Review : Isurus Wetsuits I-Elite 232 - 2015
First review after 30+ session for 4 months in water ranging from 18°C to 12°C.
Advertised for these temperatures 54°F (12°C) to 61°F (16°C) : It's true.
Neoprene thickness advertised 2/3/2 is true: we are talking real rubber thickness here. (not rubber + lining thickness bullshit).
Wore it in the morning by a windy 10°C and water at 13°C : no cold at all even after 2 hours surf. I have very little fat, was active and wearing gloves, hood and booties. At 18°C obviously without anything I was a bit too hot...
In the morning, with a 3°C outside temperature and a 12°C Water temp, your are not warm. The good thing is while session last you don't get colder even after 2 hours. For these conditions you need to go thicker, maybe not if it's 10°C sunny and up outside.
Yamamoto is really a japanese neoprene that is better that what quibillcurneil uses, it does not soak up water so you definitly feel light while surfing and it dries quickly. Maybe it's 10 to 20% less flex than a curlneill suit at first but after a few sessions it seems the same and it's hardly noticeable while paddling. Pay attention, all yamamoto neoprenes are not the same. This one is buttery silky smooth, when you touch it and wear it you know it's the highest grade.
The fit: I will develop a bit here as fit is the number one aspect of a suit.
First thing, you will read around on forums guys reporting it is hard to put the wetsuit on. Well, these suits are engineered to be snug, that's how they work and they state it's supposed to be (compression technology), so considering that a usual wetsuit should fit a little snug to keep you warm, of course it's a bit harder to put it on, especially if your in the high end of the size range, be realistic! And if you're sweaty or do not use a plastic bag... The plastic bag method is not a trick, as I've read several times, it's to ensure the longevity of your suit, just a way to ease the process and take care of the suit.
That beeing said, if you don't like a snug fit then find another wetsuit or size up and loose some warmth.
I am tempted to advise you to go smaller if you are in between sizes as it's what I should have done. I'm in between L and XL, generally I Have to go the XL way as the torso is short and the Large feels really too snug with the usual wetsuits brands. With the isurus I should have taken the L, the XL does the job but i'm probably loosing the benefits of their compression tech and some warmth.
Rinced after every session, it still looks like new apart from the residual wax here and there. No stitching or glue problem.
2 things to know:
1) You do get at times a small neck flush when duckdiving an overhead set and higher, but they seems to have come up with a new system and It's the XL, maybe with the L...
2) When you don't fit it right on the chest, the end of the zipper can rip on the interior of your arm when paddling, (like if the zipper was too long). Happenned for 3 sessions at the begining and I must say it does not happen anymore, it can also have something to do with the small / large width board parameter or simply the suit molded around my body as it's supposed to with yamamoto neoprene?
The performance is top notch, so I won't comment on all this aspects you probably already read elsewhere.
Conclusion: The best suit I have ever own in 20 years, the next step is the yamamoto custom I imagine but not all yamamoto neoprene are the same. For example, the matuse neoprene doesn't look and feel at all like the one used by isurus, I'm not the number one expert when it commes to the yamamoto rubber line, but the isurus feels and look like a better one, stretchier for sure.
I take care of my stuff and even if it looks fragile, for now there is nothing to report. I use a changing mat and you should too if you spend that kind of money in a wetsuit. For those out there saying this stuff do not withstand monkey nails well i'm sure your wife / girlfriend would love for you not to have this kind of problem and if you don't car about what she thinks just use a plastig bag, your suit will love you for that.
Next update if necessary right before the warranty expires to see how it ages.
UPDATE After a year +: NOTHING to report, consistent performance, fit, look and feel after 60/70+ sessions, looks the same that after 5 sessions. I do rinse it a long time after each session / never hang it in the sun, use a plastic bag to put it on /off, etc... The only thing is that the silicone cuffs at the legs have wear out a little and the clip near the closure has a tiny point of rust.
I just ordered for the winter, the new Alpha Elite 434 and the accessory hood to replace my psychofreak, report will follow but I have a feeling it will be the same stoke as this one, ordered a Large, so that will bring some interesting sizing and fit comparison.
Right now in 2016, this is probably the best suit for surfing money can buy, if the fit is right for you.