Are there any good wetsuit manufacturers?

Alright, all bs aside, is there a quality wetsuit out there. One that is flexible but lasts more than one season? The bigger companies tend to all be selling the same crap with slight variations. When your in 34 degree water and 20 degree air, I don’t care what pro is on the payroll, I just want a great suit warm, flexible, doesn’t feel like cardboard. If money is not an issue is there someone or a company that is putting out good product. Is there an overseas company or something? I remember in an old Surfer Gary Linden said there was a guy in Peru making awsome wetsuits but they were expensive because they were custom made. Any info is helpful. Thanks.

i know rip curl is trash. Excell wetsuits are amazing. They are just what you describe you are looking for.

One Fin 34 degree water & 20 degree air - sounds like New England - where I surf. I’ve been using a 5/4 Hotline Ultra Hot Combo for the last few years. Great suit / warm / durable - throw in a 2 mm O’Niell hooded rash guard and you’ll be surfing in the coldest conditions

The suit company from Peru is Boz. I have the long leg spring suit from them and it’s pretty dang good. For me it fits better than my O’Neill and I can paddle like mad. The improved paddling is because it’s a thin spring suit but also it has to do with the way they do the pattern for the arms - check out their site and see there’s a lot more fabric there vs the tight fit of the others. I have been looking at transitioning to their ThermoBoss 3/2.5 or Xcel 3/2 full suit and trashing the O’Neill

For cold water I think the best 2 would be HOTLINE and ALEEDA. Aleeda will make custom suits for you and there service is the best

Thanks for the responses so far, The e-mail or website for Boz did not come out, on the post, can you please resend it. As for Aleeda, I agree it is a good suit, but they do not offer a hooded suit and a suit without an attatched hood is a serious no-no with water in the 30’s. Think ice cream headache trough your whole body. Is there any Japanes companies that make winter suits. The rip curls are crap, I don’t know what happened to thier suits and O’neil is the worst. Had a suit from them fell apart in three months and then they gave me grief when I asked for a replacement. These manufacturers are using velcro that if it touches that suit other than where it is intended to attatch it begins to wear out the suit, what a crock of shit. Then the seams around the velcro seals always give out. I have not tried Hotline but will check it out. As for Xcel, I have always heard people complain about the closure system and that one suit is good but another is sucky both the same style and thickness. I just want to be warm.

Up here in Oregon, we wear the same thickness year-round. Hotline was always the suit of choice up here. Their warrenty work is awesome! However, this winter, there has been a paradigm shift. Another shop was carrying Excel. ( Which is a touch cheaper in price) The buzz is that the excel is awesome too, but not as stiff. Lots more guys seem to be wearing them. They are glued at the seams with a strip of cement over the seam. My friends have been bragging that no water is seeping into their suits. We’ll see in a year what suit holds up better. But I think the stiffness was key to Hotline’s longevity. Personally, My friend talked me into the mistake of buying an O’neil last year. It began having problems the second day of using it. I sent it back for warranty repair and they fixed the wrong thing! I e-mailed them 6 times regarding the incident and they never even got back to me. For me, O’neil is not even a consideration for a cold water suit. Basically, I need another new suit too. Hotline or Excel? What do the rest of you think? ( Cold water surfers only need apply)

The problem is that the super-flexy rubber is, so far, not as durable as the old-style stiff stuff. You pays your money, you takes your chances. doc…

I’ve been through several suits in the last couple winters. I have finally settled on the 6/5 Xcel. It is a great suit. Being warm has not been an issue - being too hot has been. I’m not sure what the complaint is for the closure system. It seems to work fine, and is a heck of a lot better than the zipperless systems. I will admit, I wasn’t able to get out of the suit by myself the first couple times. I now have the technique down and I’m out of the suit in no time after those below freezing sessions. As far as further evidence it is a good suit. Take a look around in the water. I see more Xcels in the water than any other suit in NE waters. I have heard decent reviews of the Quiksilver Cell. I believe it its one of the more affordable suits out there. It might be worth a trying on.

boz is made in san diego, maybe the owner is from peru

found the site. I don’t have one and can’t tell you anything about them

Anyone worn a Quiksilver Cell?

I just got back from Wales, UK I was talking to Pete Jones, who owns a surf shop, about all the wetsuit advances - he said the new ones make cold water surfing far more pleasurable than a few years ago. I asked him if British suits like Gul, Skinz, Alder had an edge because of the chilly UK waters and he said that by far the best he has for cold water use is the 5 mil x-cel with built in hood. A friend of mine also has one and says it keeps him warm in all conditions.

