Today, wetsuit manufacturers have been endlessly experimenting with new materials in order to make their suits the warmest, most flexible, and/or fastest drying on the market. Whether it’s Patagonia switching over to Yulex, a more sustainable alternative to neoprene, Rip Curl adding a quick-drying “flash” lining or the exceptional elasticity of O’Neill’s Technobutter neoprene; it seems every brand has developed some unique trait to distinguish themselves from their competitors. However, with these technical advancements comes a steady increase in price. It’s to the point that if you’re looking at purchasing a company’s high-end 5/4mm wetsuit you should be prepared to shell out $450-$600.
We realize that not everyone is looking for these top tier wetsuits. In fact, more times than not, we are on a budget and looking for an inexpensive suit that will get the job done without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a flat-water SUP user, a novice surfer who is tired of renting/borrowing, or you’re just trying to save a little money; these are our picks for the best wetsuits you can buy for under $200.
For Fall 2015, O’Neill brings us the new Psycho Tech wetsuit which has replaced the Pyrotech as our favorite cold water wetsuit in the game. It wasn’t just our favorite suit, but also our best selling wetsuit of all time!! For the Fall 2015 season, O’Neill took what was already the lightest, most flexible suit in the water and made it lighter and more flexible, which didn’t seem possible. Having surfed the Pyrotech for two seasons now, I honestly didn’t think that it could be improved on. After getting my hands on the new Psycho Tech and feeling it for myself, it’s apparent that the advanced materials in the TB2 (Technobutter 2) do make the wetsuit more supple and lighter than the Pyrotech or any wetsuit that I have ever felt for that matter.
We get a lot of questions about the differences between these two wetsuits. Being the top of the line suits from Rip Curl and O’Neill you might want to know what you’re getting when you’re dropping $500 or more. In this review I’ll be comparing the 4/3 Flash Bomb Plus, and the 4.5/3.5 PsychoFreak. I haven’t tried these out in the water, so some of this review is speculation, or based on customer feedback I have recieved, and all of this review is solely my opinion. Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to wetsuits, so if you want to hear more opinions feel free to give us a call and talk to one of the wetsuit experts here at Cleanline Surf. Continue reading →
Jack O’Neill’s Surf Shop in Santa Cruz becomes historical point of interest.
During the event Jack O’Neill is interviewed about the early beginnings of the O’Neill brand. He couldn’t imagine in the beginning what O’Neill would become, and who could?! If I started a small surf shop in Santa Cruz I surely wouldn’t expect it to become a globally recognized surf brand. It’s a pretty amazing story, and one that still needs to have chapters revealed. How did O’Neill make the jump from a surf shop to what it is today? For now we’ll just have to rely on the Wikipedia Article. Check out the video interview of Jack O’Neill below during the event.
The Plaque reads:
O’Neill’s Surf Shop
In 1959 Jack O’Neill came with his family to Santa Cruz and opened his 500 square foot “Surf Shop” at his location just above Cowell Beach. The surf shop was O’Neill’s first retail store in Santa Cruz, offering custom built foam surfboards and “thermal barrier” suits, as wetsuits were known at the time.
O’Neill’s surf shop became a focal point for a tight-knit surf community. The business grew steadily, earning recognition as a pioneer and leader in the world of surfing. In 1996 O’Neill extended his vision by founding the O’Neill Sea Odyssey, an award-winning ocean education program for kids.
On May 31, 2012, the site of Jack O’Neill’s Santa Cruz Surf Shop was designated by the state of California as a point of historical interest. Recognizing the local origins of an innovative global business as well as a place where parents continue to bring children for a day at the beach.
“In the beginning the name of the business was just Surf Shop. We were the first to use the name, and later got it registered. Nobody in the world called themselves Surf Shop before us.”
The new Pyrotech 5.5/4mm Hooded Wetsuit is in. These are Fall 2013 wetsuits from the O’Neill line and Cleanline Surf is the first to have them. The Pyrotech wetsuit is the replacement to the O’Neill RG8 wetsuit series and this year it has been revamped with the new TechnoButter Neoprene exclusive to O’Neill’s wetsuit line. Basically this is my new favorite wetsuit. O’Neill took their RG8 series, which was already my favorite suit, and took out the poly-fleece lining, and replaced the neoprene with the lighter, and more flexible TechnoButter Neoprene.
How much lighter is it?
The Technobutter neoprene is boasted to be 20% lighter, and absorbs 30% less water. I’m not sure what neoprene they are comparing it too(they don’t say for some reason) hmmm, but that doesn’t really matter. When I pick the suit up it is noticeably lighter than the RG8 in the same thickness. That is without getting the suit wet. Once it’s wet I don’t have the personal experience to give an opinion yet, but from what I’ve heard the suit feels much lighter in the water also. Look for a full review from a staff member at Cleanline Surf in the near future.
O’Neill’s new Pyrotech Series Combines our exclusive Technobutter-Air Firewall insulation, Single Fluid Seam Weld and F.U.Z.E Closure System. Lighter, warmer, more insulating and quick drying with improved ease of entry. Pyrotech is the latest advancement in cold water wetsuit technology from the leaders in innovation for over 60 years.
Retail Price: $439.95
Pyrotech Wetsuit (Inside)
F.U.Z.E Front Upper Zip Entry with Code Red Zipper and Drain Holes
Single Fluid Seam Weld(Watertight Stitchless Technology) – Keeps water from entering at all seams and critical points.
Technobutter & Technobutter-Air Firewall Neoprene – The most advanced super stretch neoprene available on the market. 20% lighter, 30% less water absorption with quick dry properties.
Super Seal Cuffs – O’Neill’s new Super Seal Cuff is fused to create a very low profile at the cuff ending creating the best seal ever.
Krypto Knee Padzz
External Key Pocket with Loop
Plasma Wrist and Ankle Seals
LSD – Lumbar Seamless Design
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