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Afun

Wetsuit Recommendation & Boots

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Afun

Guys and Gal,

Need help picking out a wetsuit. 5'9 195 lbs. Needs something comfortable for surfing. Hope it could be true to size and easy to get in and out of. Boots should be nice fitting, and not loose. Any thoughts?

Tennesse water not that cold. Thinking 2/3mm thick.

Edited by Afun

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TURNITRED

I'll be following this thread. I'm looking for one as well.

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Durty_Curt

how cold does water and air get? although the water doesn't get too cold its being up and out of the water and wet is what will get you. also what's your price v range? top of the line? how long do you want this suit to last? 2 years? 5?

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FastFreddy

Up here in Canada I use Bare wetsuits, they are very tough and last many seasons. The kids all wear one and I do in May and September.

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2008vtx

I have always liked the O Neill suits I have a couple now that I use for spring / fall wakeboarding and also use to surf on the Oregon coast as well. This is where I have bought my last couple . http://www.oregonsurfshop.com/oneill-mens-wetsuits/ . Price seems to be good on the O Neill's and haven't ever had any issues with them. Never liked the feel of booties always seem to fill with water and feel sloppy.

Edited by 2008vtx

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Slayer

I'll second O'Neill, but I've heard that the Camaro suits are the cat's whiskers. Never had one, but have been very happy with my O'Neill products. I too have no use for the boots for the same reason as 2008vtx.

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sdk
Up here in Canada I use Bare wetsuits, they are very tough and last many seasons. The kids all wear one and I do in May and September.

You use a wetsuit in may? Hell, I'm full dry suit til the last week of June.

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sdk
I'll second O'Neill, but I've heard that the Camaro suits are the cat's whiskers. Never had one, but have been very happy with my O'Neill products. I too have no use for the boots for the same reason as 2008vtx.

I have used oneill wetsuits and neoprene tops and shorts for years and am generally a fan, but got a Camaro top this year, and cats whiskers is definitely one way of describing it. Love it, but certainly pricey and not easy to find (at least in Canada).

I'll also note that I've skied and surfed in 50 degree water in a dry suit and never felt I needed booties too. Feet aren't in the water long enough.

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davemac

Can't help you with boot advice, but If to go wetsuit (not drysuit), than you definitely want to look at the Camaro Blacktec full 2.0mm suit. Check out www.robbysskishop.com

I bought the Camaro Blacktec 1mm shorty (XL) earlier this year, and used it most times out. Very flexible and crazy warm for a 1mm (selling my XL O'Neill Hammer shorty for $50 shipped if anyone interested). Thus, I have gone ahead and ordered the Camaro 2mil full suit. I thought a L might fit, but it was too tight through chest/shoulder, so the XL swap arrives Wednesday of this week (after which I can comment on the fit). For sizing reference, I'm about 5-10,185 lbs, 42 chest.

Video review here...

Edited by davemac

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racer808

I like my oneil eipc 4/3. Works great when the water is cold & is just as useful when it is warmer. Versatile. Is a PIA to get in & out of though

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wakemitch

Wetsuit selection is totally personal. It all depends on what you want out of a suit. What you want to look at is the type of neoprene, seam construction, and entry. I will use Oneill suits since I am most familiar with them. I promise I don't work for them haha.

The type of neoprene you choose is based on how much warmth you need and how flexible/stretchy you want the suit. Typically the warmer and/or stretchier the suit is, the more expensive it will be. But you can save money by getting an extremely stretchy suit that isnt meant for really cold temps (such as the Oneill Gooru/Hyperfreak) or one that is really warm but not that flexible (Oneill Epic). If you read the product descriptions, they will break down the neoprene types used in each suit.

The thickness of the neoprene really depends on the suit and type of neoprene it uses. For example: a 4/3 Oneill Psycho 3 is more flexible than a 3/2 Oneill Heat, but also a 3/2 Oneill Psycho 3 is warmer than an Oneill Epic 4/3. So dont think just because your going thicker means it will be more bulky or warmer.

