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What is the best wetsuit brand for Diving/Surfing?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by mcdoc, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. mcdoc

    mcdoc Guest

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: LK
    I'm looking for the most comfortable wetsuit for Diving and Surfing. I'm getting a full wetsuit 4/5mm. What's the best brand for price, quality, comfort, and durability?
    I'm new scuba diver and I'm buying some gear. I just need a regulator, but we have limited access to dive shops in my area. What's the best way to pick a reg?
  2. Token

    Token Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Calgary Alberta
    HI Mcdoc -- welcome to Scubaboard!

    Unfortunately, your question is nearly unanswerable. What works for me may very well not work for you. 'Most comfortable' means you will have to visit a dealer and actually try the suit in question on for fit and function. If there was any single, simple answer, it would be the brand everybody wears.

    Price and quality...there's a reason some suits cost a lot more than others, and given the size of the market, it's likely that you'll get what you pay for. Cost is the least important factor, IMHO...saving a hundred or two is a bad trade for a suit that doesn't last, doesn't fit, or doesn't have the features you need.

    Durability: You are aware that simple water pressure while diving will wear a wetsuit out over time? Better [ie. more costly] suits stand up to this sort of wear better. Personally, I wouldn't wear a good diving wetsuit for surfing...I'd get a cheap one for playing on the surface.

    Okay, having said all that...I found a Bare Velocity 3mm at an LDS that fit me perfectly. I could have spent less and gotten less too. Given that I'll be doing only a week or two of warm-water diving a year, it may last me a decade or longer. Bare is a good brand by all accounts, and as long as their sizes fit my body, I'll be a fan.

    I suggest you do lots of shopping, and reading here to get a variety of opinions and experiences with various brands.
  3. stakanak

    stakanak Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Long Beach, Ca
    Getting what you pay for is not always true with wetsuits. Aleeda suits last for a long time and are very inexpensive. O' Neil on the other hand are expensive and have degradation problems.
    The super stretchy materials degrade faster as well. They may solve this in the future but for now...
    Check out Excel for durability and O' Neil, Bare, and Billabong for comfort.
    You do not need to spend $500.00 to get a quality suit!
  4. cmburch

    cmburch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Suisun Bay
    I use O'Neill for SCUBA, boating, surfing. Check out their website. Their surf wetsuits are not recommended for SCUBA.

    I also use Xcel for SCUBA.

    Both O'Neill and Xcel have wetsuits, gloves, booties that fit me the best.

    Check out SCUBAToys for ideas on Regs. Join ST forum for discounts.

    When you try on wetsuits and find one that fits, ask when they will have a sale on them. Some shops will drop the price 15-25% the same day rather than you having to wait for the sale.
  5. djtimmy77

    djtimmy77 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: RPB, FL
    Big fan of Rip Curl for surf wetsuits, have an F-Bomb 3/2 fullsuit and an older E2 2.2mm heater top. I currently use the fullsuit for diving in water between 70 and 75, but I wouldn't use it any colder. That being said it has kept me toasty surfing in 56 degree water, and the flexibility of the arms is great for paddling. I also have high regard for Xcel suits too.

    I will eventually get a (thicker) dedicated dive wetsuit, but it is unlikely that I would wear it surfing.
  6. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    I have had great luck with Tilos wetsuits... one 7mm full suit lasted over 600 dives (although the legs had fallen off just below the knees after about 450 dives.

    Brands I have not had good luck with included Seaquest and my latest "unfavorite" the Henderson Neosport line (which started falling apart after just 20 dives and fell apart before 40 dives).
  7. SeaHound

    SeaHound Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: An international vagabond
    Fit is more important to me than durability because I dont get to dive as often as most people. Bare 3mm has served me well in over 25 dives. When it looses its stretch I would gladly buy another one because it doesnt cost that much (100 bucks around)
  8. Jasoncassanova

    Jasoncassanova Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines
    ripcurl 3/2 mm for me, get the one's on sale, they will last a long time and they're durable
  9. furby076

    furby076 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Philadelphia
    I like my Akona 5MM fullsuit. I just used it in the caymans it was very comfy. I have a pinnacle merrino 7MM semi dry. It keeps me warmer, but I definitely feel like I am wearing something constricting...definitely not a surf suit.

    I highly recommend getting two wetsuits...one for diving and one for surfing. The one for diving should be thicker (in case you hit a thermocline)
  10. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest

    # of Dives:
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    Recently discovered that the Neosport I have may have been from stock older than 6 years which may be the reason it fell apart so quickly. They are sending me a new one to try.

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