Done with Xcel. Need a new warm hooded 5/4

rgruber

Michael Peterson status
May 30, 2004
3,102
426
83
I actually started wearing my 2015 5/4 Drylock again and it is less leaky in the crotch that the one I bought in 2020. Unfortunatley the wrists and ankles are kinda shredded and it has a strange leak somewhere in the chest but all in all warmer than sitting in cold water and literally freezing my balls off.
 

bigglesworth

Legend (inyourownmind)
Mar 8, 2017
376
250
63
yeah, there is a design flaw whereupon the locking part of the wrist mechanism just splits upon completely.

I went to a wetsuit repair workshop in Oregon recently and the guy there mentioned that he sees this an all the xcels
 

johnson7

Nep status
Sep 29, 2016
553
319
63
I had one session in my Oneill psycho tech 5/4, best suit I've ever worn, hands down. The TB3 is so stretchy, and it dries really fast, it does seem like the new 5/4's are about as warm as the old 4/3's, but way more flexible. I know they are spendy, but I think I'll just put it into the annual surf budget from now on. For years I didn't realize how much needless suffering I spent being cold, hoods, and booties are game changers!
 

rgruber

Michael Peterson status
May 30, 2004
3,102
426
83
On a 5 mil you are always wearing with boots and gloves. There's got to be a way to better design how they work. Once I put on one of my 7 mil mittens, rolling down the sleeve properly over the second wrist is always a pain.
 
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Reactions: ehiunno
Mar 1, 2010
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I had one session in my Oneill psycho tech 5/4, best suit I've ever worn, hands down. The TB3 is so stretchy, and it dries really fast, it does seem like the new 5/4's are about as warm as the old 4/3's, but way more flexible. I know they are spendy, but I think I'll just put it into the annual surf budget from now on. For years I didn't realize how much needless suffering I spent being cold, hoods, and booties are game changers!
Definitely not as warm as other 5/4s and with 5.5 of rubber makes me shake my head a bit. regardless i surfed in sub 40 degree water this past week and was in for about 2 hrs and i don't have any fat on me. there was very little wind though
 

rgruber

Michael Peterson status
May 30, 2004
3,102
426
83
A little disappointing to hear about the warmth since the suit sounds pretty great otherwise.

Definitely not as warm as other 5/4s and with 5.5 of rubber makes me shake my head a bit. regardless i surfed in sub 40 degree water this past week and was in for about 2 hrs and i don't have any fat on me. there was very little wind though
 

billypilgrim

OTF status
Apr 19, 2017
295
267
63
On a 5 mil you are always wearing with boots and gloves. There's got to be a way to better design how they work. Once I put on one of my 7 mil mittens, rolling down the sleeve properly over the second wrist is always a pain.
I've been putting my gloves on before getting fully suited and found it works well. I get a good wrist seal by wrapping a grocery bag around my hand, putting one arm of the suit on, and then using the grocery bag again for the second. For me it is easier then messing with the sleeves in gloves.
 
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Reactions: JeffRSpicoli
Dec 27, 2019
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I'm halfway through the second season on my sale-stock Isurus 5/4 Ti (yamamama 39, smooth skin on the back only)

I wont lie and say I haven't been cold this season, but I do think the suit is still holding up well. I've got a few tears in the inside taping that I've fixed but no major leaks. This is my second winter in NY and it's MUCH colder than last year. I've had some long sessions on really cold days when others called it quits early, but I can also be stubborn about getting out of the water lol.

At full price, I will admit it might be hard to justify unless you can really get 3 seasons out of it. My guess right now is that I could, but I'm not sure if it's worth risking needing a new suit in Feb next year if wetsuits are all selling out again.
 
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Reactions: jkb, Aruka and sh3
Jan 14, 2015
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I had one session in my Oneill psycho tech 5/4, best suit I've ever worn, hands down. The TB3 is so stretchy, and it dries really fast, it does seem like the new 5/4's are about as warm as the old 4/3's, but way more flexible. I know they are spendy, but I think I'll just put it into the annual surf budget from now on. For years I didn't realize how much needless suffering I spent being cold, hoods, and booties are game changers!
I used to be a rip curl guy but bought an Oneil 5/4 psycho tech this year and I agree, it's the best suit I've ever owned. Surfed this weekend in 38 water and 32 air for 2 hours and I was fine.
 
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Northern_Shores

Michael Peterson status
Mar 30, 2009
2,501
826
113
So you're cheap. You have nothing to complain about.

