Wetsuits?

Got anything to say about gear? Here's the place

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
MartinF
surf god
surf god
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:06
Location: N of Bristol. Prob in the pub
Contact:

Wetsuits?

Postby MartinF » Fri Nov 13, 2015 21:58

There, I said it. Wetsuits.

There's no question that I would benefit from a new (i.e. NOT 15 years old) winter wetsuit, that I bought immediately prior to the advent of stretchy Yamamoto neoprene. It has an "across the shoulder" zip, leading to the feeling of having a permanently inserted coat-hanger, and is adorned with neoprene glue upon older neoprene glue in order to prevent potentially embarrassing gaping. BUT... I am, at least, able to get into and out of it single-handed (as long as my trailer is close by to hook the zip lanyard over!).

For each of the last couple of years' October trips to Daymer, I've been down to Ann's Cottage surf seconds store just outside of Newquay, perchance to obtain a replacement winter suit. On each occasion, I've re-emerged not just empty-handed, but physically wrecked following attempts to try on 3 or 4 wetsuits.

They are all the wrong shape: tall & skinny. Not made for real-world men. Nor for grossly unfit, flabby men. Having struggled into the latest and greatest, "bound to fit you, XXL/small" and found I couldn't get the damn thing over my chest & head without 3 assistants pinning me down and another stretching the wetsuit to a state of semi-transparency before strangling me by pushing my head through a pinhole between the shoulders of the suit, I then found the chest zip... Or rather, I couldn't find the chest zip because my eyes won't bloody well focus so close without my non-windsurfing-compatible reading glasses so I am completely unable to marry the two zip halves in the correct manner. At this point, 4 yoofs start muttering things like "fat bastard" to one another. So clearly not a problem with the wetsuit, then.

After 3 further attempts with offerings from different manufacturers - all of whom seem not to acknowledge the "fuller figure", I am hot to the point of expiring, and wrecked beyond the effects of a week's windsurfing in Pozo.

So... my question is: where the f**k does one buy a windsurfing-specific winter wetsuit in these days of post-windsurfing era shop deficit, that ...
  1. Fits
  2. Can easily have my body inserted into it
  3. Can be fastened (and unfastened) and removed without a pair of handy gorillas on standby
  4. Is warm enough
  5. Ideally doesn't require a second mortgage.

I suspect I may have to reconcile myself to having one made to measure, to whit I have discovered the likes of Snugg & Spartan. Do you have any other suggestions for shops/manufacturers/planets with lower gravity?
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

User avatar
Graham_U
surf god
surf god
Posts: 981
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:08
Location: Nth.Wiltshire

Re: Wetsuits?

Postby Graham_U » Sat Nov 14, 2015 16:54

I quite like my O'Shea Stealth that I got about 18 months back, although I do wish that front entry zip was a couple inches longer. I got it on a trip to Boardwise, and having struggled into it, feeling quite snug (constricted), and rapidly over heating, the guy in the shop tried to suggest it was a little bit loose! Even though it is one stretchy type its a hell of a struggle to get out of.

I've always had a fear of the old back zips being stuck either way, a problem that was increasing with my old TWF Max as I expanded across the shoulders due to the effects of windsurfing. At least you can get to the front zip on your own to sort it out, if only there was a bigger hole to get into :???:

One reason why I stay in the shorty as long as possible is it so much easier to get in and out of, even with a back zip. But after a dozen or more years I thought my old TWF 2/3 Shortie, the first thing I got for sailing in this country had finally disintegrated so much that it needed to be replaced. Unfortunately the new TWF 2.2mm shortie I got from Tesco's (which I assumed was a like for like) lasted 3 trips, first was great, second zuck zip, third zip head broke in two so suit sent back for a refund. It's worth noting that a lot of the cheap wetsuits available now days have these tiny zips (as do board bags), this zip head was half the size of the one still working on my original Shortie. So I'd suspect this could be a common problem, and something to look out for in any new wetsuit.
Graham

User avatar
dro
surf god
surf god
Posts: 757
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 09:58
Location: south wales

Re: Wetsuits?

Postby dro » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:10

Can I suggest that you are looking in the wrong direction Martin.
I also seem to find these strange mounds and depressions that have recently appeared to prevent easy insertion
into the wet suit.
So I have taken inspiration from another very pleasant pastime and started using lubricaion.
can be embarasing at first when you pop in the local chemist and ask for three gallons of your best lubricant.
But in response to the very strange look that you will receive you have two options:

Smile a superior smile and walk out with a swagger or admit it is for your wet suit and smile pathetically

Anyway it works wonders and the only drawback is that is very difficut to explain to anyone after sailing why your wet suit looks so strange, oh yes a simple rinse out post action will not do !

The big advantage of course is that if you have any left over you can use it to fix your squeaky door........

Hope this is of help

A very slippery lord Timid
What do you mean not ENOUGH wind ?

User avatar
MartinF
surf god
surf god
Posts: 1023
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:06
Location: N of Bristol. Prob in the pub
Contact:

Re: Wetsuits?

Postby MartinF » Tue Nov 24, 2015 09:18

I have, of course, made a fundamental error in assuming that copious quantities of beer would act as an excellent means of lubrication. Other than lubricating the tongue, it has seemed to have an adverse effect on the wetsuit fitting arrangement.

KY would - as you suggest - probably work up to a point (no pun intended), but might also encourage the frequency of involuntary dismounts (yet again, no pun intended).
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.


Return to “General stuff”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest