Super stoked with the new addition to my wettie collection. Bought the Billabong Salty Daze Surf Capsule late last year after spotting it in the Billabong shop in St Francis - it was just the coolest looking suit ever and no ways could leave it hanging on the rack. Because you can never have too many wetsuits! Specially pretty blue one's with palm trees!
Up until recently I haven't been much of a fan of chick's suits cos generally the guys one's are always made better. But lately the surf manufacturers have finally worked out that girls like fashionable AND functional suits. No good 'em looking pretty and you freeze your uh......You get get cold.
I've given the suit a good test drive over the past month so here's the low down. Mine's a 3/2, which is a bit thinner than I normally wear but the summery conditions and pleasant water temps have made it my go-to suit lately.
It's super-gooey lekker comfy. Like properly comfy. Really flexible neoprene which means if you want to go through your full yoga routine whilst hanging out the back-line waiting for a set, no probs.
And it does the job. Keeping you nice and toasty. Being a 3/2 it isn't gonna be your best bet in the winter months, but perfect for the spring/summer/autumn sessions.
The chest zip entry is easy to get into, plenty of stretch in the neck area so no contortionist skills required. Seams are glued and blind stitched on the outside of the suit, whilst on the inside the main seams in the torso and leg regions are liquid seam-sealed. - so makes sure no lil annoying dribbley bits sneak in.
A few swatches of heat tape applied at all the stress points give it that extra bit of durability. Some fuzzy purple material on the interior of the chest and back zones keep the chill off.
Durable knee pads mean you can knee paddle your log without worrying about blowing your suit out. Little bits of the liquid seal applied at the wrist and ankle seals gives it good grip to help stop flushing.
Besides being a really good wettie overall, it's great to surf in something so pretty. Reckon it makes you surf better cos it looks so good so it makes you feel good. I mean, who can have a kak session when wearing a tropical island!?
Verdict? Definitely worth the bucks.
Darn, I love these things! Spotted them in the Billabong shop, and was like, these are coooool. They're part of Billabong's Surf Capsule range, and are officially known as Skinny Sea Legs, or just flipping lekker leggings in plain English.
They're 1mm neoprene, so are perfect for keeping the chill off, as well as giving you some protection from the reef if you're surfing somewhere tropical. Always nice to know when you're paddling over the lip on a late take off that you can land on ya butt no probs cos you aren't gonna donate any skin to the reef. Get rag-dolled with confidence!
Another plus is that they keep the sun off your legs, which is a bonus when you're putting in some long summer sessions. Avoid getting sunburnt, and the other more gnarly things that happen from too much sun exposure.
Bought mine just before heading over to Indo for 5 weeks, and was so stoked that I had. They turned out to be the best things ever to surf in day in and day out. Incredibly comfy, cos only 1mm neoprene - so stretchy you could happily do yoga in 'em.
Didn't feel too warm in them at all. A couple of the girls I was surfing with were like "aren't you hot in those?" Nup, not at all. Also, felt so much safer knowing that I could get bounced along the reef and not get cut too shreds. Funny how a 1mm wettie legging can impart a sense of invincibility! Quite a few times I wished I had a neoprene top as well! Coral heads don't look so mean if you know they can't eat you.
So nice not to have the hassle of putting sunscreen on your legs. Really annoying when it rubs off your legs and onto your board and you slip slide all over the place. The little bit of padding on your hip bones from the neoprene is a bonus, cos no longer get the lil bruises that inevitably come from hours and hours and day upon day lying on your board. My hip bones are normally bruised black by the end of a trip, and this time no probs at all.
Skinny Sea Legs have a mid-rise cut, which means good coverage on your back - you won't get caught out with that burnt stripe across your lower back where boardies normally end and your rashie starts. Consider going one size smaller than you think you might need as they do have a good amount of stretch. Same as normal wettie sizing I guess, you always want it to be a wee bit tight when you try it on on the shop cos once it's wet it stretches.
They fit well in the waist meaning no water sneaks in and gives you the jello-leg look. Snug ankle seams means no flush up that way either. There's a small key pocket inside the bottom of your left leg.
The denim print is really realistic. Complete with zipper detail and some pseudo rips. Lost count of the number of peeps that asked me why I was surfing in my jeans! Cos yip, they look exactly like jeans. You'd probably get away with wearing them on a casual night out!
