Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

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Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:05 pm

Hello weeders,

I'm currently lost in the dungeon of wetsuit industry. I started looking around second-hand, barely worn wetsuits for a bargain but even these are hard to find without significant damage and considerable amount on their price tags. And high-end brand new wetsuits costing above £350.00 even for a 3/2mm summer wetsuit, I'm slightly sifting towards a custom-order wetsuit which will give me the perfect "fit" and hopefully last more than the mass-produced wetsuit from the usual industry-leading brands.

So I was looking online on Snugg wetsuits from Newquay as well as No Limit from Wales. I've got alot of good information about Snuggs but not much on No Limit; if anyone has an experience with their wetsuits, your feedback will be very useful. Their price is nearly £100.00 different... why?!

Also, can native custom-order wetsuit products keep up with the ever-changing, highly competitive industry? For example, each season the top brands come up with the most flexible / lightest / warmest / quick drying neoprene with glued double blind stitching with liquid seam / tape bladeh-dah. These compnanies have the resource to invest on all these advanced (debatable) technologies and every season they seem to outgrow their previous products.

If you have any experience with a custom-order wetsuit, any feedback on them in comparison to the usual top-brand wetsuits will be grateful, thank you!
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Philshoz » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:04 am

Dixie swears by a Snugg that isn't on their website. Can't be arsed to look through his posts, just PM him.

Did you look at the offers at Matuse?

I think you looking for the Holly Grail of suits, good luck.......... :-)
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:57 am

Yes I am looking for the Holy Rubber...

Searched on this forum as well as Google and lots of good comments about their robustness, snug fit, and customer service from fellow surfers and triathletes. But not much else...their website looks dated, so I was hoping that it is, in fact, dated and they have since improved their product. I would go and visit Snugg / No Limit on my next trip down to the West or Wales, but in the meantime I wanted to hear from those who have owned either Snugg or No Limit.

Checked out Matuse after you mentioned about 20% off. 98% water impermeable limestone Geoprene?! Brilliant! Their sizing chart is vague (only height and weight) and even with 20% off it's nearly £300.00. I fall somewhere between MS and S so I'm shifting more towards investing my money on a suit which will fit me perfectly and last longer rather than hitting/missing the right size for me. But if the custom suit is falling behind the latest technology that big brands can offer... I'm being picky, yes.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby prjwebb » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:10 am

I owned a Snugg about 13 years ago... It was super warm but a little stiff but it lasted a couple of years until I outgrew it and started splitting down the seams (I was mid teens then) . I'm sure they have improved since then, but like you said, have they improved as rapidly as the big names.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby JayP » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:59 pm

I had a Snugg that lasted years as everytime the seams went I sent it back and they re glued and re taped them for me. Their customer service is second to none I reckon. However not had one since as o neill fit me perfectly. If you find it hard to find a suit that fits you then a custom is a no brainer. (Good suits are all about the fit! ). As for flexibility - I'm sure theirs have improved no end. Heard alot of good things about no limits suits too....... if that helps?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Jamez » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:25 pm

spend as much as you can on a quality winter suit (wont go wrong with a hooded xcel) and buy cheapest summer suit you can (i always aim for the top of the range summer suit but last season or the season before suit) and normally end up paying 150

as for local...i know a lot of peops will challenge me on this but they aint as good as the current technology offered by the main manufacturers...id only buy one if fit was difficult to achieve with a main manufacture if you were an unusual size

i always recommend oneil and xcel....and the higher end suits they built (pyshco 2 / psychfreak, rg8, infiniti)...etc
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:47 pm

Thanks for the comments peeps. Very much appreciated.

I'm between MS and S for most of the brands, so I can go whichever is cheaper when there's a bargain sale. I'm happy with C-Skins 5/4/3mm which I bought last Oct. and my 3/2mm Billabong which I had it for 10yrs. I could replace my summer suit but it keeps me warm enough so I'm not bothered (exactly as you said, Jamez). I don't think I'll ever surf in West of Ireland, Scotland or North East for a whole season, may be a maximum of a week journey, if I ever plan. So I don't really need the warmest suit in the market. I value flexibility, lightness, and dryness above extreme warmth.

So I'm thinking of getting a very good 4/3mm suit so that I can have two suits to use most of the year, always one suit dry and ready. A very good suit meaning, well you can probably guess, and they cost as much as getting a custom suit, hence my curiosity towards Snugg and No Limit. If they are as good as, or nearly as good as, the leading brands in the industry then added warmth from perfect fit will be a bonus.

