Billabong Solution Platinum feedback???

I recently aquired a Billabong Solution Platinum wetsuit at a pro form price. In my surfing career I have worn rip curl ultimate elastos (good suit, good price, best warranty), Hotline Fireflys, and the Billabong solution gold I pro-formed last year. The billabong I got last year is falling apart on me at the seams and looks worse than my 2.5 year old Hotline. I justified owning the billabong even though it had a shorter lifespan because I got it pro-formed @ $125 and its a $300 suit. The new billabong solution platinum is hyped up with “new” japanese airlite neoprene and this fuzzy pink jersey stuff on the inside that is supposed to be really warm. I have yet to try it and am hesitant to. It’s a $399 retail suit I got proformed for $190. That $190 is awfully close to the price of a Hotline or ripcurl. I am afraid this suit is going to fall aprt on me after a 8 months like the last billabong and I can’t justify paying $190 when I can get a rip curl or hotline for not too much more.

This is were swaylocks comes into play…Anyone own this suit that would like to comment on its durability, warmth, and flexibility. The Billabong ads say its the warmest, lightest, flexiest suit but all the other companies make similar claims. Someone that owns this suit can tell me the truth behind it all. I tried on the suit and it fits as well as my last Billabong. The last billabong was as comfortable as the hotline and ripcurl and equally warm. Just didn’t last as long. I will admit I am tempted to try the suit and see what all the japanese airlite neoprene hype is about and how warm the pink jersey stuff on the inside is. Once I wet it I own it so I hope someone on swaylocks can give me their review.


I prefer/ed Xcel…it is the most comfortable suit I have ever worn and lasts better than a couple years.The cut of a suit is important,I like hotline’s homegrown attitude but the cut is wrong for me.

Alot guys love their Psycho 2’s,I hear nothing but good about them…I’ve always been an O’neill fan since I could afford a wettie,but times and growth has changed things…Recently I heard (in Hawaii from an O’neill rep,) That The Daughter of either Jack or Pat has taken over production and has made some changes to bring back the more surfer based wetsuit company…This conversation started because I bought an Oneill vest before my trip and had it on this particular day.I love my vest, in that it’s soft ,and durable,like my Xcels and it’s reversible +++ it has a small side zip pocket.It’s sometimes the little things that will make or break a design,And that’s what sold me on this vest over others.

On the other hand…Xcel was my ONLY suit to be bought…until last year when I noticed workmanship and materials are slowly going south on them/me…example,Last spring I bought a new jacket, there were advertising as the,“Xcelerator”…what a stiff,low-stretch,over priced piece of crap it is.I love to take it back,and tell them how much they missed the mark on this suit.My older 2/2 longarm Excel spring was softer,and the jacket is a 0.5/1.0 thickness…I don’t know what they were thinking when they made this suit ,but it sucks the big one.Also last season the Xcel Co. introduced a new taped seam,blue in color.It has a nice stretch and comfort zone,but like most tapes it’s already starting to peel,especially on my 3/2,my 4/3 is still solid but it didn’t get the useage that my 3/2 did.

Why Xcel dumped the liquid seams …I don’t know…$$$$$$$$$ I’ll bet.

Yeah I hear and see a lot that testifies to the quality and durability of xcel suits. Most guys her in SF swear by Xcel suits. Thebig three from Santa cruz to ocean beach, SF tend to be Oneill, Hotline, and Xcel. Oneill and hotline are popular in Santa Cruz for obvious reasons but at ocean beach Xcels are most common. Seems like Xcel is comfy like Oneill but more durable like Hotlines. Gotta compare the cut of the Xcel to see how it compares to my tried and true Hotline. In the back of mind I kinda knew I was not down with the billabong suit. I would never pay the $400 retail that suit is going for. At proform price its more reasonable. It feels comfortable, light, and stretchy like they claim and I am sure it is warm, but durability?


Price is a factor for sure,

My Xcel 4/3 was 300 dollars U.S. retail.I usually get a 20-25% discount,from either Inflight in Seal Beach or Jack’s in HB.

I know people that own the Billabong suit you mentioned as well as the comparible Rip Curl…they got them at the outlet store in San Clemente…THEM/THEY being former Xcel wearers… both claim that the Xcels were better suits,but they got the Billi/RCurl for 160 dollars U.S.

Aleeda wetsuits has a factory sale twice a year in Costa Mesa…fulls for like 80 bucks,and top of the liner suits too! Not the bargain ones only!Some suits,springs etc. For 40,not bad if you’re on a budget,or hate to pay $$$ for wetsuits.

If O’Neill “comes back” that would be a good thing. I bought a 4/5 Zen Zip a few years ago on their reputaion, and was pretty disappointed. First, the shoulders and chest were covered in these stupid red fishscale thingies that some numbnuts thought would look cool. Damned things shed all over creation. Looked cool, allright - the first time I changed out of he suit in the loo next to an open toilet, I thought I had a serious gastrointesinal problem… Also, the threads on the left knee patch started to unravel from day one. Now neither of those is a serious functional problem, but they don’t bespeak a committment to good design and quality control, either. A suit that sells for a premium price should be a superior suit, period.


As long as the subject is cold water surfing, has anyone here experimented with a dry suit recently? Yes, I too recall the Schultz Dry Duck <sp?> and the issues with the neck seal. However, Kokatat and others have been making dry suits for winter kayakers for quite a few years now, and those suits have latex gaskets and must deal with Eskimo rolls in ~32 deg. F water. Presumably water is not going to come pouring down the neck of a contemporary dry suit when duck diving. I am making my annual consideration of whether to gear up for a winter of East Coast surfing, or put that time and money to other uses, and I notice that there is now a price overlap between the bottom end full dry suits and the top end full wet suits. I’ve seen the Kokatat Tropos Swift Entry for ~$360 US, right about the cost of a Hotline fullsuit.


don’t keep the new wetsuits in a hot car or expose it to an afternoon of sunlight . . . 1 1/2 seasons and my new xcel is coming apart . . . arrgh . …

oh well the cut of o’neill fits me better . . .

I wear a Rip Curl Elasto 2 full 2mm all year in so cal. It’s plenty warm down to 56, which it didn’t drop below this year. As far as flex, there is no better suit. $170.00 at Trestles surf Outlet. Bought it last November and use it 2-3x a week. No problems yet. Minimal flushing so far.

xcel make the best booties by a country mile

im on second season which is great

oneals and all the others fall apart first season

im guesing xcel also make reasonable suits

i wouldnt by a suit from bill or rip or quick

they look good but most of them seem to tear pretty easy

not only that these companies and there marketing pro surfing products thing, really is ruining surfing

it gets more and more crowded with these label freaks everyday

why support the companies that promote surfing

they suck

there products suck

if you want a good suit

i would recomend “seventh wave” new zealand

they probably are the best suits in the world

ive heard of guys getting 4 or 5 five toasty seasons

plus i had a ten year old second hand suit still in good nick

south islanders surf in sub 12 degrees c water most of the year

i currently have a seam sealed bodyline (also a kiwi company) but is made in china

its on third season and still warm

it as a zipless and the neck panel has ripped but it can be replaced for 40$

thats the only problem with zipless bib types

but they are by far the warmest suits

a new one is practically a dry suit for the first season

but yeah if i didnt have these great kiwi options

id definately try the xcel suit

check out DK paddling in to this cold monster ( 8 degrees C)

its on the seventh wave add , page 4

Yep, I’ve got a Psycho2 4/3 - best wettie I’ve ever had - I surf around the Bells area where it gets a bit chilly in winter. My last suit was a Rip Curl Ultimate Elasto and I tried on a lot of suits before settling on the Psycho2.

IMHO with most makers, the sealing, warmth and flexibility technology is there,(although quality and durability is still variable) what’s missing is a reliable hydrophobic material or coating to reduce wetted weight and wind chill.

I’ve only owned O’Neill’s, so I may be a little biased, but the Psycho II rocks. My friends who’ve had other suits have all come to the same conclusion. I know their main wetsuit designer there, and he’s core to the bone. He buys and trys every other wetsuit available so he knows what he’s competing against, he surfs evey day, and he totally rips. Plus he’s a hell of a nice guy and a great dad. His garage contains something like 400 wetsuits and 300 surfboards. He has a section of just the 100 or so boards he surfs “all the time”. If you can get a pro-deal on O’Neill, they are even cheaper than what you’re paying for Billabong. I’ve got a few new O’Neills on order right now - 4/3, 3/2, and a shorty for me, and a new 4/3 Mod and 3/2 Psycho II for my girlfriend to backup the ones she already has. She says the Mod (girl’s version of the Mutant) is the best suit ever made, and she has suits by lots of other companies.

I have some Excel booties that are great, but I have a bit of a problem buying suits that are designed and made by people who surf in 80* water.

None of the new tech suits are designed to last forever. Being stretchy and comfy reduces their lifespan. If you spend $150 on a new suit and surf it 300 days before is gives up on you, that’s only fifty cents a day. If you take the proper care (not that I always do) they can last a long time.