One of the ou's I met worked at a surf shop in Aus and said they'd even sold a few pairs to guys. Ok, that's a bit sketchy! Although, having said that, don't see why guys wouldn't want to benefit from the full leg sun protection as well?
If you're looking for something to surf in during summer, or to take on that tropical surf trip, Billabong's Skinny Sea Legs should be at the top of your shopping list. Love mine! Gonna buy some more for sure!
Say hello to Isurus - California designed compression wetsuits made from 100% Yamamoto rubber. Welcome to wettie heaven. Took the plunge and dropped a chunk of change on an I-Elite 434 last week, and couldn't be happier that I did.
You get what you pay for, and Isurus delivers. Super warm, super light, and a 4/3 that feels like you're hardly wearing a wetsuit. Worth every cent if you're after a high-end technical suit which let's you think you're surfing in boardies, well, almost.
I love a good wettie. And am an absolute sucker for Japanese rubber. And nothing is more gooey buttery than Yamamoto neoprene. So buttery you wanna spread it on your toast. It's the Ferrari of the wettie world. Fell deeply in love with the stuff ever since buying a Matuse wetsuit years ago, and been on the lookout for wetsuits that are made from it ever since. So when Twiggy brought the brand over to SA at the end of last year I knew it wouldn't be too long before I succumbed.
Let's start with the basics. If you like high-end wetties you'll have heard about Yamamoto neoprene - made from limestone mined in Japan, instead of petroleum. It is lighter yet warmer than other standard neoprene, thanks to it's closed cell structure. This means it repels water instead of schlurping it in - which is what makes open-cell suits get heavier and colder as your surf goes on. So closed cell is the go. The suit is super light to start with, and barely changes weight once it's wet. Almost the same weight wet and dry. Lightest 4/3 I have ever owned.
The air pockets in the Yamamoto Aerodome neoprene keep you warmer cos self generated body heat is stored within the closed cell material. Yamamoto neoprene is the stuff used in over 90% of the high end tri-athletes wetsuits because of its superior weight to warmth ratio - ie thinner suit that keeps you warmer. Trust the tri ou's - cos they need the optimal warmth/flexibility ratio to allow 'em to perform at their peak.
The suit is lined with stuff called Heat Fibre Core membrane. Which is a slick soft covering, not the furry jersey you get it other top end suits. This keeps things really light, whilst still keeping you toasty. Wind chill is dealt with by the Yamamoto SCS Nano Skin coated shoulder and back panels, which increase solar heat absorption and provide some serious wind protection.
So far the coldest water I've surfed in it with has been 16C, combined with a howling west, and it handled that like a champ. No doubt it'll handle colder than that without a prob. It's rated for 11C and upwards.
Not only were triathlete's the inspiration behind Isurus's choice of rubber, but they also inspired the actual design of the suits in a big way. Tri-athletes worked out you need form fitting suits that stretch where you need it, yet still fit tight in the right places. The anatomical design includes a one-piece panel from the hip all the way to the elbow joint. I went and had a look at all my other suits, and the underarm panel generally terminates anywhere between the bottom of the rib cage to the waist area, so the Isurus definitely has a unique pattern.
This design ensures unrestricted flexibility and maximum paddling power. Zero resistance to paddling, seriously. Most amazing feeling to reach forward on your paddle stroke and feel....nothing. No resistance, no pull, no nothing. Like you paddling in a rashie, not a wettie.
The whole anatomical design thing that goes a long way to helping you stay in the water longer cos you aren't getting tired just fighting against your suit. Don't forget the majority of your surf sesh is paddling, not surfing. So it makes sense to have a wetsuit that has taken that into account.
Compression technology used in high performance sports gear was incorporated into the suit design as well. The seams are specifically placed to provide muscular support.
What's interesting is that the rubber isn't crazy stretchy like some of the suits these days. Like the one's where you grab the wrist and just yank the arm until it's like double the length of your own arm. It makes sense cos basically your arm doesn't ever need to stretch to twice it's own length so no reason your wettie has to do that! And the more stretch it has the more prone the neoprene is to breaking down. So the Isurus rubber is stretchy enough for sure, combined with the excellent cut of the suit, means you don't need the hyper crazy stretch.
The chevrons on the arms are referred to as the Forward Propulsion System, and are meant to improve your power output per stroke. Gimmicky? Probably. But they certainly don't do anything negative and look pretty cool.
