Best bargain brand wetsuit?

jkb

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Feb 22, 2005
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that’s like 600 with tax for st u take a leak in
No guarantees with any wetsuit. There will be some bad ones for sure. I've had brand new suits leak from just about every wetsuit company.

Also, it's not a "bargain" wetsuit (which is what this thread is supposed to be about), so the comparison would be more appropriate in a different thread. But when you compare it to a premium suit, like a high end Rip Curl or Oneill, it's close in price........and I would hands down rather own the Cyber personally for the durability alone.

I was comfortable in a 3/2 Cyber in San Diego all but 2 days in winter. All dawn patrol. Last year here in Santa Cruz, I wore the 4/3 from Dec-May. I wore the 3/2 the rest of the time.
 

jkb

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Feb 22, 2005
7,792
2,521
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Central California
no doubt those suits are quality based on what I'm hearing.

but for the price I could have three wetsuits to rotate instead of one.
No doubt. I always felt that was pretty wasteful though.

When you factor in the cost of how much longer the suit lasts compared to a throw away Xcel, it comes out pretty close.

What I do instead is I have a 4/3 a 3/2 and a 2mm. If I'm surfing twice in a day, I'll wear the 4/3 in the morning and the 3/2 in the afternoon. I've done pretty well this way. The minimum one of these suits has lasted me is 3 seasons. The max has been 5, although I should have cut the cord at 4.
 

silentbutdeadly

Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
25,583
4,399
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Tower 13
nice. that's impressive. as said on earlier threads, once I get that dreaded crotch leak it's over. And I fear that happening with a 600 dollar suit
 

casa_mugrienta

Duke status
Apr 13, 2008
28,914
4,322
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Petak Island
nice. that's impressive. as said on earlier threads, once I get that dreaded crotch leak it's over. And I fear that happening with a 600 dollar suit
Remember, your $600 suit wouldl be custom fit.

Once size fits all = leaks and degradation of neoprene in high stress areas that don't actually fit like the should.
 

casa_mugrienta

Duke status
Apr 13, 2008
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so r new suits so bad that we need 4/3’s n chit?
Yes.

Low-end neoprene from Yamomoto, thinner, weaker neoprenes for flexibility.
No smoothskin (smoothskin makes a suit warmer - actual scientific research on this)

It's a moneymaking scheme so everybody needs to own two (crappy) suits, a 3/2 and a 4/3.
 
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JBerry

Billy Hamilton status
Dec 8, 2017
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Whatever is on super sale on Black Friday thru the slut companies.
Picked up a decent 3/2 QS for about 80$ last buy.
 
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daave

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 28, 2002
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Yes.

Low-end neoprene from Yamomoto, thinner, weaker neoprenes for flexibility.
No smoothskin (smoothskin makes a suit warmer - actual scientific research on this)

It's a moneymaking scheme so everybody needs to own two (crappy) suits, a 3/2 and a 4/3.
Had a random conversation years ago with an ex big-name wetsuit guy. He basically said wetsuits today aren't warm because the numbers are all bullshit. He said when the really stretchy suits started coming out surfers loved it - and it basically became a race to get the stretchiest feeling suit. The result was they all just made them thinner and less substantial. The stitches and glue have nothing to really bind to and they end up leaking. fast.

If you get to check out a real Japanese suit - they generally feel thicker and the rubber is denser (or something like that). I think this the actual 'mm' measurement (the way its supposed to be) and combined with better quality materials, you get a much warmer suit. The seams also stay watertight, with just stitches and glue, no bullshit tape. They'll use it occasionally in high wear areas but that's about it.

That being said, I don't think it's necessary for every suit. My cyber is definitely my best suit but the normal ones still work pretty well for warmer temps (55+). I also wish they would streamline the neck system a bit. Most Japanese brands have very watertight neck systems, but they're a little bulky.
 
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casa_mugrienta

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Had a random conversation years ago with an ex big-name wetsuit guy. He basically said wetsuits today aren't warm because the numbers are all bullshit. He said when the really stretchy suits started coming out surfers loved it - and it basically became a race to get the stretchiest feeling suit. The result was they all just made them thinner and less substantial. The stitches and glue have nothing to really bind to and they end up leaking. fast.
This is correct.

I remember Hurley had a superstretch "3/2" on the market not too long ago that was one step above a rashguard. I remember picking it up and trying it on in a shop (super comfy) and scratching my head..."Are they seriously claiming this is a 3/2!?" That winter I saw so many people shivering in that suit.

If you get to check out a real Japanese suit - they generally feel thicker and the rubber is denser (or something like that). I think this the actual 'mm' measurement (the way its supposed to be) and combined with better quality materials, you get a much warmer suit. The seams also stay watertight, with just stitches and glue, no bullshit tape. They'll use it occasionally in high wear areas but that's about it.
With Japanese suits the fact the neoprene is actually the needed thickness is one of the reasons why they are so warm. Somehow the major brands were able to push a "less neoprene is more" marketing campaign. I think it created a false perception you can't have a neoprene that is normal thickness AND still has great flex.

That being said, I don't think it's necessary for every suit. My cyber is definitely my best suit but the normal ones still work pretty well for warmer temps (55+).
I agree. If you don't surf a lot and/or do short sessions your big brand suit is probably going to last you a winter or two no problem.

On the other hand if you surf a lot in the winter and do long sessions the big brand suit that was fine in November is going to have you shivering by the time the water temps are coldest around here (March/April). Good luck making it through those long period lulls or NW windswell upwellings.

And the QC on some of the big brands just plain sucks.
 
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sdsrfr

Nep status
Jul 13, 2020
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I remember Hurley had a superstretch "3/2" on the market not too long ago that was one step above a rashguard. I remember picking it up and trying it on in a shop (super comfy) and scratching my head..."Are they seriously claiming this is a 3/2!?" That winter I saw so many people shivering in that suit.
these were super comfy suits but totally a warmth grade lower than advertised. The 202 was marketed as a 3/2 but really just a nice 2mm. No surprise, the 303 wore like a nice 3/2. my best clearance wetsuit score but rippff @ msrp

after 2 seasons they are like a mesh screen in the high stretch areas.
 

ReForest

OTF status
Oct 7, 2020
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I have a 4/3 billabong furnace that is super stretchy and not very think thats warm. Not sure how it would fair against a cyber, but i wasnt cold last winter unless the offshores were howling pretty strong.
 

casa_mugrienta

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Apr 13, 2008
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I have a 4/3 billabong furnace that is super stretchy and not very think thats warm. Not sure how it would fair against a cyber, but i wasnt cold last winter unless the offshores were howling pretty strong.
There's no reason anyone where you surf should be cold in winter in 4/3. In fact most winter days they should be cooking.

Also, I looked at Billabong suits last season, or maybe it was the season before, and out of all the big brand suits they looked like the best, at least when it came to construction, an If I'm not mistaken the rubber seemed a little thicker than others. This surprised me. I actually thought about trying one but they don;t have a size that fits me.
 
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sdsrfr

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I prefer to cook.

I used to 3/2 year round. Got older and liked the sensation of surfing in a jacuzzi.

i found I was warmer surfing in SF than in San Diego and upped my mildly chill water wetsuit thickness.

I can stay out longer, too.

I think the perfect SD wetsuit setup is a 2mm SS and a flexible/comp 4/3.