Wetsuit recommendations needed

3 weeks 4 days ago #34036 by MCImes
Hey Guys,
Im looking for a brand and product line that has good stretchy neoprene that works well for paddling - for example like "Ripcurl Flashbomb" or "O'Neill Psycho Tech". Most suits come in multiple weights and zipper configurations. I'll decide on those details after I have identified a couple good product lines to pursue.

I've worn out my wetsuit and need to replace it and get a second one for summer. I'm looking for a full wetsuit in 3mm or 4/3 for the winter and also a farmer john or short sleeve in 2mm or 3/2 for the summer. 

Also, has anyone used Patagonia Yulex wetsuits? I live near patagonia HQ and can get some good deals on the suits, but the website says Yulex is slighty stiffer than neo which obviously would not be good for paddling.

Last, my current wet suit is a pull over type where you pull your head through the gasket then the zipper is on your chest just above your nipples. i have liked this entry type as the zipper cannot be felt while paddling. Does a vertical front zip or shoulder cinch (zipperless) design chafe or bunch up? I think pull over is my first choice, but also have not used another type of wetsuit and am wondering how other designs feel while paddling

Thanks

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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3 weeks 4 days ago - 3 weeks 4 days ago #34037 by feeny
The Mocke Equinox neoprene is super comfortable and specifically designed for paddling - they make a full suit, or separate legs/top, as well as a vest overlay too.

May not meet your thickness requirements though (2mm).
https://mockepaddling.com/product/paddling-wetsuit-fullsuit/

I'm sure if you mailed them they'd be able to advise further.

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3 weeks 4 days ago #34038 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Wetsuit recommendations needed
The wetsuit you've seen me wear is a 2mm Yulex farmer john. I really love it. It's very flexible, which is not so critical since there are no arms on it. I haven't tried any yulex with arms, instead I went for a Vaicobi Vcold flex top with long arms, which is also awesome. It doesn't warm as much as 2mm neoprene, in part because the under-arms are just fabric, but with a wind breaker jacket over it I have yet to be cold. I have yet to try any "proper" neoprene jacket with arms that I'd enjoy wearing. I hope I can try the Mocke stuff at the Gorge this summer (in 100+ degrees heat, haha!).

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3 weeks 4 days ago - 3 weeks 4 days ago #34039 by Henning DK
I have been fully satisfied with my 5/4 O'Neill Psycho One with front zipper - super flexible in spite of 5 mm thickness and has proved durable as well, no issues after two active winters.
Wetsuits are even quite nice to wear when water temperature is low and air is warm (like yesterday in Denmark), you don't sweat the way you do in a drysuit.
Psycho One comes in less than 5 mm as well, I think, and it is probably the O'Neill series with best flexibility - still warm enough, though.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

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3 weeks 3 days ago #34052 by pprin
I recently picked up an Xcel Compx 3/2 with the chest zip.  The newer wetsuits are amazingly stretchy and this model has zero seams in the back - which increases the flex and makes it chafe free.  Also has the fuzzy inner lining which makes it easy to get in and out of.  Very comfortable, hardly notice that I am wearing it.   Dries fast.  Huge improvement over a suit from 8 years ago.  Wetsuit tech has come a long way very quickly.  I wore it down in Newport Beach in early March and have been using it consistently here in Seattle lakes with water temps in the upper 40's or about 8C.  Definitely warm enough for short stints in the local water and plenty warm in air temps down to about 40F/6C.  I start overheating when the air temp gets close to 60F/15C but nothing a quick jump in the lake can't remedy.

-pprin

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3 weeks 3 days ago #34053 by zachhandler
My feeling on wetsuits is that all the companies make awesome very stretchy surfing suits. You have to pay more for the extra stretchy stuff but it is really worth it if you are paddling in it. I think that the more important difference between brands is the fit. Different body types seem different brands. It is just  like trying on shirts or jackets. Some cater to wider or thinner shoulders, chest, belly etc. a wetsuit that doesnt fit well is either restrictive or holds too much water and lets you get cold and heavy. I try them on before I buy. FWIW, i have a 2mm wetsuit and it is the one i use more than any other. 

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3 weeks 3 days ago #34054 by nwsurfskier
If you want something warm and flexible I'd highly recommend O'Neill  Psycho Freak 3/2. Super flexible and the design is so well sealed that it's almost like a dry suit. However most of the time it's too warm and I prefer to wear the Patagonia farmer john with Vaikobi V Cold top. Both worn only for downwind with chance of huli in water temp 55-65 year round. Otherwise stick to Vaikobi V Cold top and bottom. 