The suits is glued, blindstitched and taped. Now to be honest I have only bought liquid seal seamed suits for ages, as love the totally waterproof seal they provide (before they crack and die - which is inevitable). So it was with a good degree of trepidation that I decided to try the Isurus GBS/taped set-up. Turns out I needn't have worried. The Isurus comes with some pretty rad looking tape - otherwise known as Yamamoto Titanium SCS silver taping. Which their website says is the lightest, most flexible water repellent tape available.
I did feel the teeniest bit of water seepage through the seams on the calves as I walked into the water - which you don't feel on a liquid seam sealed suit. But it was fractional. And after 5 more steps into the surf you didn't even notice it anymore. I felt nothing coming through the seams on the rest of the suit.
GETTING IN & OUT
I have never owned a chest entry suit that is this easy to get into. Normally chest entries involve all sorts of wiggling and contorted yoga poses. Not with the I-Elite, This thing just slides straight on. So easy it's ridiculous. It's actually easier to get into than my back zip suits!
Before buying the suit I'd done plenty googling about it, and lotsa peeps had said how tricky it was to get into to start with, and felt a bit tight the first few surfs then fitted like a glove after that once it'd molded to your shape. Might felt super comfy from the get go, and was so easy to get into.
Once you're in you just yank the neck panel over your head and fasten the chest zip. My best experience with a chest zip to date. Cos often the zipping it up part also entails a bit of a struggle, but not so with the Isurus. Nice chunky easy to use zip. There's a lil toggle on the shoulder where you can pull the shoulder seam tighter if you want.
Probably one of the best fitting suits I've ever owned. Gonna say the the sizing might run a tad small, as I am usually an XS in guys suits (Billabong and O'Neill) or a 16 in Boys suits. I took a Small in the I-Elite. I didn't actually try on an XS cos the guys couriered the suit down to me to try on as no-one stocks them in PE, and they didn't have an XS in stock at the time. The Small fitted me perfectly.
If you are wanting to try out the suit it might be worth getting them to send you your normal size and one up, then you can just send the one you don't take back to them.
Neck fitted nice and securely and I didn't get any flushing through it at all. Admittedly the surf lately has been really small, so no serious duck dives or thrashings yet. Seals on the ankles and wrists stop flush. The only time I did get some flush up the one leg was when I screwed up a cuttie and somehow managed to go feet first into the wave at high speed.
Can't comment on this yet cos only had the suit a week. But it certainly looks like a suit you'll have to look after properly. The buttery gooey neoprene wants extra love and care. So if you hard on your suits then this ain't for you. This one you treat like a king - you use a changing mat (don't go stomping it all over the rough tar as you take it off), peel it off nicely instead of the usual stand on the leg with your other foot as you yank it out, and you rinse it after every surf, and then hang it to dry by folding it in half over a hanger. If you love it properly then you should expect at least 2 winters from it, maybe more.
Seems like there are quite a crew of guys in Northern Cali and Southern Aus that swear by these suits, and they're getting good wear outta them in harsh conditions. With guys saying 2 to 3 seasons is the norm. So let's see how this goes. I look after my suits really well, so I expect them to last. If they don't, I don't buy them again. Easy.
SHOULD YOU BUY ONE?
If you want one of the best wetties money can buy, then absolutely. It's light, warm, and ridiculously comfortable. But you'll have to look after it nicely to keep it happy. Because you're going to be dropping some serious coin. My I-Elite 434 cost me R4500. For that price I expect to get at least 2 years outta it for it to be good value. So holding thumbs that it's as durable as it is awesome. Cos if it is, then it's a slam dunk. And once you've worn top-end Yamamoto rubber you'll be hooked for life. Be warned.
WHERE TO BUY
Unless you live in Cape Town, where the Isurus agents Mike Schlebach and Twiggy Baker are located, you're gonna have to drop em a mail and get em to courier a suit to you (which they do at their cost). You can get hold of them via their FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Isurus-South-Africa/532403376905106 or shoot Mike an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ran into Brett Hoppe in the line-up a few days after getting my suit and was raving to him about it. Musta tweaked his interest cos he ordered an I-Elite 232 the next day...and has this to say about it after his first few surfs:
"This thing is on another level. The cut is great, warmth 10/10 and the lightness is ridiculous. The claimed compression tech? Maybe it’s just in my mind but I swear it seems to work! I have had plenty wetsuits in my time, and after a few sessions in this I can conclusively say it's a great suit – super stoked!!"
