research and development that has been put into surfers wetsuits over the decades is phenomenal! They are lighter, stretchier, flex in all the right places, warmer, don't chaff holes into your neck and arms and last a good 3-5 years depending how often they are used and looked after!
Oneill, Ripcurl and Billabong are the big players, money well spent!
Oneill for me though.....

Posts: 8964
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Big-Blue-Beach, Newgale, Pembrokeshire.

I'll add my approval to those two comments, I have always bought top of range surf suits and prefer top entry. I wouldn't say i'm stick thin and getting in-and-out of a suit has always been a yoga session for me. My Billabong 3/2 summer suit is very easy to get into compared to the 5/4/3 Xcel but isn't that about material thickness ?

I also use an O'neil Psycho 4/3 back zip with a wind top if it's cold, it doesn't flush but I prefer the top entry.

Cold for me is under ten degrees.
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:53 pm
Location: crystal palace, london

hi all ....
gotta agree with the go for a good name surf orientated suit ..I tried using one of my scuba suits and felt too restricted ....I have an original o'neill psycho 3.2 that I use all the time but I have natural insulation and use boots and thin gloves when the temp drops .....iv'e been looking around at suits and there are good deals to be had online if you know what size you want ..
I was looking at psycho 4.3's the other day for £130 which I think aint bad ....mine is years old and still ok ....the tip about the plastic bags is a good one when I used to dive using wetsuits and was putting on a damp suit I used petrol station gloves as well to help get the suit on and it helped with putting on wet gloves..
the front entry suits aren't for everyone I prefer the back zip but I am a pie eater and have wide shoulders ....
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