Enjoy being cold. :)
I typed in a hilarious reply, but I have to let it go because I burned through 5 years worth of admin goodwill in the stockmarket thread (100% worth it as both Santacruzin and Racer1 started crying :monkey:)
 
Mar 19, 2013
44
14
8
I think I'm switching form Xcel also. Been a long time supporter of their winter gear but i think its time for a change. I have a newer 5/4 that just keeps feeling like its leaking in the chest, and in NJ winters that can really shorten and ruin my session. Keeping an eye on this forum i think i will give the Psychotech a try if i can find one.
 
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Reactions: live4swell
Sep 11, 2008
111
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How much do you surf?

These suits tend to be OK for low use when the neoprene is impermeable or if your session is short.

All neoprene breaks down and eventually takes on more and more water.

If you're surfing 3 or 4 days a week you'll soon find out.

Yes, a good liner helps.

But there's a good reason the vast majority of suits made for the coldest waves use smoothskin. It's just warmer. Because it's a water barrier.

I will say out of all the OTR suits I've looked at the top of line Bong looked best.

I have not seen any any of the O'neills people are raving about but I did see some of the Technobatter falling apart on the rack.

Incorrect assumptions there.

Yes smoothskin does improve heat retention in colder windy conditions, but comes at the expense of a significant decrease in durability.

Hence the designers finding an optimised solution, i.e. use smoothskin but only sparingly. Hence it being placed only on that side which spends the most time facing the offshore wind.

Trust da interwebz to take what is a well thought out engineering solution and use it as a stick with which to beat a small company with good ideas.
 
Mar 1, 2010
70
44
18
I think I'm switching form Xcel also. Been a long time supporter of their winter gear but i think its time for a change. I have a newer 5/4 that just keeps feeling like its leaking in the chest, and in NJ winters that can really shorten and ruin my session. Keeping an eye on this forum i think i will give the Psychotech a try if i can find one.
it was hard to find one for sure.. i found a mutant out in oregon online and snatched it up. so i'm set for a bit until the water warms to 3/2 temp.
 

casa_mugrienta

Duke status
Apr 13, 2008
29,427
4,785
113
Petak Island
Incorrect assumptions there.

Yes smoothskin does improve heat retention in colder windy conditions, but comes at the expense of a significant decrease in durability.
Used front and back

If the suit is rinsed
If you do not have long nails
If good stitching and glue is used

It's not a problem.

I surf a lot more than most people and I don't seem to have any problem. Nor do many other people who take care of their stuff. I'm getting about 2 years out of a 3/2 @ temps 58-60, and about 3 years @ low 60s temps. No leaky seams either.

Hence the designers finding an optimised solution, i.e. use smoothskin but only sparingly.
Agree

Hence it being placed only on that side which spends the most time facing the offshore wind.

Trust da interwebz to take what is a well thought out engineering solution and use it as a stick with which to beat a small company with good ideas.
It's not well thought out.

The objective is keeping the core warm, decreasing evaporative cooling/water permeability of front and back.

Put it on the front and back. Wind blows from varying directions.

Sideshore does a nice job of of cooling both the chest and back.

Note your wetsuit dries twice as fast when hanging parallel to the wind.
 
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Sharkbiscuit

Tom Curren status
Aug 6, 2003
13,336
4,429
113
Jacksonville Beach
IMHO it's not the smoothskin in and of itself that causes the issues, it's the extra seams.

For me personally, I'd say I surf in onshores in wetsuit season more than half the time. I gather lots of the rest of the world, and especially SoCal, just instantly bails the minute the wind isn't perfect.
 

mundus

Duke status
Feb 26, 2018
16,170
3,526
113
I have been shopping online for a new 4 mil, it seems the only ones in stock online are the billabongs.
 

casa_mugrienta

Duke status
Apr 13, 2008
29,427
4,785
113
Petak Island
The problem with most wetsuits is

a)Surfers have gotten so used to shitty products their expectation of what quality is has become quite low. They also buy into marketing too easy.
b)Majority of big brand wetsuits go to Wavestormers/sunny day hobby surfers furthering this low expectation. One suit lasts them their entire surf career.
c) Most people don't take care of their stuff. Driving around my neighborhood I see tons of suits left drying in the sun for days.

Big brand wetsuits are being made for b and c. Majority of people here are not their target consumer. Product will thus reflect that.