It's not as sweet as I presume, isn't it... has anyone ordered a suit from Snugg or No Limit in the last 12months or so?
And how come there's a £100.00 price difference on 4/3mm suit between Snugg and No Limit?

Thanks for the posts so far.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Dantastic » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:32 pm

Does a very good 4/3mm suit really cost £350? I paid £140 for my xcel xflex 5/4/3 of msw website. Ok you can get better suits but if you want you can spend a lot less than £350 on a decent new suit.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:20 pm

Spend last evening on the internet looking for the Holy rubber, and you're right Dan, I don't need £350 or more to find a decent 4:3...

Good bargains exist below £200 but none in my size. This year's models are £200 - £350+. I guess I fell into the dungeon thinking, if I pay £200+ for a new season big brand suit which isn't a perfect fit and might fall apart in one season (and risk paying further £200 next year), why not spend £350 with "perfect fit" and "built to last" suit. I sort of moved on from then... but I'm definitely going to make a visit them next time I'm in the area.

The search continues... err, does anyone have an used 4/3mm size MS/S to sell...?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Philshoz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:13 pm

You is one confused mutha......
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:39 pm

...sorry, I easily get confused when I'm looking to buy something. Like getting a van or an estate... ha.

I get into this phase of obsessive research / comparison / analysis and in the end I wake up one day, what the hell, I'll just get whatever that's available and move on... most of the time ending up with a regret. Beh, c'est la vie.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Philshoz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:25 pm

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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:22 pm

Philshoz wrote:Now if you don't buy something by the weekend you are beyond hope...... :lol: :lol:


Thanks for your help Phil, much appreciated! Seen few of your choices already last night. And pretty much seen all the wetsuit reviews by "Jeff from WetsuitCentre" and "Ben from MSW" on YouTube. I drop everything else in my life when I'm shopping obsessively...

I'm H 170cm (5'7") C 96cm (38") W 81cm (32")... so I'm down to:

Rip Curl E Bomb Pro 2013 MS £224
O'Neill LTD ED. 52-12 F.U.Z.E. MS £220
Billabong SGX (Solution?) Zero S £199

Sizing chart-wise, I think they are all similar dimensions; some tight on chest, some tight on waist, etc. I think O'Neill is the closest match. Slightly drawn into the pure-marketing trick "limited" edition and raving techno butternut squash. Though I'm surprised with Yamamoto and Billabong collaboration. RC looks as flexible as always (but also looks frail, too...).

Techno techno. Bed time.

I'm sure I'll be dreaming about a wetsuit (which I probably get strangled by a butternut suash in O'Neill suit and drown in Steamer Lane...)
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Leven » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:21 am

Whereabouts are you? I'm flogging a Hooded Patagonia R3 in Medium. It might be a touch long, but not sure, I'm only 3 inches taller than you and it's ok....I'm in Cornwall if you want a look. It's in good nick.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Chris F » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:50 am

Whatever you get, don't buy without trying it on.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:27 pm

Thanks Leven, I'm not convinced that it'll be okay for me in M though. Chest and waist sizes are fine, but I'll probably have baggy arms and legs...

Same with Rip Curl; the ones which looks okay chest & waist (from their size chart) is too tall in height. The ones in the right height are too small for my chest and waist. I tired one of their suit last summer and I just could not get in to S or MS and M was too long.

I had 2x Billabongs, 1x M and 1x MS. MS was flush but I'm wondering if I can fit into S for more tight fit. I have O'neill 2mm jacket in MS (I think) and that's perfect length in arms, bit tight on chest but it's about 5yrs old so neoprene isn't as flexible as what we get these days.

I think it's better to go a size smaller than bigger. smaller size can "stretch" to a body contour over time, where as I think bigger ones will stretch even further after a fair use. Well, I could be wrong.

Thanks Chris for one of the commandments of buying the wetsuit. Very crucial, I agree. I am being lazy and money driven for saying this; The only surf shop around here is 1hr away and not so time-friendly with 9-5ers. Stock is good but they know they're the only surf shop in the area, they will say whatever to make sale. So online is easier option for me and plus I can find post-season bargain... I make sure the returns policy is there, just in case if a suit is impossible to get into.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Chrisisted » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:28 pm

Have a look at king of watersports eBay site I just picked up last years psychofreak 3.5/2.5 (supposed to be as warm as a 4/3, down to 9 degree) for £135, its up for £175 but made them a silly offer and we met halfway at £135!! Last year they were being sold for £320!!!
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Nick... » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:38 am

had a snugg in my younger years, warmest thing ever, it lasted three winters and only broke due to me being a clumsy fool. That said, my rhino venom has lasted ages as well... but I'd definitely go back to snugg if my financial situation opened up enough for it. (ive also had rip curls and west wetsuits, also not on the snugg level)
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Tozer » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:02 pm

