Review : Nineplus Wetsuit 2/1.5mm Retro Jacket Front Zip 2015

Nineplus Wetusit 2 1.5mm Retro Jacket Front Zip

You'll certainly have to order your nine plus equipement online, and if you don't want to waste money or time, sizing is gonna be critical. And that's where the problem is with nine plus. It's almost like their size chart is made from a skinny guy template, like the one on the picture showing the products on their webpage:

retro jacket front zip

The jacket in itself is really made of superb yamamoto limestone rubber that shines (my picture do not do it justice), some glide skin on torso, arms and back, super gooey underarm. it's well thought of. It's also not stated on their website but it looks titanium lined, and I think it's made from #39  yamamoto neoprene (like isurus and seventhwave MAX) but again they do not specify.

Thickness : no error here. it's a 2,5mm / 1.5mm (measured) including a very thin lining so we are talking aproximatly 2.1mm / 1.2 mm real rubber thickness here.
(they say 2mm with 2.5mm body on their website, maybe they updated the design)

Inner arm lining, is not made of silky smooth neoprene, so it's a bit hard to enter your arm and place it correctly (see size comment also), the same goes for all the interior lining of the glide skin neoprene panels. The lining on the underarms panel are super silky smooth though.

Sizing is the real problem for me with this front zip jacket. I'm end of the range L in almost every brand, as I'm right between L and XL at 6'0, 190 lbs, long torso. I should wear a Large given their size chart: L: 176 to 194 lbs, 5'10 to 6'0.

I purchased the XL : 196 to 220 lbs, 5'11 to 6'1. IT FEELS SUPER SNUGG?????? Like a snugg large...

I mean it's a pain to enter the arms and I think I have to overstretch the neoprene, and it's also hard closing it.

One sure thing is that it's water tight!! Still confortable paddling as it's super strechy like a second skin.

If you size up, you are certainly gonna come out with too long arms and that won't be good.

When you combine the inner lining with super snugg sizing, well you get an hard to get in / out jacket you have to stretch too much than necessary. I mean it's a jacket neoprene top, It should be easy!

There is something going on with their sizing, if you're on the skinny range and not particularly muscular then go for it, if not you probably have other options especially if you want a loose top.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret buying it, and I didn't send it back... Also because it was at 50% off. But, if I were on the market right now for a jacket, I'll probably try another yamamoto one that would size me better, maybe the seventhwave. This one looks good with the red stitching though...

Review : O'Neill Ultraflex 1.5MM Gooro RG8 wetsuit Hood

ONeill Ultraflex 1.5MM Gooro RG8 wetsuit Hood

This simply does the job. Is it great? No. Is it Bad? Not really.
Flexibility : Average, it flexes ok. The gooey exterior cover is stiff.
Fit : Not really for my head shape I think, the design of the cinch loop is perfect for my head though as I can wear it on the chin or under the jaw (either way I get the same problems).
Material: you really get only 1mm rubber, and the rest is lining
Drying: dries quickly

That would be the range temp for me cold water from 10°C to 14°C. (wind / air temp consideration excluded)

For me the deal breaker is the visor and the fit.
The fit : It doesn't cover my forehead well enough, I think it's probably how it's designed. I must add that comfort with the surfears earplugs is just unbearable for a reason I can't figure out. It certainly applies to much pressur on the ear...

The visor : They used something so tough, so not flexible it's annoying. I've seen this material on all the big brand hoods.
It's neither plastic nor rubber. the point is it's a BAD BAD choice of material.

The worst part is that this visor material is a huge design flaw. It's so rigid, that when you duck dive, it rotates up or down your face and "opens" abreach on each sides of the hood making water comes in directly on your ears and neck.

If you don't want that to happen, you have to tighten the cord so much it's unbearable.

Nice...

They still use that type of material for the visors on their hood line, so pay attention when choosing one, on any brand. If you need one and surf all winter with it, think flexible, or remove it (easily doable)? But having one helps with the sun...

I'll say it's not even an average hood for the occasional cold water surfer. given the 10 to 20 dollars price difference between an average hood and a great hood, why bother. Putting a hood is a pain for every surfer. Everyone is easyly capable of making his life complicated or miserable.

Do yourself a favor, take your time and find a great hood. I think I finally found one with the Isurus Hood that just arrived today. When I surfed a couple sessions with it a report will follow.

