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SUP surfing wetsuits

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Created by ARVY 2 months ago, 15 Dec 2023
ARVY
VIC, 38 posts
15 Dec 2023 5:53PM
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Hi Breezers,
As I am north of 60 my winter wetsuits have a back zip as the shoulder entry wetsuits puts too much stress on the old joints when taking them off. Unfortunately, this means every time I fall off, water gets in.

As I have basically retired from prone surfing, I've been thinking of going back to the future and using a long john & vest which was my first wetsuits way back in the early seventies. Back then the vest had no zips at all & help was needed to get it off. Difference now would be the vest could have a zip in the front & go under the long john, thus keeping water out?

Just wondering if anyone uses these and if so, how well do they work? Thanks in anticipation. ARVY

colas
4976 posts
15 Dec 2023 4:56PM
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I would think the vest should be on top of the long john to avoid water entry.

But this project should interest you: www.theinertia.com/surf/finisterre-and-bodyline-wetsuits-will-adapt-any-wetsuit-for-people-with-physical-barriers/

It seems that imply adding zips in strategic places (such as wrist and ankles) to a standard wetsuit can help a lot.

I had at one time an O'Neill wetsuit with detachable sleeves. Without them it was a short sleeve / long legs, and you would add the sleeves for more warm just like long gloves. The "shortsleeveness" made it noticeably easier to get in/out.

Here is a short legs version: www.ebay.com/itm/163652943481


Maybe having the same trick also for the legs could be a solution: a wetsuit with garter + stockings :-)

Sandee
QLD, 141 posts
16 Dec 2023 8:44AM
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As it's hard to keep water out entirely, I prefer a lighter suit for better fit and flexibility combined with a fleecy thermal under-layer to hold the warmed-up water in place. (Eg: lavacore vest or an old merino jumper.)
I don't understand why there are so few front zip suits available. so much easier to use compared to back zips?

micksmith
VIC, 1672 posts
16 Dec 2023 10:44AM
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Hi Arvy, I too use to struggle with conventional chest zip, not so much putting on but getting out of the torture device, ( shoulder trouble) anyway several years ago I tried a full yoke type system where the zip goes straight across chest making it possible to fully open up the chest/neck area and thus making it way easier to get in and out of wetsuit. The wetsuits I use are Matuse Dante and I only use 3:2 in winter with booties, these days Needessentials and Zion wetsuits also make them.
if not sure a long John with jacket ( on top ) will do the job

supthecreek
2579 posts
16 Dec 2023 3:36PM
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Not sure if they are available in OZ, but in the US I use:

Henderson Thermaxx Back Zip suits exclusively.
Surfing New England winters, this is the warmest and easiest suit I have ever found.

These days I only use it occasionally, since I have been going to Florida in winter.... but when I do, it's totally amazing.
I have not noticed any uncomfortable water intrusion from the super easy FULL Back Zip.
The Fire Fleece lining limits water movement inside the suit.

Hard to find actually FULL back zips.
Most Surf "back zips" are 3/4 length zippers so they don't open far enough for me to get into, since my shoulders which will not rotate enough.

Henderson actually make suits big enough for me and are super easy on/off
They are Dive Suits, so they go up as big as 7 XL
The biggest difference from Surf Suits is that a 3mm suit is 3mm everywhere, no 2 mm panels under armpit... but they are so soft and flexible that I do not notice the lack of 2mm panels.

They look and wear exactly like surf suits.... but are warmer and more comfortable IMO

I will never own a suit that is not fully lined again.... TherMaxx is fully Fire fleece lined
The Fire Fleece lining makes it super easy to on...
to take it off, I simply unzip it and shrug my shoulders.... it falls right to my feet.

hendersonusa.com/product/thermaxx-mens-back-zip-jumpsuit/



I did use my 5mm for a 9'6 Ghost session before I headed south this month




ARVY
VIC, 38 posts
17 Dec 2023 10:11AM
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Hi all,
Appreciate your thoughts.
Colas, the only thing I remember from the vests was that they were like a straight jacket to get off.
Sandee, yep the fleecy rashy under the 32 is the go,
Mick, I will definitely research full yoke type system.
STC, must say our winters in Vicco are not as cold as New England. As Mick says, a 32 steamer with the booties are enough here, although I did get some gloves for those stiff offshore days.
Many thanks
Cheers