Seam type is the most important feature to me. Basic types are flatlock, glued and blindstitched, and fluid welds. Flatlock seams straight up suck. The peices are just stitched together and allow water to flow through each needle hole. This makes it so the suit has a harder time keeping the water inside at a constant temperature. Glued and Blindstitched seams do not have the exposed needle holes but are not that strong and can eventually allow water in. Fluid weld seams are fuly sealed seams that are super flexible and do not allow any water in.

There are basically two types of entry: back zip and chest zip. Back zip is the most common, and they are the easiest to get in and out of. The draw back to back zips is that you have a huge zipper running down your back which makes for a huge stiff spot in the suit, reducing flexibility. Also, that zipper may allow water to get in. Oneill uses a zen zip in their top of the line suits which is basicallly a barrier that is behind the zipper which sends water out through a hole in the bottom rather than hitting your skin. It works great.

Chest zips are gaining a ton of popularity. They might be a little tougher getting in and out of, but have big benifits. By having a solid back piece of neoprene, your suit becomes so much more flexible and you really notice it when twisting. Also, now there is a much smaller area for water to enter your suit. You stay a lot drier, especially when you dive head first.

For me, I want maximum warmth as well as flexibility since I ride in the 40s during the winter and I do sports such as wakeskating and wakesurf where I need a lot of leg flexibility for shuv based tricks. I wear the Oneill RG8 4/3 which is a chest zip and has fluid seam welds. I feel naked in it, I love it. I stay warm all winter. I plan on upgrading to the Oneill Pyrofreak this winter which is the same as the RG8 but has the new technobutter neoprene which dries faster and is stretchier. I like my suit to be able to dry over night so I put on a dry suit in the morning.

For booties I really like the Oneill Gooru boots. They are fully dipped and there are no exposed seams. It makes it way harder for water to get in. The soles are also not too thick which gives you better board feel. That is an issue I have ran into with booties in the past. Thick soles suck because you cant feel the board under your feet.

I'm a huge wetsuit nerd because I like to ride all year and like to be comfortable. I used to buy a snowboard season pass every year, but since I got a good wetsuit in 2007 I have only snowboarded once.

Again, buying a wetsuit depends on you. You have to decide how important warmth and/or flexibilty are to you. The more you increase either area will increase the price. But being cold sucks, and not being able to move sucks. If you are going to the trouble of riding in the cold, you might as well be comfortable. A lot of people have been turned off by winter riding because of using cheap wetsuits in the past, but give a good wetsuit a chance.

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sdk

Wakemitch, just wondering if you have any experience with dry suits and your take on them vs the wetsuits you use. I use a bare ultra dry dry suit and hate putting it on and taking it off. It's baggy and cumbersome, but it keeps me warm because I can wear anything I want underneath. Would like to go to something more comfortable and less restrictive but don't really want to sacrifice warmth.

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black06VLX

Xcel spring suit, the one with shorty legs and full arms. All taped seams and you squeeze through the neck opening. Rode this in high 50's for water temp and you aren't super cold. They make full length versions also.

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demo9asx

O'Neil epic 4/3 for me. It's balmy even when water temp is in the low 50's.

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wakemitch

Wakemitch, just wondering if you have any experience with dry suits and your take on them vs the wetsuits you use. I use a bare ultra dry dry suit and hate putting it on and taking it off. It's baggy and cumbersome, but it keeps me warm because I can wear anything I want underneath. Would like to go to something more comfortable and less restrictive but don't really want to sacrifice warmth.

Dry suits are great if you don't need to move too much.

I've used them before and didnt enjoy it. With wakeskating I am constantly moving my feet and legs and the baggy dry suit made that awkward. I also didn't like the baggy arms for handle passes.

If you are wakeboarding a dry suit wouldn't be to big a deal unless you did a lot of handle passes. Your feet are bound, so the bagginess isn't really an issue.