Review : O'Neill 3/2mm Psycho 1 z.e.n. zip (backzip) full Wetsuit 2014

ONeill Wetsuit 32 Psycho 1 backzip fullsuit

This is the first gen Psycho 1 in technobutter neoprene. The feel is a bit rash. Big BUMMER, your skin do not glide inside when putting on the suit, the same goes for next gen technobutter 2 neoprene.

This wetsuit, in 2014, is overall better than the competition and it has been awarded the best wetsuit 2 years in a row by the solspot.com tests. Great and thorough work by these guys.
I won't be quoting their test, so I encourage you to check on your preferred search engine for that review.
I must say, given the grades, the winner is the one that is better in the aspect that is mandatory for you. In that review, the price for performance had a high ranking value.

I won't talk about what you can read elsewhere. I'll focus on how does it Wear? How long does the material holds it's performance? Design flaw on the long run?

The first thing is the back zip neck closure, I felt it was anoying when paddling, almost hurting. Too tight, you're restricted and unconfortable. Too loose, you get the neck flush (their firewall tech not of much help here). I just couldn't get comfy with that closure. And I went for the L, so it was snugg. I have an XL long torso, so I did not have too much material in that spot.

The second thing with that z.e.n. zip model is that the scratch from the neck closure, rips and damage your suit on the inside, while putting it on / off, storing, cleaning. This scratch makes some real damage on the neoprene. They claim that their technobutter 2 is more resistent to that. Not that much of a difference.

I recommend going with the chest zip they name : Psycho one f.u.z.e 3/2mm full wetsuit, you won't go back to a back zip. Well, that is if you really want that model and no other for some reason.

After a year (aprox 50 sessions) cuffs on arms and legs are not that tight anymore, water comes in a bit. The material also loose some of it's capacity to keep you warm, and i'm not talking here about the biggest downside of the suit : even in 17°C water temps, if there is no sun, you'll get cold after an hour if you are not super active in the water. If there is a litte wind, the same.

If you are not a performance shortboarder guy : AVOID this suit. because you do not sit low enough in the water to stay warm.
The second year, after (90+ sessions), you can keep the suit for cold summer days like 18°C to 21°C water / air temps.

Given the solspot test protocol and grading, it's only the price that makes this suit a winner (for them), but it all depends on what is important to you first. I wonder how you can factor in the price tag that much, especially in a suit you're cold! Staying warm in cold water is the number one reason you buy a suit in the first place! Take that price difference, divide it by 2 years, then think again.

Personnally those are the parameters I factor in: consistent performance for at least 2 years, fit and comfort, warmth, wet weight. I don't factor in stretch because like I said in another review, every neoprene is super stretchy nowadays apart from some matuse or patagonia suits and entry level wetsuits, so I don't think it's really relevant anymore.
If you benefit or really feel the difference in stretch between a Xcel dry lock 3/2 and a Ripcurl flash BOMB 3/2, then you should definitly surf or work out more.

I think you have better options out there in that price range using limestone neoprene. If I had no isurus I-elite 3/2 nor the money to grab one, i'll probably try NEEDSessentials for the best quality / perfomance material / price ratio (they don't offer any warranty though...).

Review : Creatures Of Leasure shortboard slim fit day use boardcover

creatures of leasure shortboard slim fit day use boardcover

This is some High quality board bag we got here.

Well padded. Well Balanced. Well Constructed. Well engineered.

The materials are great, In two years the Zip is like new and even if it sometimes screw up, it doesn't open up and is super easy to re-open. It's almost like it's engineered that way.

So you have all the aspects of a great boardbag, and 2 main things that are interesting with this one:

1) The slim fit, it's a 6'7 shortboard boardbag and it fits like a glove My 6'6 / 19'5. The board could be larger and thicker no problem, thanks to the construction that will be my point number 2.

2) It's constructed with expansion in mind from nose to tail, so you have the top, the bottom and on each side you have expansion panels of that shape: ><. With that construction if the board is in the 18' to 19'5 range, it will be heavily protected all around by the top and bottom edge of the bag.

I don't know if I'm clear enough, so here's a 3 minute made illustration thanks to photoshop:

boardbag cut view

It's ugly but will fill its purpose. Imagine it's a board in the bag, cut in the middle. The white is the board obviously, the black is the boardbag.

You can now see how well your rails are protected with this board cover design.

Get one for your stick, you won't regret it.