Secret Spot store manager, local ripper and all round good guy Scotty has been reviewing 3 of the best winter wetsuits 2020 has to offer – here’s his take:

“Having had the pleasure of wearing all three models, here is my take on the specifics, features and differences between these top of the range winter wetsuits.”

XCEL Drylock Hooded 6/5mm Winter Wetsuit

Needs no introduction the Drylock by Excel is one serious bit of kit. Lets have a closer look at its features and benefits. The Drylock is packed with features, the ones that come to mind are the semi dry zip locking water out on the coldest of days. The rear knee flex grooves really do work and are no gimmick, and really come into their own on the long steep walks down to Scarborough’s points. Xcel’s Celiant black thermal lining is one of the best on the market and has their patented hollow fibre pile covering the torso. The rest of the suit is adorned in the Celiant Black jacquard lining ensuring maximum warmth and impressive drying time for multiple back to back sessions . A serious no holds barred winter wetsuit renowned for its build quality .

“This could be the front runner for the longest lasting of all the suits here. I find that being a US product this wetsuit lends itself to the slightly bulkier/ broader rider, giving more room around the chest, shoulders and upper arms than other models. The last Drylock I personally had did four straight winters in a row without a single leak . Was it because I really looked after it or was it the superior build quality Xcel is known for ??”

O’NEILL PsychoTech Hooded 6.5/5.5 Winter Wetsuit

The newcomer to the bunch. O’neills Pyschotech 6/4 has been gaining a good reputation and with many of my personal friends wearing it I have had some great feedback. Firstly the price RRP £349.95 is considerably cheaper than the other two models here, so if saving some penny’s while still retaining all the top end features is your go this could well be the suit for you. Notable features include O’neills Techno butter 3 neoprene and is arguably the stretchiest of the bunch and weighs the least of all the three models reviewed. Supper supple, quick drying and excellently sealed with their fluid seam weld concept. This adds strength and longevity to the suit. Its not been on the market as long as the other two models here but the last two seasons positive feedback means the Psychotech is hotly on their heels.

“After surfing in the Psychotech I was surprised how flexi and supple the suit is and was certainly on par with the Flashbomb for a total performance wetsuit. All in all a cracking offering from O’neill at an amazing price with a fast growing reputation to back it up.”

RIP CURL FlashBomb Hooded 6/4mm Winter Wetsuit

The suit that started it all off. The Rip Curl Flashbomb’s legendary flash dry lining set the bar high for other manufactures to aspire too. Generally know throughout the industry as the no1 thermal quick dry lining out there. This season sees an all new E5 super stretch neoprene backed 100 percent with Rip Curls
lower pile higher quality flash lining. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better it just did.

The slimmest fitting silhouette of the three suits here is totally geared to the performance surfer who demands a very flexible super warm performance suit. The suit is completely sealed on the interior with Rip Curls E5 flash tape which gives a superior comfort against ones skin, ensuring great strength without compromising on flex and performance.

“The one thing that truly stands out to me is Rip Curls shoulder/back panel placement, as it has the lowest drop of all surfing wetsuits and does not sit across the shoulder blades making long sessions and longer paddles a breeze. A great functional hood with fantastic seals keeping the flushes out and warmth in. It’s the suit I use on a daily basis as it fits my slim silhouette perfectly over other models. It might look plain compared to the other suits here but sometimes less is more”

Here at secret spot we have years of experience in the water and are happy to chat about which suit would work for you! Just give us a call on 01723 867919 or pop into the Shop // HQ for a chat and a cuppa!!


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