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Best winter wetsuit for SF ?
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Suba-rude



Joined: 15 Mar 2002
Posts: 334
Location: Outer Richmond District.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your a normal size s-2xl and not funny about surf/windsurf specific models- Wise in SF always has a rack of suits on sale. In the past I have purchase new, 2-xl and xl suits for literally 1/2 off! Top of the line suits 4/3 5/5s that sell in the summer for $350 for as little as $150. I just bought the wife a 4/3 BG for $99 with lots of smooth skin.

If your windsurf specific; why not try Pro-motion? ? $200 gets an all smooth skin 4/3 windsurf specific suit. With or without killer graphics (flames on the arms etc....) Embarassed
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Suba-rude



Joined: 15 Mar 2002
Posts: 334
Location: Outer Richmond District.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 4/3 Pro motion wetsuit I bought in the gorge for $199! All smooth skin.


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kevinkan



Joined: 07 Jun 2001
Posts: 1161
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

speedysailor wrote:
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?


The main feature differences windsurf specific-and surf-specific wetsuits are:
-mesh(smoothskin) vs. double-lined-nylon construction
-more generous cut in the upper body to prevent forearm cramping & fatigue
-ankle gussets to make getting in and out of your suit easier

The main advantage of all mesh construction is that it's warmer. The smoothskin beads and sheds water better than a nylon cover which absorbs water. When the wind blows, you get evaporative cooling which is felt as wind chill. Newer surf suits have gotten better in this area as a lot of the higher end surf suits use a coated nylon which sheds water to prevent evaporative cooling. This coated nylon material is usually reserved for upper midrange and high end surf suits and it also used in some nylon suits from windsurfing companies like the Neil Pryde NPX and some of the Ion and Pro-Limit suits. That said, the water-shedding treatments on the nylon suits is not as effective at shedding water compared to a smoothskin mesh suit... just think of your the DWR coating on your waterproof ski jacket and how the shell eventually gets saturated with water. The main advantage of the nylon suits is that the material holds up better to UV and cuts from rocks and other sharp objects... but it is not as warm in the wind.

You can also stay warmer by getting a suit that is lined w/ polypro... that will wick some of the moisture off your skin so don't lose so much heat through conduction. If your suit doesn't have this lining, you can also wear a polypro rash guard underneath. Getting a suit that has some sort of back flap and/or pullover neck collar also goes a long way toward keeping cold water from enterning your suit through the zipper or neck everytime you get dunked, which will make a big difference in your warmth over the course of a session. I also find that I really notice the extra warmth of a good mesh suit when I'm hanging out in my suit out of the water... like rigging up in the rain, or waiting around while storm conditions change.

kev
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2487
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kevinkan wrote:

The main advantage of all mesh construction is that it's warmer. The smoothskin beads and sheds water better than a nylon cover which absorbs water. When the wind blows, you get evaporative cooling which is felt as wind chill.


Kevin is right-on about windchill. I had a suit that had nylon just on the surface of the arms and the arms were noticeably colder.

If you already have a nylon2 surfing wetsuit, you can cut the windchill by wearing a waterproof jacket over your wetsuit. Murrays.com has a waterproof sailing jacket that even has a neopreme waist gasket.
Gives that 5/3 a drysuit look and it's almost as warm too (without the tight collar).
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