Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby onefinleary » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:42 pm

For board socks try Chris Hartop -

http://www.oddsocks.moonfruit.com

Really lovely guy. He'll sort you out.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby onefinleary » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:33 pm

So how's the new suit Defever?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:48 pm

So, I got my first custom fit suit! Thanks to Slynk, it had been worth the wait!!

I'm still excited about it but passed the initial buzz phase so hopefully I can make an objective comment about the suit. Lots of thing that I want to mention about the suit!:

Flexibility: Is good! It's not super stretchy like Rip Curl but it's good; definitely comparable to major brand suits. Also, given that there are a lot more stitchings (due to many panels to create snug fit), I thought the flexibility would be compromised. But I was wrong, the flexibility is better than I expected.

Neoprene: All I know is that it's Yamamoto neoprene (Billabong uses Yamamoto for its top range, I think), and it also may be a limestone based neoprene. When I got in the water initially, I could see the water being repelled from the suit, but soon starts to absorb. Colours are solid and opaque (I have black, royal blue and white); I don't expect the colours to fade really quickly.

Fleece lining (Aero zirconium): I have the hollow fibre fleece yarn on 4mm panel and they are quite like the C-Skin's fleece lining. Comfortable feeling, VERY warm (the flushed cold water soon heats up in the suit), and surprisingly, VERY QUICK to dry! But then when fleece is dry and I squeeze the panel, the water still drips so the neoprene underneath it is still wet.

Thickness: It's 3/4mm but I immediately felt that it's thicker, especially on the lower limbs. I just checked the thickness with a ruler and it's in fact 3mm and 4mm of NEOPRENE. With the addition of the outer colour layer and the inner layer (fleece and I don't know what the layer for non-fleece 3mm panel), it adds extra 1mm. So in terms of the absolute thickness, it's a 4/5mm suit. Having to find this out, I think I could've gone with 2/3mm winter suit! Now I understand (besides the perfect fit) how people with custom suit can get away with thinner suit! I'm happy with the thickness because I wondered if I need that extra bit of insulation for kite surfing in the winter. I have sharkskin panel at the chest and back so that'll keep my core protected from wind chill.

Stitching and tapes: Stitching is first class, I have absolutely no doubt that it'll thread out after one season. Very very robust; and I hear that even if it splits, Jo said to come back and she'll sort it out (one of the many perks of custom order!). But on the other hand, the taping was a bit of surprise. I'm used to seeing thick and opaque rubbery taping on C-Skins and O'Neill; in comparison the taping looks bit more like a masking tape. They stretch with the neoprene, but they look rather too thin; I can see through it. The purpose of the tape is to keep the panels together so in that case it does the job nevertheless.

Weight: Is like a full-on 3/4/5mm winter suit (with a hood, I have a hood attached). So I did definitely notice the weight, but we notice this with any suit at this time of the year when we change from summer to winter suit.

Attached hood: This is comfy; I have the fleece lining on the inside so it's warm. Well, the water and the climate isn't apt for hood yet so I had to pull it down waiting for the set. But I can feel that it'll keep me really warm (if not warmer than I want it) in the dark cold winter days. Flushing is minimal if I tuck my chin when duck diving (water will glide over the head, and won't flush through the face opening), but when it flushes, then the water will go into the suit.

Chest zip: This is not an disappointment of the suit, but this may be one of the very few things that can be improved about the suit. The neck opening is very generous to get in/out the suit. I had no problem with this (I read somewhere that some people struggled getting in/out of suit with similar chest zip system). But the downside is that this causes flushing from the side of the chest zip. There's a flap that you wear at your neck (like an old Billabong or backzip suit with bat wing panel to minimise flushing) before putting the neck collar bit, but this doesn't prevent flushing 100%. The zip is easy to operate, but again it's a fully detachable zip system so it's prone to flushing more than the major brand chest zip suits (where one side of the zip is completely integrated with the rest of the suit). Jo is innovative and she has a "zipless" wetsuit for summer so I am confident that she's got some terrific idea under her sleeve to overcome this!