Anyone out there surfing in cold water with any of the backzipped wetsuits with a watertight panel on the inside of the zipper? How are those working out? I’ve been checking around, there are very few manufacturers that make anything thicker than 5/4 or a hooded wetsuit. Are the modern 5mm warm enough for really cold conditions?? I’ve heard bad things about the closure system on the (old) hotline wetsuit, plenty washtrough. I’ve had a gul wetsuit with similar closure system(zipperless) that worked great for me, but the wetsuit has to fit snug with a zipperless closure or it’s no good(or so the local custom wetsuit manufacturer tells me). My friends ripcurl elasto hooded 6/4 is coming apart after one season, but no wonder with the way he has to wiggle himself into that thing. Sola wetsuits are warm, but sometimes get weird wear and tears. The local surfhop is raveing about the bodyglove matrix 7/6/5 but it’s sans hood. I need a new one and the cheapest one in the shops are US$400,- for a very basic wintersuit… Damn. Personaly, I don’t think you need a hooded wetsuit. A hood or even better a hooded west with drawstring closure around the face and a high neck on the wetsuit keeps the water from washing into the wetsuit. I think the drawstring is the most important because it gives you a thigh seal around your face and it doesn’t flex as much. A ‘normal’ hood, even with a thight fit may be blown up as a baloon if you get a ton of water in your face creating the dreaded icecream headaches. A polypropylene rash guard is also a good idea, it helps alot to keep you warm. regards, Håvard

A polypro or vest under a 6/5/4 or 7/5, you can toss flexability right out the window, as for the hood not being attatched, how do you protect your neck and the water from rushing through the neck. Who would by a 7/5/4 with no hood, that is like a car with no wheels. Im talking warmth and flexablitiy not price. That is why I was asking about any of the Japanese companies. From what I have been told the wetsuits in Japan are heads and shoulders over the ones here in the states. sorry i previously put it where the image url goes

I know O’neill has had some trouble holding up well over time, but -have any of you guys tried the new O’neill PSYCHO’s ? I just got one (only because i got a good deal on it - was planning on getting a new hotline). I am totally stoked on how comfortable and warm it is. it’s by far the warmest suit i’ve had. Don’t know the thickest ones they make, but the 3/2 psycho is warmer than my previous o’neill 4/3. these things don’t let ANY water in through the seams - NONE ! don’t know how long it will last, but if it lasts me the whole winter, i’ll be getting another one next winter for sure. (no, i don’t have any affiliation with o’neill) just my experience.

Here are few observations on wetsuits and brand Fit is a primary thing. There are some suits that dont suit if you know what I mean. After trying on about 8 or so major brands. For a 4/3 it comes down to Bodyglove for economics and temperatures over 54 degrees because it doesn’t have the panel inside the back. When the water temp is over 55 degrees I don’t need the panel but I hold up in cold water better than most. For comfort and better warmth a top of the line O’Neill is hard to beat except that they tend to be a little fragile. They’ve given up some durability for flexibility which is understandable. By far the warmest 4/3 I’ve worn is a Quicksilver cell, hollow fiber. When I compare it to the others for warmth the slight bit of flexiblity lost in the suit is more than made up for because when the water gets to 50 degrees and below one gets cold much more quickly and when you body starts to stiffen up suit flexiblity doesn’t mean anything. Mahalo, Rich

I am not flexible enough to get in and out of a wetsuit without a back zipper. It helps that I am in San Diego and only need a 3/2mm. Trying on wetsuits is not fun. The O’Neil seemed the best fit, but I was afraid it was purposefully made skin tight. The excel was the easiest to get in and out of and I went with that. It was cheaper and still had the poly pro orange lining. I go a little bigger in size so they are not skin tight which does allow a little water leakage but I will live with that. When you get out of the water you want to get out of the wetsuit without pulling a muscle. I only buy booties that have velcro even though that system never holds up. I hate struggling trying to rip off booties. As always, carry a gallon jug of hot water in a cooler. When you get out of the water I love pouring that over my head. Water stays warm a long time. Boz used to be cheaper on the internet than you could buy them in person. It is worth spending extra money on a wetsuit. If your cold it’s hard to have fun.

If we start talking booties - Hotline split toe all the way. They are comfortable, they fit well (the strap over the top!), and they last. I’ve only owned two pairs of booties since being in SF for the last 15 years.