THIS ARTICLE CAN BE READ IN KITEWORLD #107 ON OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM, FIRST PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2020. THE PRINT ISSUE IS ALSO AVAILABLE TO BUY HERE
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A drop in temperature doesn’t mean you need to confine yourself to land. New wetsuit technology can keep you incredibly warm and a quality winter suit makes all the difference to how motivated you’ll be to continue hitting your sessions. There’s no such thing as bad conditions, just bad equipment choices. Hit the dropdown boxes below to see a selection of brands producing quality cold water suits so you can rubber-up and get outside!
This year Mystic are using the more durable and eco-friendly Yamamoto #39 limestone neoprene in their Voltt, Majestic and Diva wetsuits. Softer, lighter and more durable than petroleum based neoprene, Yamamoto is excavated in Osaka’s quarries and processed on site with the waste energy used to power local eel farms. Expect high stretch and excellent insulation.
The 2mm neoprene beanie features flat lock seams and an attachment loop wetsuit connection. Good for just before the weather becomes really cold and you need an integrated hood, or for when rigging up. The Voltt hooded front zip suit is all new and uses a three thickness 6/4/3 design. You get a warmer suit with a lot more stretch.
The Women’s Diva 5/3 full suit double front zip now delivers improved stretch and heat retention, with a new Knitflex outer lining and Flaremesh quick dry inner lining. Wind Mesh panels have also been reinforced, adding strength and reduced wind chill. Also pictured above are the Supreme 5mm split toe boots and Supreme 3mm hood.
Find more at: www.mysticboarding.com
When Patagonia first started making wetsuits in 2008, their first purpose was to develop a less harmful alternative to neoprene, firstly by incorporating natural oil derived from the guayule plant. A few years later they completely eliminated neoprene from their suits by using natural rubber tapped from hevea trees.
Patagonia’s Yulex is made from 85% natural rubber blended with 15% synthetic rubber for additional durability and UV resistance.
In 2016 Patagonia were the first surf company to go neoprene-free. Yulex® natural rubber is now the base polymer for all men’s, women’s and kids’ suits as well as gloves, booties and hoods.
Find more at: eu.patagonia.com
Among the range of men’s and women’s suits and accessories is the new Mercury TR (Thermal Rebound), ProLimit’s strongest and ultimate watertight suit. Available in misty grey / black & black / blue, the suits are laminated on the inside with a thermal alloy on top of the comfortable Zodiac quick-dry lining.
At the other end of the range, the Predator is the more economical option, ranging from €259 – 299 and, like the Mercury TR, is made with combined limestone neoprene and available in 6/4, 5/3 and 4/3mm thicknesses.
Find more at: www.prolimit.com
You’re looking at the Men’s Hooded Apoc 5/4/3 and Women’s Elara 5/4/3, Ride Engine’s warmest suits, for waters down to 38-48°F / 3-9°C. Both feature a soft fleece lining, flush resistant front zip and liquid rubber seams that keep body heat in and cold water out. PFC and PTFE free limestone neoprene helps reduce the impact of production.
The 4mm hood provides a serious boost of warmth and features an integrated draw string opening while the soft rubber mouth guard can be tucked under the chin.
The 2mm gloves are pre-curved to prevent fatigue when holding your bar and also have an extra grippy palm and wrist; the latter will help hold your wetsuit cuff in place.
Find more at: rideengine.com