IXL
NSW, 1 posts
18 Dec 2023 4:42PM
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I am quite skinny, so I feel the cold. Also, I am 79 and stiff in the hips and lower back. Accordingly, I use a steamer in winter. My problem is peeling the legs of the steamer over my feet to get it off, as I can't bend over enough. A few months ago, I had a 6" zipper sewn into the bottom of each wetsuit leg. This has helped a lot.
I could only find one company that could do the job. This is Aquasea Underwater Products at Caringbah in Sydney. Phone 02 9540 4774. It is a one-person company working from their garage at home. It was well done, but expensive - $66 for each zipper!

theSeb
233 posts
18 Dec 2023 6:50PM
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Select to expand quote
IXL said..
I am quite skinny, so I feel the cold. Also, I am 79 and stiff in the hips and lower back. Accordingly, I use a steamer in winter. My problem is peeling the legs of the steamer over my feet to get it off, as I can't bend over enough. A few months ago, I had a 6" zipper sewn into the bottom of each wetsuit leg. This has helped a lot.
I could only find one company that could do the job. This is Aquasea Underwater Products at Caringbah in Sydney. Phone 02 9540 4774. It is a one-person company working from their garage at home. It was well done, but expensive - $66 for each zipper!


Not sure if Solite is available in AussieLand, but check out the Solite bootie socks. They are super thin and very slick. You can choose to wear them with booties, or just take them off / put them on as needed to get the wetsuit on and off. Not only do they help with getting a wetsuit on and off, but they also make getting booties on and off much easier, if you do choose to wear them with booties. It's like a more sophisticated and reliable version of using a plastic bag over your feet.

ARVY
VIC, 38 posts
19 Dec 2023 8:00PM
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Select to expand quote
IXL said..
I am quite skinny, so I feel the cold. Also, I am 79 and stiff in the hips and lower back. Accordingly, I use a steamer in winter. My problem is peeling the legs of the steamer over my feet to get it off, as I can't bend over enough. A few months ago, I had a 6" zipper sewn into the bottom of each wetsuit leg. This has helped a lot.
I could only find one company that could do the job. This is Aquasea Underwater Products at Caringbah in Sydney. Phone 02 9540 4774. It is a one-person company working from their garage at home. It was well done, but expensive - $66 for each zipper!


Must say that's mighty impressive IXL.
Some say you should surf in water temp no lower than your age. So 79 degrees F = 26 degrees C. Unless you move to higher latitude, then the wettie is the go.

Hoppo3228
VIC, 730 posts
20 Dec 2023 12:27AM
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Axxe wetsuits, custom made in Japan are the best i've used by far. They've designed a U zip across the shoulders and chest that is super easy to get in and out of. I have super wide shoulders and basically all stock chest zip wetsuits are a no go for me, but these are easy. I've also never had a flush wearing this system.

Yes they are proper $$ - but are worth it.

They can add zips at wrist and ankles to spec when you place an order.



I have a 2/2 unlined, a 3/2 unlined and a 3/2 with a fleecy lining which I use for winter in Vicco. Some prone surfing mates use a 2/2 with the fleecy lining added and with a integrated hood in the middle of winter and are toasty. (50+ yo guys. not groms). With the fleecy lining, I don't have to put up with using a 4/3 anymore and am so much more comfortable.

FYI - 7till8 also do a custom 2pc wetsuit which might fit the bill. www.7till8.com/products/custom-mens-surf-two-piece-wetsuit
I've had a suit from them and they say they use the same brand neoprene as Axxe (yamamoto) but the spec of the fabric isn't quite as nice imo - still awesome and still super high end, but not quite at the same level.

FRP
489 posts
22 Dec 2023 11:06AM
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Select to expand quote
theSeb said..

IXL said..
I am quite skinny, so I feel the cold. Also, I am 79 and stiff in the hips and lower back. Accordingly, I use a steamer in winter. My problem is peeling the legs of the steamer over my feet to get it off, as I can't bend over enough. A few months ago, I had a 6" zipper sewn into the bottom of each wetsuit leg. This has helped a lot.
I could only find one company that could do the job. This is Aquasea Underwater Products at Caringbah in Sydney. Phone 02 9540 4774. It is a one-person company working from their garage at home. It was well done, but expensive - $66 for each zipper!



Not sure if Solite is available in AussieLand, but check out the Solite bootie socks. They are super thin and very slick. You can choose to wear them with booties, or just take them off / put them on as needed to get the wetsuit on and off. Not only do they help with getting a wetsuit on and off, but they also make getting booties on and off much easier, if you do choose to wear them with booties. It's like a more sophisticated and reliable version of using a plastic bag over your feet.


Thanks

I have been using solite booties and socks in winter for years. Never thought of putting them on first and off last. Will give it a go. Good idea!
Cheers

Bob



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"SUP surfing wetsuits" started by ARVY