Brett got an I-Elite 232 (R4000)
I love wetsuits. Own a lot of them. More wetties than shoes. Cos who likes getting into a wet wettie? And staying warm wins. And being comfy and warm wins more. Suits currently in my PE winter rotation include a few O'Neill Psycho 3's and a Billabong Solution SGX. Great suits too.
Just spent 2 months test-driving my Oakley Motion drybag backpack in Indo. And it delivered. Used and abused it every single day during our holiday and it passed with flying colours.
I always take a drybag with on surf trips, as they're indispensable when it comes to keeping your gear and camera stuff dry. Up til now I'd been using the normal drybags which are just the waterproof bag that rolls up at the top and clips shut.
However, these are a bit of a hack if you're swimming in to shore from the boat, as you have to kinda swim them in like a waterpolo ball and keep chucking them in front of you. Mission of note - specially if you're planning to swim in over reef or a gnarly shorepound. And then when you're on land you have to carry the damn thing in your hand. So hassle factor all round.
So I started to look for a drypack that was a backpack as well, and found the Oakley Motion. Managed to get hold of one the day before we left. So glad that I did!
All the advantages of a drybag with the added convenience of being a backpack. Just gooi all your goodies in the bag, clip it shut, chuck it on your back and you good to go - sooooo much better than having to carry it.
What's great about the Oakley Motion is that the straps are proper straps, so it's a really comfortable all purpose backpack. They're padded and have lil vent hole thingy's so you don't get all sweaty. Am sure Oakley has some uber-technical space age name for them, but whatever they called they stop you getting sticky.
Same goes for the area of the bag in contact with your back - nicely padded cushioning so no matter what you've chucked in the bag it isn't going to poke uncomfortably into your back. Cleverly designed back padding means a good airflow, which means no sticky sweaty issues. Important if you're in the tropics!
The fact that it's so comfy to wear makes the bag really useful, cos it means it can double as your every day backpack when you missioning around the islands, hiking up mountains or exploring the jungle. And it doesn't matter if you get caught in a tropical downpour cos your stuff will stay dry - even if you don't.
The Oakley Motion can handle some pounding. Chucked my Canon and a big zoom lens in it and swam to shore through a fairly decent shorey no prob's. So much nicer to just be able to strap it on and swim instead of having to paddle a pack to shore.
It has compression straps on the side of the bag so you can tighten it up nicely to make sure stuff doesn't move about too much, and then has a chest and a waist strap which makes sure it stays nice and vas on you.
The chest & waist straps are also handy when you using it as a normal daypack cos it distributes the weight of the bag so you aren't carrying everything on your shoulders.
Space-wise you can fit a fair bit into it. It's cleverly designed and has a thick padded central divider across the middle, which makes 2 equal sized compartments. Useful if you wanna chuck a laptop on one side and all you gear on the other.
You're not going to fit your grandmother in there, but it happily takes a full size camera, a big zoom and a bunch of other lenses, a coupla small action cams, a towel, coupla sunglass cases, water bottle, a book or two, a few shirts and other bits and pieces with room to spare. I never had a situation where I couldn't fit in everything I wanted to carry.
There are a bunch of attachment points on the straps, so you can just chuck on a clip or two if you wanted to clip on more stuff. At one stage I had 2 water bottles dangling off either side and my travel pillow hooked up top.
There's a useful grab handle at the top to lift it with when it isn't on your back. It also makes it easy to hang the bag up if you don't wanna put it down on the sand for instance. Just hook it on a branch or on a stick. Closing it's easy - just roll the top over a few times and clip it closed. Simple, yet watertight.
There's a small slim-line zippered pocket on the front of the bag where you can stash your phone or some cash. Just note that this is only water resistant, not waterproof - the main compartment of the bag is waterproof cos of how it closes - but the pocket is zipped - and zips ain't waterproof. So if you taking it swimming just remember to put anything electronic in the main part of the bag. There's some cool reflective tape round the edge of the zipper so you can glow in the dark.
Overall impressions? The Oakley Motion rocks. Will never go on a surf trip without it. Works great as a drybag and doubles up as an everyday backpack. Two for the price of one. Happy.
Want one? Tune the ou's at Oakley and they'll make a plan to get one to wherever you at.
Yoh, I love my Surf Capsule!
Ladies - your prayers are answered. Finally we get some chick's surfwear made for fashion and function, instead of just fashion. Fashion is great - but not all of us still have the bean-pole legs and the perky butts of youth! Up til now I've had to resort to guy's wetties and boardies cos the girl's stuff is just nowhere near as functional, so am uber-stoked to at last be able to surf in something made for surfing girls instead of boys!