So all in all I'm well happy, well chuffed. Well worth the money; I expect to wear this for at least 3 seasons. 5 seasons and I'm laughing. Quite alot to pay upfront (£395 for 3/4mm hooded full suit), but it's is a very good investment in comparison to the top range suit from major brands.

Essay over. The search of the holy grail wetsuit is over!
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:50 pm

And thanks onefinleary for the board sock. I met Chris at fish fry and I'm booked in for board shaping with him next year so I'll speak to him about the sock too!

AND JO IS BRILLIANT. She's really nice person, I was in and out of Snugg in about 20min or so (my friends wanted to go surf and get back to Plymouth in time for the rugby), but I wish I could stay a bit longer to have a chat with her.

I'm going to start saving money for the summer suit. I think my old Billabong suit served me well for 10 years and deserves a rest...!
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Leven » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:21 pm

Good review. Seems like a few flaws too. Nothing that's making me want to rush out and order one. For £400, you could just about pick up two Hooded Xcel's in a sale, and always have one dry suit....


Glad you're happy with yours though. Be interested to see how you go in February in it, whether it's still warm enough etc.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:29 pm

Yup, come February I shall test it to it's full potential.

When I was contemplating at custom suits in the beginning of the year, I had this impression that customs are 5-10yrs behind the leading brands' technology... but I was wrong. The customs do not have the latest technology privileges, but still well made to compete with confidence against the major brands.

If your body fits nicely into one of the major brand sizes, then you win big time!

But those weirdly shaped homo sapiens who falls in between two sizes and can't quite fit right like myself, then custom is the answer, I think.

Let's see how the suit serves me for the coming season (I hear we're in for another harsh winter. Grrr); I'm feeling positive about it!!
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby onefinleary » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:13 pm

Great review and honest too. I know things like the neck entry can be reduced for you allowing less flushing. All part of the service Slynk and Snugg offer. To get it perfect for you.

Like I previously said, for me I can have 1mm neoprene around the wrist to not aggravate my carpal tunnel on a winter suit and triathlete aero neoprene on my calfs to stop my cramping. You'd never get such a specific suit unless you went custom. For you DeFever being almost two completely different half's then you're either side of a suit that fits you.

I think you made the right choice. Hope you had a fun surf. Sorry to missed you as I was down for a few days to get wet but I'd run off to get a coffee.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby slynkWetsuits » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:46 pm

Hi all, thanks for sharing thoughts, comments & experiences of slynk. Great to meet you albeit briefly on Saturday Defever but I could see you were frothing!

Sounds like an adjustment is needed around the inner bib/s to address the flushing you mention, that shouldn't happen to any extent, and you don't want that on any winter suit come February. Drop me an email or text about the best/convenient time to take a look and sort this out for you.

If you or anyone else would like to know anything about s l y n k W e t s u i t s, design and or construction, including the elements used to create any of the suits, just get in touch on here, FB, twitter or by emailing hello@slynkwetsuits.com. Happy to chat anytime, 0 7 9 3 0 3 7 1 2 8 6 or drop into the studio at UNIT 8, TOR ROAD, NEWQUAY, TR7 1RL, Cheers, Jo
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby slynkWetsuits » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:46 pm

Hi all, thanks for sharing your comments, thoughts & experiences of slynk. Devefer, it was great to me you too, albeit briefly but I could see you were frothing!

Sounds like an alteration is needed to address the flushing you mention, which shouldn't happen to any extent and something you definitely don't want to happen in February. Drop me an email or text and we can arrange the best/most convenient time to get this done for you… it's part of the service. Great you managed to get a few waves on the day.

If you or anyone else would like any information at all about s l y n k W e t s u i t s, design, construction, elements used to build any of the suits, just drop a message here, FB, Twitter or email hello@slynkwetsuits.com. Happy to chat if your prefer that, call 0 7 9 3 0 3 7 1 2 8 6 or let me know when you're in town and you can drop by the studio UNIT 8, THE OLD DAIRY, TOR ROAD, NEWQUAY, TR7 1RL

Cheers, Jo
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Leven » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:16 pm

defever wrote:
If your body fits nicely into one of the major brand sizes, then you win big time!