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3 weeks 2 days ago - 3 weeks 2 days ago #34057 by mortenlinding
Hi
I use a wetsuit from NP (Neil Pride) model: Mission 5/4/3 mm. with a front zipper. Front of torso and legs are 5 mm back of legs 4 mm and arms 3 mm. It has great flex and a good fit and i also warm in cold conditions (2-10 degree celsius ): The back has a rubber texture. This surface can stick to your PFD(I use Mocke) And I have experience some chaffing on the rubber.This can be avoided be using a rashguard on top. If you use a PFD with plain nylon on the inside it might not be an issue. Moche has a mesh. Hope you find the right suit. 

Current ski: Carbonology Vault Hybrid 1. Gen / Nordic kayaks Storm / SS2 Carbonology Zest

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3 weeks 2 days ago - 3 weeks 2 days ago #34061 by Fath2o
Marcus, OK, first of all realize this coming from a guy that when he started paddling surfskis, some 35 years ago, only wore speedos and a hat when paddling, (remember Magnum PI). I honestly don't think you need a full wetsuit to paddle locally. Neoprene pants or shorts and a variety of rash guards should suffice. The fleece rash guards with a PFD and maybe a windbreaker should suffice in winter. Booties are also a good call with lower water temps. Summer time doesn't require much. I typically wear neoprene shorts, that provide extra padding, and rash guard tank top. I have always found full wet suits way to confining for paddling. BTW, I am very accustom to wearing full wetsuits having surfed for the last 50 years. Been through a lot of wetsuits. If you are more comfortable wearing a full wetsuit, I think that I would look in to wet suits designed for triathletes and swimmers, I feel surf suits are overkill for paddling locally. Of course this is just my opinion and experience for what it is worth!
I am currently wearing an O'Neil 4/3 Pyshco 1 wetsuit for surfing and can't even consider the thought of wearing it to paddle in. Too much rubber! As the water temps rise I will be hanging up the 4/3 and tapering down to a 2mm short john for surfing. Much less needed for paddling.
Oh, an I agree with Zach that every manufactures' suits fit differently and trying each one on is highly recommended. Always been problem for me.

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3 weeks 1 day ago #34068 by SurfskiEstonia
I wear an Oxbow wetsuit 3mm most of the time and although this is a little illogical, I prefer a slightly larger wetsuit, so they restrict less, easier on the skin under the armpits, less shoulder fatigue on raised elbows.. but then they do let water in between the suit and body at a faster pace when submerged. 

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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3 weeks 1 day ago #34070 by MCImes
Thanks for the thoughts so far and keep them coming. 

With your thoughts in mind,
I love the look of a Mocke suit but can't justify $400 on a wet suit

Good to know yulex is worth considering still

That's a good point about many mfg having its own cut and finding yours.  I'll have to try on a few suits before i make the final call on the 3mm full.
The xcel comp 3/2 is on sale for 150 shipped. That's pretty tempting though

It's coming up on summer so i think I'll pick up the 2mm farmer John suit and maybe I will look for a warming shirt for the cloudy  or windy days. The Mocke shirt looked intriguing

I know many people dislike wetsuits while paddling but i really don't mind.  Even the few year old O'Neill Mutant 4/3 i'm retiring is fine and is not very bothersome.  
Considering i paddle alone 96% of the time and the bigger it is the more likely im out, above average immersion protection is my final insurance policy ensuring no matter what goes wrong, i can spend a long time in the water and be ok (overnight or longer i figure).

Plus if you stop and dunk occasionally, here in the dry california air the evaporative cooling effect is pretty strong when it's hottest here 

To me,  any downside is offset by peace of mind and the ability to go out on days that push my limits. I wouldn't do a race in a 3 or 4mm suit,  but for solo paddling,  it's not a big deal to me considering the safety margin it adds

Good thoughts,  keep them coming

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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3 weeks 1 day ago #34071 by CrabStick
Have had very comfortable cold weather paddling in Sharkskins or Adrenalin 2P thermals but they get a little heavy once immersed. Vaikobi storm range also comfortable but not as much insulation as a wetsuit especially once wet. Once it gets to winter paddling (if we get a Winter in Perth) in rough conditions I'm much more likely to go for stable boat (BlueFin) and almost always within 200m of shore so prolonged immersion highly unlikely.
Have used and liked Farmer Johns at Tarifa but can't handle the restricted feeling of a wetsuit top. A good compromise is the really flexible and super-warm Frogskins thermal longsleeve top which I got through wetsuit warehouse. Really easy to get on and off and have 0.5mm neoprene so completely windproof like a wetsuit with better freedom of movement.
They wouldn't pass the stringent MCImes stay-out-overnight-in-cold-water test though!