I was in Anne's cottage clearance place at St columb the weekend & they had some seriously good offers. Don't quote me but think an O'neil mutant £150 + loads of Gul at amazing prices.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:11 pm

Nick... thanks for your comment. You hit the nail there, if my finance allows then I will get a custom suit. Maybe it's an overkill for me to get a custom, durable suit when I only go in 1-2/week or so in average. Stories I hear about wetsuits "falling to pieces after one season" is probably from an individual who is in water everyday, several times a day. Only a speculation but looking at my one season old C-skin and 10yrs old Billabong, I'm certainly not a victim of one season wonder. I could be wrong. So unless I find a permanent job somewhere on a surf-galore coast, I don't think I need to worry about it too much... But if I (ever) get rich then I would like to trial a custom wetsuit.

Thanks everyone for the comments. Got a O'neill 52-12 4.5/3.5mm in the end. Paid a bargain online using Easter code so I'm happy. Sizing is snugg, if not marginally forgiving. Tried it on today on a warm sunny day (20C, water probably 8-9C?), no need for a thermo vest. Flexible and stretchy as expected, quick drying (hang it by the waist, inside out indoors for 2hrs and stopped dripping, damp-dry to touch.). Happy with this, but I'm not spectacularly amazed by it. Humbly did its job, thank you O'neill.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Philshoz » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:25 am

You got that just before the curfew of midnight Sunday........ :lol:

Hope you are a happy bunny...............
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:37 am

ha, yes sir. First O'neill steamer I own, lets see how well it'll serve me throughout the year. Thanks for your help Phil.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby mister-griffster » Mon May 06, 2013 6:32 pm

I've had all sorts of suits, custom to off the shelf top of the range etc... simple calculation. If you want a hella lota flex and up for renewing your suit every 1-3 years then go for an off the shelf (expect to pay top dollar) great performance but seals usually go after about a year or so.

If you;re looking for warmth / durability then go custom everytime. Similar price but a perfect fit. Snugg, No Limits, Slynk (Jo works with Malcom at Snugg) are by far the warmest suits out there because they fit perfectly. They will also repair their suits if anything goes wrong. As for durability, I've had 2 Snugg winter suits - one lasted 11 years, the other lasted 6 - I can still use the second, it's just a bit stiff now, and need the flexibility of other suits to cope with the demands of failing shoulders. All the guys I know wearing No Limits say they're the warmest they've ever worn. One fella has just gone all winter in a 3/2 (but he carries a lot of his own insulation) but he does 2-3 hour sessions in it no bother.

Basically go with this rule of thumb - if you want a cracking wetsuit, go with a company who specialises in wetsuits - why would you buy a wetsuit from a clothing company? BTW - a custom suit WILL fit you perfectly - so if you are struggling to try lots on and compare, then best to go with that option.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby slipslide » Tue May 07, 2013 3:24 pm

matuse are warm and really flexable. Scary so. my 4/3 will get my through most of the southwest winter, it is not a suit that will last though. I love the suit i really do and even though i dont weaqr the 4/3 much i can see signs of wear on it. Saying that awsome suit would but another. Love it.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby marc1 » Mon May 13, 2013 4:11 pm

The Snugg and No limit suits are i believe fantastic, surely a suit made and fitted for an individual would be a great and a more suitable option. However, i bought a 4/3 matuse this year and it was amazingly flexible and super warm. My seems in good condition with no obvious damage as of yet but i only used it when it was realy cold this winter. I use a oneil RG8 on other dates and i have to say there was no comparison, the RG8 was bloody freezing. If i had too get another suit i would go for Matuse or a custom
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby EasyTom » Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:26 pm

I've had bad luck with a Snugg made to measure. I tried on a medium - which fitted ok and then went for a made to measure to get that elusive 'perfect fit'. But it feels like two ropes are being pulled up under my armpits to the point that I can't wear it without a rash vest, I have to vaseline under the arms every surf and I find myself pulling it when I'm out because of the discomfort. It's been the least comfortable wetsuit I've ever had - which is pretty ironic. Malcolm at Snugg is a fantastic bloke and customer service is great because he's just had two goes at altering it so it fits better, but it's still the same. It's disappointing but I'm sure it's just super bad luck because I've heard so many good things about Snugg I know they've shed loads of happy customers. However, it does mean that in my experience now I won't be confident in buying a bespoke wetsuit again. And yes - I did mention it when I was buying it because it felt uncomfortable the first time I tried it on but we hoped it would 'loosen up'. But it didn't. And before you all start suggesting that I've got a funny shaped body or something I've not had this trouble with my other wetsuits.

