The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread


Michael Peterson status
Jan 14, 2020
None of the Hyperfreaks I have are lined and I have 2 at the moment....:shrug: I thought the comps were just the zipless? Psycotechs have that red lining, hypers don't.

My 4/3+ ..... not a comp and not lined.
3/2 & 4/3 + got slightly thicker rubber and the zippers, the comp non + do not. same suit otherwise


Michael Peterson status
Feb 12, 2006
Rotting away on the 405
Since there's a lot of discussion about premium suits on here, here's one for the cheap suits. After years of buying semi-premium wetsuits (those that retail for over $300 now), I ended up buying some super basic ones from the big brands (retail for $175-$200) and I have to say, the current models are actually great. All seem to be just GBS with some reinforcement tape in some key areas, so no taping, liquid or otherwise, but it doesn't seem to make much difference from a usability standpoint, and probably makes the longevity better. Almost all of them have extra liner insulation in the chest and/or back area and all of the cheap suits have pretty good neoprene now too.

Anyway, these suits are/were:
Rip curl dawn patrol 3/2 I bought for $111 on sale lasted three years and is the suit I wore the most (socal dawn patrol, mostly LA and south Ventura). Quiksilver synchro 4/3 I bought for $185 had for two years and still looks new since I don't wear it as much. More than warm enough through the winter. O'neill epic 3/2 I bought for full price just recently because nothing is on sale ($179) seems great but I've only started wearing it. Also I've had a dawn patrol, epic, and whatever the cheap xcel is for short sleeve full suits but you can buy any short sleeve full and it'll be fine for its temperature range.
As a cheap bastard this speaks to me.
I‘ve had a few Quik syncros over the years and have always gotten at least 2 years out of them, bought one last year and was stoked initially because the quality seemed way better but it barely lasted one season, super leaky now.

I tried a need in 2015 when they first came to the states, it was good at first but pinhole leaks in the legs happened within a month, but stayed enough for 2 or so winters. I want to try one now.

Xcel infiniti was a total piece of sh!t.

after reading a few posts about Rip Curl Dawn Patrol I’m going to give that a shot.

for reference, I surf north OC/South Bay and wear a 3/2 all winter, no booties ever. I don’t mind the “cold” (for here) water as long as the suit is not a totally leaky POS.
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Michael Peterson status
Jul 23, 2011
Someone on here hip to the surf Industry described it as such... these smaller brands like Former, for example, make a limited number of items for sale and then sell out quickly, giving the illusion that their product is in high demand. I doubt many Subdivsion suits were even made. Here's to them making another run of winter suits for those who want one.


Billy Hamilton status
Dec 1, 2008
Visit site
Isurus suits.

Still have my original one from (I'm guessing here) about 8-10 years ago. Works great. Newer suits from Isurus continue to set the standard, IMO. Spend more but then you'll have a suit that continues to kick ass 10 years on. Your Rip Curls, Quiksilvers, Xcels, etc, ain't doing that. You pay a premium up front but don't have to continue to pay every couple of years.


OTF status
Oct 8, 2013
South Oz.
+1 unfortunate that such a nice suit is compromised by a small plastic part. Leads to continual tightening while in the water and more flushing than a suit like that should allow. I had mine swapped out when I had the suit repaired and the new one works waaaay better.
Hit up the Oz distributor and he’s sending me out another smaller cord lock. I suspect it could be a common complaint if they have them on hand. I must admit he’s been very good to deal with.


Michael Peterson status
Feb 7, 2008
The Dagobah System
Hit up the Oz distributor and he’s sending me out another smaller cord lock. I suspect it could be a common complaint if they have them on hand. I must admit he’s been very good to deal with.
Thanks for the tip. I actually just got a couple of cord locks from the local repair shop that fixed my original. Gonna do the same and swap it out. :cheers:
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Duke status
Jan 15, 2003
my 5 year old 3/2 RipCurl Flashbomb + seams are falling apart so just got a 3/2 Vissla 7 Seas. XL's tough to find right now cause of inventory shortages so pulled the trigger when it showed up on their site. Haven't used in the water, but tried it on at home and fit is good and stretchy. For the price if I get a couple fall/winters out of it I'll be stoked.


Nep status
Mar 10, 2011
took out the need essentials liquid sealed 3/2 yesterday morning. super warm, no leakage but still pretty stiff compared to the RC's out of the box. I imagine it'll loosen up over time but very comfy and warm otherwise. hope it holds up.
My premium one just did its third winter and is only now starting to spring a few leaks. They do loosen up - but not that much. Still, this has been the best value suit I've had. I will get another for next winter.


Legend (inyourownmind)
Sep 23, 2016
My "premium" Needs suit leaked early and often. It lasted two seasons with a liberal application of wetsuit glue. It was not that flexible to begin with and remained that way. Having said that, once I got used to it I never really bothered me.

Since the start of this winter (Oz) I've had a RC flashbomb with the fuzzy stuff across the whole suit. It's much more flexible and warmer. It does, however, have one pinhole leak in the leg which was there from the beginning which makes things a little annoying.

I am still not sure whether the RC or the Needs is better value for the money.

Has anyone tried using silicone sealant (eg. Silastic, Selley's No More Gaps) for seam sealing? It sounds like it would work...


Michael Peterson status
Jul 13, 2020
San Diego
Any attempt at repairs I’ve ever tried that was on top of existing glue or tape have always failed miserably.

no problems repairing mid panel tears and cuts.


OTF status
Oct 8, 2013
South Oz.
My premium Need 4/3 is nice and warm and seams are holding up ok but the neoprene itself lets a little water in. When I’m sitting on my board and the neoprene is stretched (butt region) I can feel water seeping in. Can’t say I’ve ever had this issue before. They said this can happen when the suit is too small and overly stretched but at 6’0 85kg in a large I don’t really think that is the case. And no I don’t have a fat ass.
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