It's taken a while, but the ou's in the design department have finally worked out that girls actually surf and don't just loll about the beach all day. Which means we now get some beautiful wetties that work.
One of the big drivers for more functional surf wear is Rasta's lady, Lauren Hill. She's been giving Billabong lotsa feedback during the development of the Surf Capsule, and is one super styling logger. We shared a solo session with her and Rasta in the Maldives last year, and she was trying a whole lot of different Surf Capsules out. So every hour she'd pop off back to the boat, change into another suit to give it a test-drive, or rather, test-surf.
Got chatting to her about them and she was just frothing on how great they were.....so first thing I did when I got back was find out from the Bong peeps when they'd be hitting our shores. Soon as they arrived in SA I dashed off to the shop to grab one.
Turns out they were all so kiff I couldn't decide which one to get, so with true chick logic I bought three. However, buying spring suits in winter means you unfortunately don't get to surf 'em. So they sat in the cupboard until our recent trip to Indo.
I nearly didn't even take one with, thinking "why would I need rubber in Indo?" Shew, just as well I did. A thin layer of neoprene can be your best friend in the tropics for many reasons.
The obvious one is to keep you safe from the sun (tick #1 for the Surf Capsule). But then there're other advantages too - like no sore ribs - which you get pretty quick if you're paddling about in a T or bikini all day. Nothing worse than about a week into your trip and you can't even lie on your board cos your chest is so eina. So that problem solved. Tick #2 for the Surf Capsule.
Speaking of things that get eina from lying on your board.....hip bones! Mine stick out and get bruised so quickly if I'm in boardies all day. Enter the Surf Capsule - nice lil layer of rubber over the pointy bits, and bruises no more. Tick #3.
Staying on things eina. Reef, rocks, coral. All sorts of things just waiting to scrape some of your skin off if they get the chance. The Capsule came in handy when I was surfing some super shallow spots, where a wipe-out usually meant a skin donation. One particularly shallow possie saw me bouncing off the reef on my ass, and was only too happy to have some rubber padding there to collect the coral scrapes instead of my skin! (Tick #4)
After being in Indo for a while you get pretty used to the sticky hot weather. Which means when the temperature drops to say 24C, well - you feel freezing! Add in a bit of rain and wind chill factor, and you're only to glad to have a Surf Capsule to keep the chill off. Also used mine whilst diving in Indo - definitely need a suit when you're down there, but no reason to schlep into a full suit - the Surf Capsule does the job just fine.
So there you have it - five reasons why your Billabong Surf Capsule should accompany you on any holiday to the tropics - and of course any summer session at home.
Sizing seems to run true - I'm normally a size 8 in full wetsuits and took and 8 in the Surf Capsule. The fit is super comfy. Plenty of stretch thanks to the 2mm neoprene.
There are a variety of option available, but my preference was for the swimsuit with long arms. You get the choice of zip at the back or at the front, depending on which style you opt for.
Don't be nervous of the zippered front - as the zip doesn't poke you anywhere and you aren't aware of it at all. One comment I'd make is that maybe the zip on some of the styles could have been that wee bit longer, as the shorter zip can make it tricky to be able to pull the shoulders off yourself when getting outta the suit. But you'll get plenty offers of assistence if you're struggling with it in the car park!
Depending on the style, you can choose to go for perky butt, normal butt or the hide-my-ass option. Nice to see that they're not only catering for the nimble 20 something's!
Now if only each Surf Capsule came with a voucher for some free sunny weather and warm water, life would be good!
Ladies - should you buy one? Abso-bloody-lutely.
Billabong Surf Capsule's available at all Billabong stores.
For sure a super warm suit. Definitely no need for a 3/4 for P.E waters!! I'd say this suit is probably on par with the O`Neil Psycho 1, which Dave currently stocks. However, the Psycho 1 is slightly more expensive and comes with a back Zip instead a front zip entry.
At a retail price of R1800 this suit definitely has the best value for money in my opinion, and I've been very impressed what this wetsuit has to offer for the price.
It`s a great wetsuit, but all wetsuits (as we know) do not last a lifetime - especially if you surf almost everyday.
You can prolong the lifespan of your wetsuit by rinsing it in fresh water after your surf, and hanging it out of direct sunlight. It`s important that you hang your wetsuit by folding it in half through a hanger after you have rinsed it.
