Saturday 30 April 2011

30/04/11 | Wetsuit dilemmas

Now that the water is finally warming up it's time to start thinking about summer rubber. Last year I went straight from my 5/4 into a Nineplus short-leg long-arm suit. I love it, and it's super warm, but I could really do with something inbetween for this time of year, it's not quite warm enough to go out with bare legs yet!

There are some really nice unusual wetsuits out there, if you live in the US or Australia, but I've been struggling to find something I like in the UK. I don't think it's unreasonable to want a wetsuit that not only performs, but looks really good too, and I find most mainstream wetsuits a bit boring.

I'm off to see Malcom at Snugg Wetsuits later to look at making a custom suit for me. I still can't fully decide exactly what I want, I definitely want a front zip and yamamoto panels like my nineplus suit, but I'd like some colour in there too, possibly a chevron around the waist in turquoise. As this is a spring / autumn suit it needs to be a full suit, but I'm also pondering on a longjohn for the summer.

Here're some of the suits I've been looking at for inspiration:

Wetsuit inspiration
Credits, from left to right starting top left: Kassia Meador for Roxy (from last year's collection, love the chevrons and bold colour), Tallow (from last year's collection), Nineplus (this is from a few years ago, the current model has less yamamoto sadly), Roxy, Muther of All Things (surely the hottest wetsuit ever invented, but it must flush like crazy!), Snugg, Roxy Japan (like the front zip & 70s stripes), Candy Wetsuits (so so cool, but so expensive), Tallow.

I also love this neoprene jacket from student Hannah Curson, I've always wondered about putting pockets on a wetsuit, I'd love to have a hoody-style front pocket to warm my hands in on chilly mornings!

Or maybe I'll just go for all black.


  1. Colour,colour, colour, colour, colour!!

  2. I've wussed out slightly and only gone for a bit of colour, my boards are pretty distinctive and I don't want to stand out too much!

  3. Ooh look forwards to seeing what you went for. It is nice to go custom, I got malcom to make me what I termed 'the slut suit' a few years back, apart from teeny short legs it fitted like a glove.

    Never heard of tallow before, they're pretty cool.

    Getting a bit scared of busting out the pink chevron suit this summer, not sure if my surfing is quite up to the statement!

  4. @wheardo - that's why I decided not to go for all colour, don't want to draw more attention to myself when I'm having a bad surf! You should def wear that suit this summer though..

  5. Someone posted a comment on here then decided to delete it, but I thought it was a good question so here it is:

    "aren't the front zip's uncomfortable? My girlfriend always gets annoyed with people like nineplus for making the girls suits "sexy" (ie front zip) rather than practical."

    For me form must always be second to function, but why shouldn't a wetsuit function well and also be sexy? I get more annoyed with companies that think that putting a lame pink panel on a suit is going to make it more appealing to women.

    The great thing about front zips is that they not only are warmer than back zips, but they look hot too. It's no coincidence that all the best winter suits have front zips, it means that you can have a single panel with no seals or seams across the back and keep your kidneys warm. Front zips are also higher on the suit and so out of the water more. They're not uncomfortable at all, and most have a 'batwing' panel that pulls over your head to create an extra barrier.

    As for the Nineplus suits, I have the short-leg 'baby minx' and it is without a doubt the best suit I've ever owned, I love it even more than my Patagonia R3. The design has been really thought about, and the result is a super warm comfortable suit that also looks amazing.

  6. Indeed I shall, just maybe not on the ram jammed busy revy sessions!

    I get asked the same about the front zip, good thing about the nineplus design is the neoprene under the zip so it doesn't dig into your chest

  7. Check out a new brand I just found in Sydney. Animal prints etc. Only 1mm is probably not warm enough for the UK? Mine is super comfy

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