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin, Swordfish
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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2 weeks 3 days ago #34092 by zachhandler
You could look at the “SUPreme” wetsuits. I think they are made by hyperflex. They are designed for SUP. They are extremely stretchy. I own a pair of their pants and a short sleeve long leg wetsuit.  The reason i recommend them is that they are top quality, designed for paddlers, and very cheap now because they are discontinued as a wetsuit line. Basically the market for SUP specific wetsuits was not as big as they thought it was. Look them up. They make a 3/2 wetsuit that might be what you are looking for,  

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2 weeks 3 days ago #34095 by MCImes
You're the bomb Zach. Exactly what I was looking for. at 50% off right now i cant say no to that. I just pulled the trigger on a Blade 3/2 Full for the cooler season and a 1.5 Short sleeve for the warmer times


I'll tack on the question since its related - I always paddle in a wetsuit since ive been on the west coast. On lakes back east, I would just use single layer board shorts, but dont think that was ideal. What is the most comfortable shorts/pants for The Gorge / warm weather where cold is not a concern at all? I should pick up a pair and adequately test before the gorge. 1.5mm hyperflex shorts?

thanks

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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2 weeks 2 days ago #34098 by zachhandler
I wear spandex shorts, of any brand. I have had the double layer south african ones (mocke and that other brand with the crazy patterns), zoot and speedo spandex swim shorts, patagonia, underarmor, etc. I also use my nordic skiing wind briefs as they are black skin tight mid thigh and I own a lot of them. For me they all work the same. I just grab whatever is on top of the laundry pile. Preferably the clean laundry pile, but that is not always an option.  

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2 weeks 2 days ago #34099 by Wombat661
I will throw in my comments. 
If you are in SoCal, consider Coral Reef custom wetsuit. The guy is in Westminster, and he is ready to retire. He made a 3mm wetsuit for me, and it was as warm as a 5mm scuba diving suit. I could probably stay out in SoCal water for the entire afternoon in the winter and still be warm. You can't get that kind of custom suit anymore.
Colder weather down to 60F air and water, I go with two piece Sharkskin, which is equivalent to 1mm wetsuit. It dries quickly or at least it feels like is dry because water just drains out. You warm up faster because water drains out quick.
 In the summer time with water at 65F, Sharkskin rapid dry top and Pearl Izuma long bike pants (without the padding) works great. Bike pants allow you to slide in the seat. Long sleeve protect you from the sun.
In general, one piece suits are much warmer than two piece suit. However, for practical reasons, two piece is better when nature calls :)  Not much water go in and out of a one piece, then you sit back in the boat for the next hour. You get the picture.

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1 week 2 days ago - 1 week 2 days ago #34164 by MCImes
Arg, now I see what Zach  means about the cut/fit.

They're out of medium in the 3/2 so I guess im still on the search for a med-weight suit. 

I ordered 2 of the SUPreme suits and just tried them on yesterday. The fabric is great, really comfortable and non-restrictive, but the cut around the waist is all wrong for my body shape (they're cut for an overweight person!). From the bottom of my rib cage to my navel is very baggy. not tight at all. I could easily fit a frisbee between the small of my back and where the suit hangs, even though I am right in the middle of the size Large dimensions. I swear, fat americans are ruining clothing! I'm now down to a Medium bordering on a Small in golf/polo shirts and I'm 6'1" 185 lbs with a 34 waist. I need european cut clothing just so its not baggy as hell! According to our health department as of 2016 the average american man is now 5'9" (175cm), 198lbs (90kg), with a 40.3" (103cm) waist! Sounds like we need more people on skis 3x a week!

Im re-ordering  a Medium 1.5 shorty to see if that fits. Otherwise I will have to find a different suit cut for fit people. My old O'Neill Mutant fits snugly all around. If the Medium SUPreme suit still doesnt fit, how high (price/quality wise) in the O'neill line do you have to go to get good, stretchy, soft neoprene?

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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