If you hang your wetsuit like you would a jacket when it`s wet, most of the water settles in the lower half of the wetsuit. This means the upper section tends to take a lot of strain during the drying process possibly eventually damaging it. Folding your wetsuit in half when you hang it, allows for equal distribution of weight thereby minimizing wear."
So there you have it - Jorg thinks the Gul Response rocks, and even throws in a clever tip to keep your wettie in shape for longer. Shot Jorg!
Surf Centre manager John Scheepers (aka Carpark John) has been raving about his new O'Neill Psycho 1 so much I decided to do a quick Gear Guide interview with him about the new love of his (wetsuit) life.
Sooo comfortable. And really, really light. Even when it's wet. If you feel the weight of it, it's a joke!
So why do you dig your O'Neill Psycho 1 so much?
It doesn't feel like I'm wearing a wetsuit. It's like surfing in boardshorts. There's absolutely no restriction when you paddle. And it's really warm. And soooo stretchy!
And the fit?
Such a snug fit, hey....like the skin on a sausage!
You don't need to mission to get it on and off cos the neoprene is so flexible. There's zero leakage through the neck because of the batwing collar that fits over your head. That can maybe feel a bit tight on the neck when you first put it on, but once you're in the water you don't notice it at all.
I've had maybe one little trickle of water down my neck, and that was after a hectic duckdive at Sards when I got totally smashed. But that's one of the reasons the O'Neill suits keep you so warm - no water gets into them at all. The neck, cuff and ankle seals are so effective.
Is the hype about the Technobutter material true?
Absolutely, that stuff is insane. The tag says "20% lighter & 30% less water absorption". No advertising gimmick at all - it is really light and weighs the same after your surf as before. Even after you've rinsed it out in the shower and it's soaking inside and out - still almost as light as when it's dry.
And turn-around time? How quick does it dry?
I reckon it's dry within an hour or so. Not bone dry, but definitely dry enough to easily use it for another surf.
Other things to like about the O'Neill Psycho 1?
The O'Neill warranties are really good. If there's an issue with your suit they'll sort it out quickly. That's important if you're spending decent money on a suit, you want to know there's good after sales service. I deal with customers who have the odd hassle with their suits and if it's an O'Neill it's always sorted out properly by them.
I think they're really reliable suits. You know you're getting good materials and good performance.
What's the damage to the piggy bank?
A 3/2 retails at R3400 and a 4/3 costs R3850
Where can you buy' em?
We stock the full range of O'Neill suits here at Surf Centre Humewood.
So there you have it....Carpark John gives the new O'Neill Psycho 1 a double thumbs up. Just ask him if you see him in the line-up, he'll convert you in no time.
Yssssss, the new Dusty Payne fins from Kinetik Racing are just the coolest looking fins ever. When Carpark John first saw them all he could say (repeatedly) was "These are the siiiiiiiickest fins I've ever seen!"
No doubting they look as cool as polar bears, but fins are about function first - so how do these guys ride? Turns out they work as good as they look. Lekker.
I got them just before heading over to Indo for a month, so their first test run was in some super sucky rights. Sucky as in the bottom just fell away underneath you and if you blew the take-off (or any part of your ride actually) you were going to be paying reef tax. The extra stiffness created by the extended carbon base - which comes to about halfway up the leading edge of the fin - means plenty of hold in the wave face when you're flying along. Great for the bigger/hollower stuff when you want your fins to be as grippy as hell.
The Dusty's did equally as well on long whackable walls. Plenty of drive available from the carbotune set-up to get you around the sections. There's a good mix of hex material and fibreglass in the upper half of the fin body, with lots of glass on the trailing edge to add to the stiffness. Drive. Lots of it.
They have a decent rake - which is the amount of the fin outline that is curved backwards. Basically the angle created between the back of the fin base and the offset of the tip of the fin. Fin rake is one of the aspects affecting the turning ability of the board. More rake means nicer, more drawn out turns. Less rake equals snappy, more pivoty turns. This slightly bigger rake angle is also what helps to add additional drive to the Dusty fin set.
The foil looks like a pretty traditional flat foil set-up to me. Again, good for the more hollow or bigger stuff. Less foil helps control speed. More foil generates it.
So taking into account all the afore-mentioned components, what you have is a really good all-round fin that is going to thrive in hollower/bigger surf, giving you lotsa drive, and plenty of stability and control. The Dusty's are a set you could leave in your board and know they're going to work in pretty much everything you surf, and shine when the surf is pumping.
