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Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: Oeste858] #2884496
12/07/18 07:09 PM
12/07/18 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Oeste858
Originally Posted By: jkb

If you're ok with spending a little more money, try a Japanese suit. You can get away with a 3/2 in 57/58 degree water no problem. Add booties and a hood on the coldest days and you'll be able to keep the 4/3 in the closet.

What did you go with? Axxe? BeWet? last winter, I spent more than I ever had on a RC Flashbomb+, and was shocked at how much better it is than any suit I had before: flexible, warm, comfy, dries fast. Now that I am spoiled, I think a custom Axxe might be the next step. Curious to hear any recommendations.


Same. I love my FB+. But it's a second hand suit and the previous owner was a gorilla that stretched the seams to the breaking point. Leaks galore. I might pick one up on clearance now that they've been discontinued.

I tried on an Isurus Evolve yesterday. It was super stretchy and the fit was good. But I was nervous about the lack of a fluffy liner. That and I didn't like the slight restriction on the left shoulder from the chest zip flap... Something I don't experience on my FB+ or Ebomb CZ.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2884516
12/07/18 07:53 PM
12/07/18 07:53 PM
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Anyone try either Vissla's 4/3 High Seas or North Seas? My best hook-up (50% off) right now only carries Vissla and Excel. I had an Xecl 4/3 Drylock TDC two years ago that was an itchy brick and the smooth skin would get tears if anything sharper than marshmallow touched it, so I'm not too fired up on Xcel.

I have Vissla's 7-Seas (3/2mm) from last year. It's fine for the price-point, but takes awhile to dry.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2884534
12/07/18 08:19 PM
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I have a Vissla 4/3 not sure if it's the High Seas or North Seas. I bought it when I was I was out in Southern California during a particularly cold X-Mas and I found it on sale. Next time I'm out there I'll take a look at what model it is.

I would say it's a much bulkier and less flexible suit than than my 4/3 Xcel Drylock. Also tigher across the chest. It's fine for the $200 or whatever I paid for it, but I wouldn't buy one to use all the time.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2884550
12/07/18 08:48 PM
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Yeah, I've got the High Seas. Surprisingly nice for it's price but it doesn't feel like it'll last that long.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2884559
12/07/18 09:11 PM
12/07/18 09:11 PM
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Do you have the 3/2 or the 4/3 High Seas? Fairly easy to get on? I haven't worn a zip free suit since one of O'neill's first offerings 10+ years ago and I remember some ouchy shoulder contorting getting that thing on and off.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2884571
12/07/18 09:30 PM
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I have the 3/2. The zip free entry was fine for my shoulders but a little tight to sneak my head under the first few times. Way easier to get into than my last zip free which was a hooded rip curl from probably 10 years ago.
For whatever it's worth, I have found my new Vissla 3/2 to be similarly warm to my two year old O'neill 4/3 psychotech. I'm confident that when new my O'neill was warmer but it's not new anymore.
Overall, I think the Vissla's are a good value, especially if you have a hookup.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2884619
12/07/18 10:56 PM
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^ cool, thanks.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2885231
12/09/18 10:51 PM
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I bought the Isurus 3/2, and it is good. Super flexible and warm af. Almost as warm as a regular 4/3. I'll wait and see how well it goes when we get a proper upwelling come February or March. But, so far I'm understanding why a lot of people swear by these Japanese neoprene suits.

By the way, considering how warm I was today in the 3/2 I have no doubt that I could've comfortably worn the 2mil with a few degrees left to spare. My local was around 60/61 today.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: ChaseTMP] #2885282
12/10/18 03:10 AM
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I have a North Seas 3/2. Plenty warm for San Diego. Remember a rare morning when the water dropped to 55. Had an ice cream headache and cold toes... but body still warm. Gary from New Hampshire was probably in his 5/4 with booties and a hood riding his popout.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2885304
12/10/18 05:57 AM
12/10/18 05:57 AM
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@ChaseTMP- I had a Vissla 7Seas 3/2 about 3 yrs ago, and thought it was great, especially for $200. So, last xmas I got a North Seas 4/3 (in the Smoothy material). While it was really warm, the rubber was stiff, it was way too tight (same LT size as the 3/2), and it was so hard to get into, I kept tearing the smoothy with my finger when pulling it over my head (which is not covered under warranty). Maybe I got a lemon, or I should've sized up to an XL for the thicker rubber, but I was really disappointed by what was supposed to be Vissla's premium model suit. I won't be looking forward to the few weeks this winter when I'll want to wear it for warmth.

