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Best winter wetsuit for SF ?
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sergem



Joined: 24 Oct 2003
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:26 pm    Post subject: Best winter wetsuit for SF ? Reply with quote

I bit the advertisement and was going to get me an Elite from Mr. Neil Pryde, but it looks like my size will be there no early than January Sad

Now the big question: what is the best winter wetsuit for SF ?

Also, folks, if you like you regular wetsuit, tell me! The market for these things is so "commoditized" that it is really hard to select anything!

Thanks !
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2489
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sergey,
If price is not an issue, I hear that the Kokatat goretex drysuit is great and very comfortable). (about $800+)

I do the layering method, I got a 5/4 wetsuit that is a little oversized and wear a farmer john front zip shorty underneath so the water doesn't come in the zipper of the 5/4. So in effect it's a 7/4 and almost dry and still comfortable. A zipperless neopreme vest underneath works good too (dive shops carry them).
A neopreme hood or full helmet with the ear holes taped off really helps too. Full 6mm booties are great too. Hands can be a problem, I wear 1/2 finger gloves year-round, but if you are warm, your hands will stay warmer too.
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1299
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I went down to Proof Labs in Mill Valley and tried on about a dozen wetsuits. What a workout. It ain't easy getting into a wetsuit the first time. Try that repeatedly.

I use a 4/3 year round, except when it's warm enough to use my 3/2 or a shorty in the summer. I seldom feel cold sailing in winter storms around here, but I have resorted to wearing booties in the winter from time to time. And on really cold days, I wear a thin neopreme rash guard underneath. I ended up with a Body Glove, I forget which one, but it was the $390 one. Easiest to get into. They all have that flood-gate thing you pull over your head. I'm not crazy about that - makes my neck feel constricted and my veins pop out.

Steve
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benpfree1



Joined: 17 Apr 2004
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually if price isn't an issue, go for one of the new Patagonia wetsuits. Not only are they more environmentally friendly than others, their 3mm is supposed to be as warm as most 4 or 5mm suits. I've heard they are super flexible as well. I think they run about $450 however.

-Ben
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ctuna



Joined: 27 Jun 1995
Posts: 529
Location: Santa Cruz Ca

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:27 pm    Post subject: Wetsuits Reply with quote

I am Happy with a 4/3 for the Ocean I have used Hotline and O-neil Wetsuits. I had a custom Wetsuit built by Heat Wave in Santa Cruz a couple of times it wasn't anymore expensive than the most expensive O-Neils and has lasted a long time, if you have a real odd body shape this is the way to go.
This year I tried and O-Neil Heat in a 3/2 for a Summer Suit and its so stretchy and light I bought another in a 4/3 it also seals well and is about 240 out the door. The downside of the new stretchy material I understand is it doesn't last as long. I don't like the suits that have a lot of Internal Flaps that are hard to position after you have some how squeezed into them, I prefer the older style . The Heats seem to fill the Bill, easy to get into light and don't inhibit your movement . I haven't Windsurfed much form November to March in any year but the real problem is your hands get cold and numb way to fast from the Wind Chill.
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soheilzahedi5



Joined: 05 Apr 2002
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently got a GUL suit that I'm really happy with. Since you're local to the Bay Area you can save the shipping charges by picking it up locally if you order from here:

http://www.calcupevents.com/Stores/Gul/Gul_Store.shtml

The two suits here are 2 really warm options for windsurfing.

cheers!
s.
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nogybe



Joined: 15 Apr 2000
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a big fan of O'neil wetsuits. I have three of their full suits - two 4/3s and a 3/2. The 4/3 Psycho 3/4 zip is my favorite for winter-time surfing. It's super warm, flexible, really keeps the water out, and it's easy to get on and off. The Psycho has a lot of easy-stretch neoprene. I have been using the same suit for about 3 years and it still looks like it's brand new so I wouldn't let concerns about durability steer me away from the flexible and more comfortable designs.

O'neil really stands by their products and will repair very old suits at very resonable cost. I have on old 4/3 Heat that I bought about 10-12 years ago as a surf suit. About four years ago I realized that the arm gussets were getting worn and I took the suit in to the Capitola store to see if it could be repaired. They said no problem. When the shop called me to tell me the suit was back from repair I found out that they had not only repaired the gussets, they replaced the neck collar, replaced the zipper and retaped and glued every seam. The total price for all this was right around $40.00. I still use that suit for cold weather wind surfing.

I'll never buy anything but an O'neil.
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npure2001



Joined: 15 Mar 2003
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bare Polar Heat dry-suit (recommended by Isthmus Sailboards of Madison, WI). Comfy, baggy upper body (great Michelin man flotation!) with a fleece liner, 5mm lower with seals. Had cut three rings off the collar (there are ten of them for sizing), so it is not excessively tight around the neck. As a result some water does get in when I go in head first, which is usually quite welcome to cool me off. Very good range of sizes.

http://www.sailworld.com/bare/bare.htm
http://www.the-house.com/ba001zzbare.html

Cheers,
Gabor
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jam-1



Joined: 23 Mar 1999
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had pretty good luck with O'neill suits. I use a 4/3 psycho 2 through the entire winter while surfing or windsurfing. I'll add a hood for when it is really cold, and booties with surf for sure. Psycho 2 has liquid seams both in/outside on stitching, and is pretty good at keeping water from coming in the neck.

But that is what works for me. In the end, you have to go with the suit that fits you best, as that one will keep more water out, won't tire you out, and won't chafe. The surf suits tend to have better knees and last a little longer.
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speedysailor



Joined: 11 Sep 2007
Posts: 841

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently I ran into a thread on some forum that saw some agreement that since the Psycho II was a surf and not windsurfing suit, it had it's drawbacks. One of the one's mentioned was that the stretchy fabric in the arms can hold water and creates a windchill effect. Yesterday I was out in my Pscho I and experienced that wind chill. Anyone care to comment intelligently?
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