And of course they look frigging rad....
So should you grab a pair of Dusty Payne Kinetik Racing fins?
Yah, I reckon. Specially if you're someone who surfs the Wildside, JBay or Seals regularly - which is when you're wanting a fin set-up that has plenty of grip and drive.
PS...what's surprising is how much fun they were in absolutely crap conditions too. Had gone out for a paddle at basically flat Millers just to get a few GoPro shots of them cos conditions were beaut (weather that is, not surf), and managed to hook some unexpected turns on the odd 6-incher that came through thanks to being able to get some oomph outta the fins. Definitely the most drivey fin set of all my boards right now.
Available for both FCS and Future fin plug systems.
Love surfing? Right. Don't wanna end up looking like a wrinkly 'ol git by the time you 40? Right. Then make sure you remember the sunscreen. And not just any arb stuff. Gotto handle the water, not burn the sh*te outta ya eye's, and survive a 4 hour sesh.....and achieve all of this without making you looked like either Gary the Grease Monkey or a white-faced Abakwetha.
Stoked to have found a kiff sunscreen that seems to tick all the blocks. Came across SWOX on the net, and really like the whole "Made by Surfers for surfers" concept. Cos only a surfer can know what a surf sunscreen is all about. With roots in Aus, the guys got their suncreens developed in Switzerland, so it's top-end stuff for sure.
SWOX offers a high protection sunscreen, SPF 30, that is extra water and sweat resistant. It protects your skin from the damaging UVA & UVB rays through a combination of zinc and titan protection - which is just the right combination of both physical & chemical blockers that you need to stop your nose turning crispy.
I'm a big fan of really good sunscreens, after burning my face to a frazzle about 10 yrs back. Ever since then I never surf without it - can be a dawn patrol, can be raining, doesn't matter - sunscreen goes on regardless. And I'm pretty damn fussy about what I use.
So I decided to give SWOX a try. And am happy to say it's a darn good sunscreen. So lemme take you through the test-drive: It squeezes out the tube as a nice firm cream, which makes it easy to apply - feels like you can get a decent amount on too. It's a white when you apply it, so you can see where you've missed a spot, but fades into your skin after a coupla minutes so almost looks like you have nothing on.
What's cool is it's alcohol free, so you don't get that annoying greasy feeling. It's also fragrance free so you don't smell like a coconut or whatever.
Of course the whole make or break is how well it performs in the surf. No problems here at all - doesn't run into your eye's, and stays put for pretty much as long as you want to be out in the water.
What's cool is that cos it absorbs into your skin you're able to head straight out for a post surf beer or whatever and not have to worry about looking all grease-ball or white-faced.
Happy to say it doesn't clog the pores, so no zits from it either. Although it's still a good idea to clean your face properly after your surf.
I've found the best way to get sunscreen off is actually to use coconut oil. Just grab a R20 tub of the stuff from Dischem or wherever, and then scoop a bit out and rub it well all over your face. It seems to lift all the sunscreen off your skin and into the coconut oil. Then all you do is wash normally afterwards with soap & water. Had to work that lil method out cos one of my other fave sunscreens is Bronzinc, but yoh, that stuff sticks to your face something crazy!
So there ya have it, SWOX sunscreen rocks. Tried and tested. Only hiccup is that it isn't stocked anywhere in PE (yet), so I got mine from the local SA SWOX rep who sent it down from Cape Town. But it's definitely worth the effort, it's good stuff. Mossel Bay ripper Shaun Joubert thinks so to - he's sponno'd by SWOX.
Want some? Get get hold of Alfred from SWOX SA on email@example.com
Check out the SWOX website <here> and their Facebook page <here>
How do you make the world's leading wetsuit better? Good question that. I'll go straight out and say I absolutely love super technical top-end wetsuits. I get cold lank easily, so am always willing to raid the piggy bank for suits that keep me real toasty and are super flexible.
My new Psycho 3 4/3 ticks all the boxes, and more. To start with it's a definite improvement on the the Psycho 2. So if you loved the Psycho 2 (which I did) then this is a no-brainer. It's lighter by 20% - so expect to soar higher on your airs! Me, I'll just soar higher on my kick-outs!