Yep, at 5'11, 12 stone, 32 waist, 38/40 chest, I am the definition of "Medium"! Unless you're O'Neill, and in their case I'm a small!
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:14 pm

Ah were you also around onefinleary?! I mentioned about you and she said you were down but she didn't say that you were in town, I thought you went off somewhere else! Next time.

I'll make note of how it goes and feedback to Jo in the new year or so. I couldn't really request to detail because I wasn't sure what to expect from the experience, so hopefully I will be able to feedback to her how I want to order next time (or tweak this, if any, if possible).
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Nigelshead » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:41 am

You do realise that Slynk and Snugg are basicly the same, just designed by Ms Joanne Bennett and made for her by Snugg down in Newquay. :o
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Pterodroma » Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:09 pm

Nigelshead wrote:You do realise that Slynk and Snugg are basicly the same, just designed by Ms Joanne Bennett and made for her by Snugg down in Newquay. :o


How is that any different to pretty much every major wetsuit manufacturer having their suits produced in the same few factories in Thailand?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Nigelshead » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:34 pm

How is that any different to pretty much every major wetsuit manufacturer having their suits produced in the same few factories in Thailand?[quote][/quote]

No differnce at all, just means they are great wet suits, better than any you can buy that are mass produced.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby onefinleary » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:54 pm

Jo works very closely with Malcolm to make the best custom suits possible. Jo comes up with some lovely innovative ideas too. She is currently working on a winter suit for me to help with my carpal tunnel and arthritic hands and my calf muscles that always lock out in winter however much I stretch.
They are also great looking suits as well.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:34 am

very old thread revival.

So, exactly three years on and about to enter the fourth winter season since I got my first custom suit. I'm still wearing it!

No splitting at the seam, no inside tapes peeling off, no holes. Maybe little bit more water leak since brand new and couple of inevitable blemishing but that's nothing for a three year old suit.

Hands down, I'm a complete convert to custom suit. I paid just under £400 three years ago, that's £100/year cost including this coming winter. Long-term investment clearly paying itself off. Thank you Slynk for this amazing suit!

I even forgot that it was 3/4mm! No trouble for three winters, I don't expect to fall apart this winter. How many more winter can it take?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Leven » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:44 am

How much do you use it?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:21 pm

Leven wrote:How much do you use it?


Not as much as you, definitely.

For the last three winters, average frequency of surfing and kiting was between 0 to 4 times a week, ranging from 1 to 2hrs a session.

Simply put, average Joe water time.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Leven » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:13 pm

There's definitely something to be said for not forking out £300 every winter! My last Xcel 4mm lasted less than a winter, and that's having been sent back for repairs twice! My current Finisterre is on its third winter, and that's been used for spear fishing for two summers. Totally different build quality.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby onefinleary » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:34 pm

Just picked up my latest suit from Slynk and it's great. Just fits so well. 6/5/4 for east coast/Scotland/filming in. Much easier to get off - even with my gammy hands. I'd always recommend a custom suit. My Slynk 3/2 is five years in and still works so well. :-D :-D :-D
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby BoredatWork925 » Wed May 10, 2017 3:36 pm

I read this thread a while ago before deciding to take the plunge and order a custom suit. The suit is fantastic. In the past I'd mistakenly thought that all wetsuits were inflexible, especially winter ones, but I now realise that a good portion of that is simply down to the fit of 'off the peg' suits - we're all going to have bits of a suit that are a bit tight and bits that are a bit loose, with the loose bits collecting water and the tight bits restricting movement. However, because my new custom suit fits me everywhere it has neither, so it's an absolute revelation. It's a 6/5 and has the flexibility of a 3/2!

There is one problem though and I read that someone above has had the same issue: the chest zip lets in water. I don't mean a trickle, I mean like someone's poured a pint of cold water down my chest every time the zip goes under the water. I'm reluctant to contact the maker of the suit because I'm worried they'll take the criticism badly. Is this just a downside of custom suits not having the thousands of pounds of development thrown at them that the big off the peg makes do to seal up tricky things like zips? I never had this issue with my previous Gul chest zip suit...
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