Review : Isurus Alpha-Elite 434 Mens Wetsuit - 2016
Don’t make the mistake I did of trying your isurus wetsuit at home, you’ll sweat and it will become a battle. Do it outside when it’s cold, it will be easier and it will glide on your skin to take it’s shape. In fact you realise it when checking the isurus video on youtube showing how to put on a wetsuit, the guy is outside…
When I finally put the wetsuit on for my first session on this 0°C morning, it was just perfect, no hassle.
That review is not based on the 3 first sessions to allow the suit / material to break in.
Thickness : no surprises, real rubber thickness, it's thick as it should be with the addition of some ultra thin nylon finish lining. You also get a different lining inside with the SCS Nano Skin Smoothy back panel, ultra thin also but kind of a tiny tiny bit fluffy.
In / Off the wetsuit: after the break in period it is easyer than last year model thanks to the newly design entry system. For those of you in need of a tip: Putting it on, I put left arm first. Putting it off, right arm first. No Hassle. No battle.
The Fit: well this depends on body type, it certainly fits great (for me), it’s almost like if it was the best overall sizing, better than a custom for me (go figure, and I own custom wetsuits). Like if all brands choosed to specilaise in a body type, short, large, tall, and if Isurus managed to size the perfect average in everything. Is it due to panel construction? material? how it just enclose your muscles?
I’m really amazed how this wetsuit fits me, I mean it fits me better than a fully custom yamamoto wetsuit. UNREAL. I have not ONE complain to make about the fit. not too tight, not too loose in any part. No flushes or entry points (do not forget to adjust the cord on the left shoulder!). Best, painless and easiest chest entry system ever. I always find something, ALWAYS. but nothing here.
SERIOUSLY: If there was a competition solely on chest zip wetsuit entry system, The champion would be the new isurus range (2016 and assuming all the range has the same entry system).
Almost no stress on the seams while putting it on or off. Amazing. And i've tested a bunch this year, including the big names. I must add that the neoprene holes due to the sitching in some strategic areas have increase in size a little bit, nothing you don't see elsewhere but still.
Well, it's a good entry panel if you know what you’re doing. If you don’t want to take care of the suit and just pull it off (or on) like a crazy monkey, you will put some stress on the seams and eventually damage the suit, don’t worry, it’s doable.
I’m stoked with the suit, this is exactly that kind of product that is so well made, so high end, so perfect in any way, with the highest grade material that can be used (almost : Yamamoto just launched their #40 neoprene), that you’re just addicted. So beyond what there is out there. Well if you are the kind of guy peculiar enough to apreciate it. Humm, is there any guy out there who can't apreciate a ferrari? sadly, there is...
Hello, my name is Phil, I’m addicted to Isurus wetsuits and wetsuit accessories. Please make booties, please make gloves, please make an 1.5MM summer fullsuit.
While I’m at it: please specifiy hood sizes for your hooded wetsuits.
Warmth: I won’t comment because it’s subjective to conditions, body fat and surfer preference. But yeah it’s hot and you’ll be hotter than the competition with the same thickness that do not use limestone. Benefits : you can use thinner specs and have more flexibility and same warmth. In cold water, that’s a real bonus.
In this wonderfull world of pleasure and luxury, the tiny little things can alter your satisfaction though. Like some disgracefull collar, shoulder and leg creases in the neoprene, that can’t be undone and that are due to folding the wetsuit in the warehouse after manufacture. Even if the suit comes in a plastic bag with a lot of different kinds of protection, that it’s wraped around air tubes to avoid that kind of creases, you have no way to avoid it 100%.
I have also on my suit a problem with the panel glued behind the chest zipper that starts to come off like if there was not enough glue or something. I have like 3 unglued centimeters. I have noticed that if I specifically pull on it, it spreads a bit. After 8 sessions this did not expand with real use. Doesn’t have any consequence for now. I have plenty of time to take care of that and will report when the times come.
In the water: by a chilly 0°C morning, 11°C water temp with 13 knots wind, I couldn’t help myself and peed in the suit, a large amount actually. In the 3/2 as I don’t use booties and gloves it goes away and it never bothered me. In this one obviously with boots and gloves with a tight set up, all the pee stayed in, I got cold and stayed cold. It was the first session after 2 months of continuous various viruses that got me sticked to the couch, I had no arms to enter those mushy and mellow waves, so no chance to flush anything by gravity. I managed to stay an hour and half more in the water anyway but it was not comfy at all. Does standing up might have flushed it, dunno but I don’t really want to try just to update you guys.
By 11°C water temp with 10°C outside temp and little to no wind, small waves with long periods so not extreme activity at all (with hood / gloves / booties): i was HOT, had to ftake out the hood to flush it a bit, was cooking.
Will report on different session temps, in case that's of any use for you.
Bottom line: I don’t know about Feral and Carapace but I’ve check almost everything else that could compare and in my opinion in 2016 this is the BEST surfing wetsuit money can buy, no doubt. Did not check the new matuse scipio and I don’t know what their blackzero tech is really about, if it changes anything in their stretch and longevity, this brand is more soul than clarity so you just have to trust them. I’m not really inclined to, given the reputation of their product of beeing stiff among other things, so yeah Isurus is the way to go if you're in search for the higher end.
I’ll be updating this review from time to time given what’s hapenning.