Light is good. Nothing worse than as your session extends you start to feel like your suit is weighing you down cos it's glugging in water. The Psycho 3 is made from some kiff new-age neoprene exclusive to O'Neill called Technobutter. Now lemme tell you, this Technobutter stuff rocks. It's super stretchy, lighter AND you get 30% less water absorption. Even better - it's some of the quickest drying neoprene in the market. Bonus not to have to climb into a dripping wet wettie for that 2nd session in a day.
Chuck in some fuzzy firewall material on the chest and lumbar regions, and you're in cold water heaven. Bring on the icebergs and the penguins and the gale force winds - you'll just laugh at em all. Seriously.
Another really noticable improvement in the Psycho 3 are the seams. The new Double Super Seam Weld are liquid sealed stichless seams which are 60% thinner and lighter than before. Now that's a biggie. This 60% reduction in width has resulted in more stretch in the seams, which is where the stretch is most restricted in all wetsuits.
So there we have it - one of the most flexible, lightest and technically advanced wetsuits to hit the market. Ah, but you ask - is all the marketing hype true? Let's see!
Definitely feels lighter than my old Psycho 2. The difference in seam width is obvious, with the Psycho 3 seams looking waaaay narrower. Always check for the key pocket - yip, it's there on the lower leg. Technobutter neoprene looks pretty rad too.
Fits like a glove. Super flexy - could go through all my yoga positions in it no probs! The only thing that felt different was that the Zen closure system - that piece you yank over you head, felt a bit tighter to get on than my Psycho 2. The neoprene used for it is actually much thinner & less bulky than on the 2, but it definitely required a bit more of a yank to get it over my head. Also noticeable is that once on it then felt a bit tighter round my neck. Something that might bug you out when you're trying it on in the shop, and go "ah, this neck thing is to tight, it ain't gonna work for me". Don't let that put you off, cos the minute you hit the water it seems to sort itself out and you don't notice any pressure around your neck at all once you're out in the surf.
The Test Drive
Luckily PE dished up some pretty chilly water (16C) to test drive the new suit - plus some howling west to add to the mix. Perfect testing conditions.
The first thing I look for is as I walk into the surf is do I feel any water creeping up my calves, and do I feel anything coming through the seams. Happy to report that I felt dry as a bone. Pop onto the board to paddle out - again, any water leaking in anywhere? Nup. Just cold flipping hands, that's all. So the seams and the wrist/ankle cuffs get full marks for doing their job.
Duck diving was great. The neck seals lank well, so I didn't once get any sort of flush running down my back. And man, we all know those duck dive flushes suck coconuts.
What really made me smile is that this suit feels, surfs and paddles like a 3/2, not a 4/3. What's not to like about that!!? It really felt like I was wearing my Psycho 1 3/2, but I was just way warmer obviously.
Put in a 2hr sesh in really crap conditions - not much surf, so lot's of sitting about waiting for waves in the icy wind. Finally got out cos was over the conditions, not cos I was cold in any way. Back to the sitting on the board waiting for waves bit - what's cool is that the drainhole is quite high up the back, so when you sitting you're not getting little dribbles of water sneaking in through it, which I've had happen in other suits.
Another thing I noticed was after my surf, when you pull the suit off, it's still really really dry inside, particularly the chest/lumbar region.
I'm in love with my new suit. It certainly delivers on all the marketing blurb. It's toasty, it's flexible, it's light, it dries quicker than my Psycho 2 (a lot quicker). Double whammy bonus is it feels like a 3/2. How happy am I? So happy that I now own TWO Psycho 3's. Chick logic, if you like it, buy more of it!!
Should you buy one? Hell yeah, if you get cold easily, and still want to be able to put in long winter sessions, then this is the suit for you. It's totally worth the bucks.
*Side note: This is the first women's wetsuit I've bought in about 10 years. I always buy men's XS, as have found that in the past the men's suits were far superior quality to the chicks suits. O'Neill haven't brought any men's XS's in to SA for a coupla years now, so I decided to take the plunge and buy the chicks version. Happy to report at last chick's suits seem to be made to the same standard as the guys. Dunno why we got shafted for so long. But O'Neill, listen up - bring in men's XS's - cos the little guys out there need to stay warm too!! Actually, they the peeps that need it MOST, as no self-insulation!!
What's Gear Guide?
I hate shopping, but I LOVE buying surf stuff. So I'll be posting reviews of whatever new kit I lay my hands on. No sales talk fluff, just telling it like it is. If it rocks I'll say so. If it sucks I'll say so. Simple.