This was my first 4/3... do most people take the same size as their 3/2 or size up?

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2885305
12/10/18 06:36 AM
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After hearing so much about Japanese suits, I decided to bite the bullet and order a custom Cyber 3/2 wetsuit. I really wanted to like this thing (especially since I paid almost $600 for it) but so far I'm afraid it has not lived up to the hype at all for me.

To be fair, I haven't gotten through a full winter with the thing yet, so I can't render a final verdict yet, but here's where I'm at so far:

The good
========
1) It is awesome to have a custom sized wetsuit for me. Off the rack suits have always had fit issues for me. Always either too tight in certain areas or too loose in other areas. Having a suit made to my exact measurements was immediately noticeable the first time I put it on. I do love that aspect.

2) The quality of the construction is clearly superior to the high end Rip Curl wetsuits I'm used to. It's obvious from just looking at the stitching and seams and overall construction. When compared side by side, the Rip Curl clearly seems mass produced, and in contrast, it clearly looks like someone with skill actually spent some time carefully assembling the Cyber suit. Of course only time will tell whether that translates to better durability, or if it's just a superficial thing.

3) The warmth is very comparable to the Rip Curl Flashbomb+ suits I'm used to. It hasn't been that cold in San Diego this year yet, but clearly there are no leaks and the suit feels plenty warm so far.

The bad
=======
1) The suit is thicker than top of the line Rip Curl or O'Neill suits. I feel like over the last decade or so, major manufacturers have gotten pretty high tech and 3/2 is no longer an actual measurement of millimeters, but rather a rating. But with this thing, it actually feels like 3mm and 2mm. So even though the neoprene is fairly flexible, it just feels a bit less stretchy due to thickness. So far, it doesn't seem like this extra thickness has made it noticeably warmer than the 3/2 Rip Curl FB+ suits that feel so much thinner. But again, water hasn't gotten that cold yet this year. To be fair, I should wait to see when it gets really cold. Maybe it will be noticeably warmer at that point.

2) The construction of the suit makes it very stiff in the shoulders. I ordered the latest/greatest entry system from Cyber which is a chest zip. But the way this thing is constructed, there are literally 3 layers of neoprene overlapping at different angles over my shoulders. That is very noticeable. I won't say that it's prevented me from catching certain waves or anything, but on a long day with a lot of paddling, I feel like my arms got tired and worn out noticeably sooner. Just raising your arms on the beach, you can clearly feel the resistance.

3) Related to the above, the neck is very stiff. Again, multiple layers creating lots of pressure around my neck. Noticeably harder to turn your head left and right quickly to check for other surfers before dropping in on someone :-) I mean it's pretty crazy, I actually feel I'm wearing one of those soft neck collars at times. Like if I took and awkward wipeout, this suit might actually prevent me from getting whiplash -- so maybe this should be listed as a good thing...

4) The chaffing is really bad. I can only compare to top of the line Rip Curl suits that are super thin and flexible. But I've never had chaffing like this before when breaking in a new suit. The neck cuff is not smooth like the Rip Curls, it's just standard neoprene and combined with the neck and shoulder stiffness, really starts to cause some discomfort after just a short amount of time. As bad as the neck it, the armpits are even worse for me. Maybe this thing is designed to be actually worn with a rash guard? I guess I can try that next. But so far this is the worst thing about the suit and it prevents me from wearing the thing on a daily basis. After a session or two, my neck and armpits are so raw that I have to switch it up and ride a different suit.

The end result is that I've already decided this will have to be my backup wetsuit (I've never had a backup wetsuit before). So far I just can't wear it on a daily basis. So I'm pretty bummed about that. But I'll keep an open mind and see how things evolve over the rest of the winter as the water temps drop. And maybe with a rash guard.

