Burger

Winter Wetsuit

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Hi guys, I'm looking at getting a wetsuit for my Sydney Winter rockfishing and wondering if anyone can give me some recommendations...

Would a 'springsuit' do the job?  Should I get a 3, 4 or 5 mm?

Should I get (just) pants, a farmer John or full suit?

Not looking to spend a fortune, however would appreciate advice from anyone currently using a wetty.

cheers,

stu.

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Do you want it to keep warm, to make it safer if you fall in or some other reason? 

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Keep warm is the main criteria, thanks Noel

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Mate, my thoughts as a surfer, boatie and fisho...

Wetsuits are designed to work ... Wet. The water helps to regulate temperature and also assist with movement. That said, modern surfing style wetsuits like the RipCurl 'flashbomb' range have this E4, now E5, material that is flexible when dry.

All the major surfing wetsuits brands have their own names for their most flexible materials.

I use a 3/2 steamer (long arms long legs) in winter when fishing off the beach for tailor. Getting wet casting helps to regulate temperature a bit. 

Test it yourself, go into a surfshop and try out a few. See how quickly you heat up. Then assess the impact of weather conditions in which you'll use it.

Price is a fair guide as to quality, warmth, flexibility across the main brands like RipCurl, Billabong, Quicksilver. 

O'Neil do not seem to have the high flexibilty materials as much.

If you have a "Sideways Surf Outlet" near you, they carry end of line, last season, old stock, from.all the major brands. Can be a lucky dip as to what is in stock at any point in time. Staff usually don't know what is arriving when either. So you may have to do a couple of trips to score. BUT, prices can be 1/3 of the RRP. I got my 3/2 RipCurl flashbomb there two years ago for $180, when RRP was around $480.

The warmth rating is based on material thickness. So a 3/2 is a 3mm material on the body and 2mm on arms and legs. 

All that said, if it was me, I'd look at a steamer over a spring suit. Unless you like cold arms and legs!

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As a long time spearo and i still wear a suit  go with long arms  to keep you warm   you can have short legs and still be warm so long as your arms are covered

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That's kind of why I asked, a wetsuit is not all that great st keeping you warm when it's "dry" and can be very restrictive in movements, but a quality thin suit will keep you warm, and be OK to move in, but if you fall in, they are a real bonus, keep you afloat, warm and protected from cuts and the like. I reckon a thin suit to keep warm might be OK with a shirt underneath.  

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A 2 or 3mm would be best for you, anything thicker and you'll have trouble moving

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Whatever you decide on just make sure you wash it out extra well after use. I often wear my surfing steamer on cold miserable days and if you sweat in them they can really stink.

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Cheers for the advice GH!

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1 hour ago, Burger said:

Cheers for the advice GH!

Something like warm, soapy water. A good rinse out with the hose just doesn't cut it.

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Posted (edited)

As said previous... Wet suits do NOT work unless wet...

Would be better to get synthetic thermals / active wear which wick very quickly for both bottom and top...

My light weight fishing wear is as below

- Icebreaker thermals top and bottom - base layer

- fishing top - mid layer

- Montbell ultra light synthetic down jacket

- Water and wind proof hiking pants

- Rain jacket for those extra wet days

BTW i tried neoprene surf wear in 3mm, it was way to restrictive and i couldnt scramble over rocks and boulders...

Edited by connico
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4 hours ago, Green Hornet said:

Whatever you decide on just make sure you wash it out extra well after use. I often wear my surfing steamer on cold miserable days and if you sweat in them they can really stink.

Especially if the water’s really cold and you resort to the old “pee in it to keep warm” trick! 😂

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I prefer for winter rocks - thick warm foam PFD,  light waterproof breathable jacket,  hiking shorts , thermals and wool socks. If it supposed to be very wet or windy - long jacket. I use neoprene shorts for kayak fishing - as after first friendly wake my bum is wet anyway.

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For beach fishing at night in winter i wear wetsuit pants (3mm i think), wetsuit boots and just a shirt/weatherproof jacket combo and find this to be pretty versatile, comfortable and keeps me warm.

I tried going the light/thermal style bottoms instead of wetsuits at first but you end up getting wet eventually and then it becomes cold and uncomfortable. Wetsuit was way more comfy.

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Thanks for all the feedback guys, much appreciated! 🤗

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Posted (edited)

I dive all year, especially winter. Gone are the days of thick heavy wetsuits that allow water to penetrate through zippers, well not completely, this is how most budget suits still are. Yamamoto neoprene is actually made from limestone and the best you can get for non restricted movement and comfort. My whole family uses these as we dive all year round. 3 or 3.5mm is all we need even on the coldest winters days simply because of how these suits fit and insulate. They are incredibly flexible, stretching over just just about any body shape, the fact they stretch so well means no little air pockets or gaps for water to wash around.

These suits need lubricant to slip them on, in fact that same lube is still there when I take my suit off, so peeing in the suit means most of that urine stays trapped in the suit untill you take it off ( I don't pee in mine ). These suits being soft and flexible can be prone to tears but given how many times we get washed over rocks and barnacles they don't do to bad.

Several manufacturers use this kind of material but I would like to point out wetsuits aren't really great for keeping you warm in cold windy conditions, especially when wet on the outside due to wind chill factors. I use wind jackets over ours if we are in the boat racing from spot to spot. Anyway check out Yamamoto http://www.yamamoto-bio.com/yamamoto_e/sports/wetsuits.html. And if you do get a suit made of this material let me know as I have a really good lube mix which is easy to make and won't effect your skin, apart from make it soft and smooth. By the way most triathlon wetsuits are made of the same material and can often be found for around $100 if you don't mind last seasons logo's, new season will put you back $400.

sorry to waffle on but a wetsuit is also very bouyant, so if you do end up washed in you can happily stay in the water and plan your safe escape route or swim out from the wash and hope someone calls for a rescue. Climbing up rocks in swell is very difficult.

Edited by JonD
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Thanks for that Jon.  A mate bought some 'fleece' kayaking pants to try.

I might wait out my decision and see how he goes  . . . 

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You could also try maybe a Vinnies type store and get a cheapy 2nd Hand suit for only a few dollars and see how that goes.

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