The Flash Bomb 5/4 Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit is the reciever of the 2013 SIMA Images award for best wetsuit of the year, and is Rip Curl's flagship wetsuit. Pulling out all the stops, Rip Curl has released a truly next level suit that drys in only 15 minutes. Full featured, and backed by the best warranty in the business, if you want a top of the line high performance fullsuit look no further. The Two Time SIMA Award Winning Flash Bomb Hooded 5/4 has been updated with E4 Neoprene to make this suit 30% more flexible and 20% lighter.
Neoprene: 100% E4 NEOPRENE
Seams: E4+ Tape Plus Aquaban Combo
Zipper: Chest Zip
Model Year: 2013/2014
Manufactures Part Number: WSU4EF
E4 FLASH DRY LINING - No more pulling on a wet, cold wetsuit. 2 engineered layers that funnel the water rapidly out of the suit once it is hung up. Also one of the warmest and most comfortable linings available. Dry fast - Surf More!
100% E4 NEOPRENE - The lightest, most flexible and warmest neoprene ever.
E4+ TAPE PLUS AQUABAN COMBO - Double taped to create the ultimate waterproof seal. New E3+ Super Stretch Tape allows unrestricted stretch and comfort.
100% E4 Stitchless Double Taped Seams - Double taped stitchless seams creating the Ultimate seal. E4 tape combined with Aquaban liquid tape for maximum sealing and durability.
4 Way Stretch Back
Posted by Garrett – 30th Dec 2013
I've used Xcel suits for years but decided to mix it up this season. The construction appears very solid although I've managed to tear the hood right where they bar-tacked the visor. That tack clipped the edge of the drawcord tunnel and created a perfect point of failure. Good news is, Rip Curl has a great warranty so no worries.
The fit is slightly roomier in the stomach and hip area than my Xcel suits and the hood is tight, very tight (and that's on a shaved head). You won't get flushed very often but it's borderline uncomfortable for the first half hour or so until it stretches out. I find Xcel suits in a MS fit me perfectly everywhere. I've tried Patagonia suits and could never find one that fit well, always too big in the upper legs and torso.
Chest zip is the only way to go for a winter suit (or summer for that matter) and Rip Curl does something slightly different from Xcel. The Xcel suit zips closed from right to left and one side of the zipper is always engaged which means there's no stretch on that side when you're getting in. I've broken a tooth of an Xcel suit because of that. The Rip Curl zipper is separated which means you have to set the slider on the left side after it's on. Better from a design standpoint imo as you aren't putting any stress on the zipper getting in/out but it is trickier to zip up.
And the most important factor... warmth. I've only had it in the water for a few months and we haven't had any uber cold days yet but so far, 3 or 4 hours and I'm still toasty, and it's typically pretty dry inside when I climb out (which makes it kinda hard to tell if it really does dry any faster). It's hard to compare it to my 3 year old Xcel suit which leaks like a sive now, but that was a warm suit in its day as well. With the improvement in materials in the last decade you could easily get away with a 4/3 hoody in the winter in Oregon as long as the seams are watertight. Unless you can afford to replace your suit on a regular basis a little extra neoprene is a good thing when they start to leak and this suit paddles as well as any 5/4 I've had. We'll see what the rest of the winter brings but so far, this one gets a high recommendation.
At Cleanline Surf we specialize in sizing Rip Curl Wetsuits. Every brand fits a bit different so if you have any doubt about what size wetsuit to get, we strongly urge you to call and speak with one of our wetsuit experts. Getting the right size is extremely important and in the end it will save you both time and money by avoiding a return.
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If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase you may return it for a full refund, or exchange within 30 days of receiving your order.