Wetsuit recommendations?

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raztec
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Wetsuit recommendations?

Post by raztec »

Newbie looking to get a wet suit to use at Nitnat primarily and (in time) at Dallas.

I generally can't tolerate the cold very well and often have to wear heated gloves for skiing or motorcycle riding.

I have a shorty I can use for Okanagan or Baja, but for Nitnat or Dallas what thickness would you guys recommend, 4/3 or 5/4?

Many thanks,
Raz
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winddude
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Post by winddude »

Hoodless 5/4/3 summer. And good quality hooded 5/4/3 for winter.
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Post by abetanzo »

you could get away with a 3/2 at the lake in mid season.. but in spring the lake is cold

Sports Rent is good to check out
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Post by juandesooka »

Juan de Fuca is cold year round. In summer, you can get away with an unhooded 4/3. But if you are rigging for the swim, then it's a hooded 5/4 year-round. On those hot summer days, you can take off the hood. LOL.

If you are size L, got a good one for sale:
http://bigwavedave.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8690
(though may be sold, holding for a guy Friday)
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BigDog21
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Post by BigDog21 »

Mystic make nice suits specific for kiteboarding. They have drain holes in the calf area so your suit doesn't get swollen legs full of water. Legs full of water is not exactly conducive to moving efficiently or your comfort. I have a 5/3 for the ocean year round with under thermals and a 3/2 for warmer waters. I wear a separate hood for the ocean, gloves, and booties. Think about what happens if you get in trouble and have to swim, not when things are going fine. Essentially the wetsuit is your life preserver so don't skimp if you're going into the ocean especially in the Fall/ Winter/ Spring.
Last edited by BigDog21 on Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nanmoo
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Post by nanmoo »

No wettie required at Nitinat right now...!
Don't forget to bring a towel!
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KUS
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Post by KUS »

nanmoo wrote:No wettie required at Nitinat right now...!
newbie should always wear a suit IMHO as the lake does cool you but yes, quite warm if you know what you are doing....I don't so I wore a shortie :arrow:
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BigDog21
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Post by BigDog21 »

Totally agree with Kus. The lake maybe warm, but if you are in the water for an extended period of time, warm to the touch soon becomes cool or cold, plus the wind can be cold even on warm sunny days. Not good for decision making or trying to get to shore. Better safe than sorry, especially if you are a newbie as you'll be in the water a lot kiting or windsurfing.
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Post by nanmoo »

Right, I suppose I could have put that disclaimer.

If you know what you are doing no suit required.

The ironic thing is that if you did break down on the other side and had to swim back you'd be warmer in the water out of the wind than out of the water in the wind a lot of the time.
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Post by Rookie »

KUS wrote:
nanmoo wrote:No wettie required at Nitinat right now...!
newbie should always wear a suit IMHO as the lake does cool you but yes, quite warm if you know what you are doing....I don't so I wore a shortie :arrow:
Good discussion from a few years back - I have the same situation. Have done basic lessons down south and now want to progress solo at the lake and ideally the ocean here as well. If I am always cold in the water (I'm the guy in Maui wearing a shortie to go snorkelling), Is a 5/4 the right option?
What do folks think about the removable hood options?
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AJSpencer
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Post by AJSpencer »

I have a 5/4 wetsuit and 3mil boots I think. Also have a hood but haven’t worn it yet. On Saturday I spent hours in the water and temp wasn’t an issue. I plan to be out there all year long so may want something extra warm for the days around 0C, but so far the 5/4 is nice.
Will probably get a shortie for the Summer. I always wear a lifejacket because I’m a shitty swimmer and the chicks dig it.
Once I’m out of the rookie zone, will prob get some less buoyant impact vest to replace the overly buoyant life jacket, but I don’t find it gets in the way too much right now.
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nanmoo
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Post by nanmoo »

Even if you run cold you may find that a 5/4 on warm August days at Nitinat will be too warm. Also consider 5/4 is harder to get into, thus wears out quicker and costs more than thinner suits. A cheaper hoodless 4/3 is what a lot of people use out there.

In the Ocean, at least south island in JDF or Haro you will probably use a 5/4 all year as the temps don't change much. Central strait of Georgia or even in Tofino it warms up a lot more, so much so I can sail there without a wetsuit at times and again that 4/3 is the magic suit for the colder folks.
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Wetsuit recommendation

Post by Junior »

Ended up much longer than expected, but here's everything I know:

I'm not naturally well insulated, and I have found a 5/4 hoodless suit is fine all summer at Nitinat. I even wore mine in the warm waters of Baja and found that I only got too hot when I didn't submerge for extended periods of time, which will likely be rare as a newbie.

In warmer settings, such as Nitinat, my hoodless 5/4 is all I need. Having my head/hands/feet exposed seems to regulate temperature well. For open ocean sessions, I generally add a separate hood and booties. Gloves too if it's the colder months.

If you're on the south island and looking to buy new, the cheapest suit I found was at Sports Rent. Hoodless Xcel 5/4 for about $220 before tax. I found a hood with vest attached there too, which made more sense to me than a hood alone. That said, I haven't tried that option.

A consideration when buying booties and gloves: thinner may be better, to a point. I personally do not enjoy riding a board with straps (twin-tip) with 5mm booties. I haven't tried thinner, so others may be able to provide more insight here. 3mm will likely keep your feet warm enough and provide a much better feeling/connection with the board. Same for gloves with feeling, but thick gloves also tire out your hands/forearms because thick gloves, unless designed for the sport, want to have straight fingers. Again, others likely have better insight/experience here. I had a pair of 3/2 gloves that worked great for me.

Good luck and happy hunting!
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KUS
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Post by KUS »

Island surf has decent supply & pricing, nice folks enroute to westcoast
Bellingham kite boarding has awesome deals on occasion.

https://www.kitepaddlesurf.com/collecti ... l-wetsuits

I can’t recommend silent sports anymore after they didn’t honour their warranty with me.

If you are on the fence, buy a 4/3 and then wear a Kayak top over it. I use one in the winter to break the wind when it’s really cold over the 5/4.... I think I will always buy a suit with a hood now… You can always slip it off if you are too warm but it saves the full douche
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tempy
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Post by tempy »

Xcel also has their online store with free shipping if you can't find sizes at Island Surf. They have sale deals as well.
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