After being disappointed with the Cyber suit, I ended up picking up a new 3/2 Rip Curl Flashbomb zip free for $350 and so far that thing seems like a steal in comparison. It's on a completely different level when it comes to flexibility and there is absolutely no chaffing. I can imagine when the water gets cold in Feb/March, this thing might no live up to the more expensive flashbomb plus wetsuits I have worn in the winter in the past. But so far, it honestly doesn't feel any different in warmth to the Cyber -- and it's almost half the price.

Now I'm curious about how a 4/3 Rip Curl Flashbomb zip free would compare to the Cyber. It's way cheaper, and I can't possibly imagine it would be an less flexible than the Cyber... Presumably it should compare favorably to the 3/2 cyber suit for warmth right? Oh well, maybe try that next winter.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: delmartian] #2885396
12/10/18 04:49 PM
12/10/18 04:49 PM
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Sorry to hear about the Cyber. I hate to hear someone is dissapointed after recommending something like this. Your criticisms are definitely fair. The suit feels like a true 3/2 as opposed one of the newer comparable suits that feel mostly like 2mm. I think Cyber carries the 3mm from the chest all the way down through the top of the legs like the way suits used to be constructed. It's not as flexible as the latest suits out in the US market, but I don't personally find them restrictive. I think using the rubber that they do helps with Cybers long term durability.

The double neck gasket was something I had to get used to at first, but I don't even notice it now. I've found that it helps a lot with neck flushing. Mine doesn't sound like it was as tight as yours to begin with however.

Sucks to hear about the rashes. I never had this problem with these suits, although I've had it with other brands for no explainable reason.

I think you can at least fix the neck issue. I would contact Steve and let him know your issue. Maybe he can loosen it up for you a tad. His wife does alterations on the suits.


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Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: jkb] #2885440
12/10/18 05:36 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. The neck fit is strange. It does feel tighter than the off-the-rack rip curls I'm used to, but I do get a bit more flushing with the Cyber than with the rip curls. I think it has to do with the lining on the neck cuff of the rip curl. It's like a super smooth, yet super tacky substance. Kinda reminds me of the rubber found on the hands of football receiver gloves. Your skin kinda just moves with the suit so I don't experience chaffing and the extra tackiness does an amazing job of preventing flushes even though it's not terribly tight.

So the bottom line is that I'd be hesitant to loosen the neck, for fear that I'd experience more flushing.

But I should back up and point out that the Rip Curls have a pretty big problem too -- I've never had one last me more than a year. If I buy a new one in the fall, by the time summer comes around the silicon seam sealing stuff is cracking all over the place and the seams have numerous leaks (and I always rinse with fresh water after surfing and hang them to dry in my garage in the shade). Which is fine as I'm coming into summer and the water has warmed up, but the wetsuit is basically useless by that point for winter conditions. Having leaky seams dramatically reduces the warmth on these things. I've had some luck with returning them under warranty at that point for a new one or having rip curl try to repair the seams -- but it's kinda hit or miss with that.

As I've come to understand it, spending big money to buy the top of the line suits from major manufacturers doesn't buy you any additional longevity. What you are really paying for, is extra flexibility at the cost of reduced longevity (even compared to cheaper suits sold by the same company).

But the flexibility is pretty darn amazing. With my new flashbomb 3/2 zip free from this year they seemed to have updated the construction a bit and there is literally no restriction of movement. It's basically like trunking it. I'm just not sure it will be enough warmth to get me through Feb/March in San Diego. But we'll see I guess.

Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: delmartian] #2885470
12/10/18 06:10 PM
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It might be that the neck gasket is too short. If they are able to lengthen that part or maybe move up the velcro and buttons used to attach the neck gasket, maybe it will feel less restrictive. Or do you think it's the outer chest zip?


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Re: The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread [Re: silentbutdeadly] #2885570
12/10/18 07:59 PM
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I feel like it's the overall design of the chest zip on this model. So many layers of neoprene are involved in the closure. That isn't the case for chest zip models by many other manufacturers. The fit and lengths feel right as far as I can tell. They probably just need to re-think the design a bit.

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