A dry suit can also be okay for Wakesurfing if you don't move around too much. If you are mainly a cruiser, a dry suit would be ideal. But if you're doing airs and shuvs, you will want a wetsuit.

They do have hybrid dry suits that are tight on the legs. That resolves the issues I just mentioned, but at that point I think a good full suit is the better option.

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UpperleftWake

I use a Body Glove Pro 3 (3/2mm) full wetsuit this early spring. Wakesurfed in water temp: 52, air temp: 68 and was quite comfortable doing it. I used it several more times in 50 degree water; comfortable with good movement throughout all extremities. It was a good buy at only 100 bones and is a quality product.

Edited by MCObray

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Big Jay D

My Body Glove cheapy 3/2mm is good down to about 58. Then it gets cold. I have thick skin too. I bought a Body Glove Vapor 4/3mm semi-dry. MONEY! Warm and toasty down to 45 so far.

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Afun

how cold does water and air get? although the water doesn't get too cold its being up and out of the water and wet is what will get you. also what's your price v range? top of the line? how long do you want this suit to last? 2 years? 5?

I will say from October through November low 60's. Price range maybe $200. Suit should last at least 3 to 4 seasons.

Good thread going here.

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robtr8

I bought an O'Neill Hyperfreak with Fusion and Technobutter. Absolutely the best one I've had. For $400, it better be. It's very flexible and a bit interesting to get into but once your in, you stay warm and DRY! It fits very tight, just like the Camaro. The only downside is, if you need to pee, well, you can't just let her rip cause then that's the only thing in there with you.

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Afun

What do you guys put underneath the suit? I am thinking the Xtra Large Camaro Black Tec 2.0 should be a good fit.

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poski

I have an O'Neill 3/2 Epic 2. It's mid range at $150ish. For something above 60 degrees it'd be plenty I'd think if you're on a budget. I've used it to low 50's where it can start to be a little chilly but I wasn't uncomfortable. For that cold or colder now and I just use my drysuit. There is a little bit of flushing when you get in; if you already have a neo top, having that underneath helps a little bit if it's on the colder end. If I were buying a fullsuit again for low 50's+ I'd get something a little better just to increase the comfort level a bit, the black tec at $200 seems pretty appealing.

I also wear neo shorts under it which is a tiny bit of extra warmth but makes it easier when changing in/out of it if you don't want to flash too much.

Edited by poski

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sdk

If not going dry suit, Camaro is the way to go IMO. That said, I have no experience with these 4/3s people are talking about

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sdk
What do you guys put underneath the suit? I am thinking the Xtra Large Camaro Black Tec 2.0 should be a good fit.

Camaros r tight. Gonna be tough getting anything underneath.

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SkiZilla

Wakemitch, just wondering if you have any experience with dry suits and your take on them vs the wetsuits you use. I use a bare ultra dry dry suit and hate putting it on and taking it off. It's baggy and cumbersome, but it keeps me warm because I can wear anything I want underneath. Would like to go to something more comfortable and less restrictive but don't really want to sacrifice warmth.

I used to wear a full 2-3 Bare wetsuit for May-early June, then progress to a 2 mm shorty for the summer and then back to the full wetsuit for late September and October. This year we invested in dry suits, my wife went with the Oneill Boost and I went with the Oneill Hybrid Assault. The Assault is way easier to get in and out of than the Boost and so easy to use that I barely used the full wetsuit this year. I find it easier to get in and out of than my full wetsuit and doesn't restrict movement enough to affect my skiing or surfing. Feels odd to go for a ski and not really get wet but after turning 40 this year I have decided to allow myself a few luxuries.

Long story short I have traditionally been in the water within a week of the ice being off in the spring and usually have the entire lake to myself in late October, the hybrid style drysuit is plenty warm in very cold water, and way less cumbersome than the baggy style drysuit. It would take on hell of a wetsuit to come close to the comfort it offers. Just my 2 cents.

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