I wasn't really sure about posting this because I like Snugg, Malcolm has been fantastic in trying to get it right and after two seasons it was definitely the best lasting suit I've ever had — all the seams were still absotlutey perfect. I just couldn't face another summer wearing it as it was! So even though I don't want to put a negative out there about Snugg and I also think my experience is unusual it is, I think, worth mentioning. (I do also know one other person who found their made to measure wetsuit less comfortable than an off-the-peg Snugg wetsuit.) So, all I wonder is whether their bespoke tailoring is as refined as their fantastic standard cut wetsuits?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:45 pm

I think that's a fair feedback. Thank you for sharing.

A reasonable customer giving feedback to the company and the company made action accordingly and fairly. Unfortunately no one can please everyone but the company has shown their determination to try to resolve the issue.

There is always two sides to a story and constructive feedback would be is very much appreciated compared to an imbecile lines like "it's $h!7, don't bother" or "they took my money and buggered off!" etc.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Matt Rose » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:16 pm

Get a Snugg, got a 4/3 hotone, 3/2 and a 2mm yamo. Had the 3/2 for about five years still going. When I went in to get my 2mm measured (3 years later) up I said that one cuff of the 3/2 would flush in bigger surf. Had it in the car, Malcolm remeasured my arms and wrist, got the old order form out, measured the suit and did the alteration for free. Got a mate whos always bitching about suits not fitting, reckons hes spent well over £600 on badly fitting 3/2s. Why buy off the peg if you can get bespoke?
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby Renna » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:42 pm

I have a 5/4 and a 4/3 from cyber suits(ordered through USA, hand made in Japan). It's far better than my last stock suits(Four Xcel drylocks and phsychofreak) I've had. More stretchy rubber, warmer and comfy. The most important thing for warmth is fit, and a custom suits shouldn't have any gaps or extra rubber on you. Also, the materials exceeds what you get in an mass produced suit.
My mate who lives in Ireland uses his 4/3 year around. My 5/4 is plenty warm for Norway. Tempted to try one from Boz(hand made in Peru?). The cyber runs around 600$, so not that much more compared to a drylock. The Boz suits are supposed to be good to, and are cheap. Around 350$ for a custom 5/4.. I'm not going back to buying suits of the rack, unless it's a perfect fit or a cheap 3/2 spring suit.
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Re: Can custom wetsuit compete with latest wetsuits?

Postby defever » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:49 pm

mister-griffster wrote:I've had all sorts of suits, custom to off the shelf top of the range etc... simple calculation. If you want a hella lota flex and up for renewing your suit every 1-3 years then go for an off the shelf (expect to pay top dollar) great performance but seals usually go after about a year or so.

If you;re looking for warmth / durability then go custom everytime. Similar price but a perfect fit. Snugg, No Limits, Slynk (Jo works with Malcom at Snugg) are by far the warmest suits out there because they fit perfectly. They will also repair their suits if anything goes wrong. As for durability, I've had 2 Snugg winter suits - one lasted 11 years, the other lasted 6 - I can still use the second, it's just a bit stiff now, and need the flexibility of other suits to cope with the demands of failing shoulders. All the guys I know wearing No Limits say they're the warmest they've ever worn. One fella has just gone all winter in a 3/2 (but he carries a lot of his own insulation) but he does 2-3 hour sessions in it no bother.

Basically go with this rule of thumb - if you want a cracking wetsuit, go with a company who specialises in wetsuits - why would you buy a wetsuit from a clothing company? BTW - a custom suit WILL fit you perfectly - so if you are struggling to try lots on and compare, then best to go with that option.


I missed this the first round! How did I miss this comment...

Just had a look at Slynk's Facebook page. Really nice design going on there. I wouldn't wear them (seems like Jo is making suits for ladies, but for some men's as well) but it's nice to see a wetsuit that's just more than black. Quite pleasant to looks at their design (that'll be my excuse for staring at a chick with Slynk suit in the line up).

Wore my new O'neill 52-12 a handful of times now. It's good, and I like it, but some places are bit baggy and since it's 4.5/3.5mm, I don't think I can survive the winter with this.

My mind is diverting back to the idea of custom suit again. I might sell my O'neill before I use it more and invest on Snugg suit... maybe front zip 4/3 with hood? That's cheaper than the new season Xcel Drylock and Flashbomb Plus...
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