THE BATTLE OF TWO ULTRA HIGH END WETSUITS
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.
2013 O’Neill PsychoFreak
The O’Neill PsychoFreak is a back zip wetsuit that features the new thinner Super Seam Weld through the entire suit(except in some areas around the neck and back where it is stitched), along with the lighter less water absorbing TechnoButter Neoprene. This makes the suit very flexible, and very light weight, especially in the water. Also instead of being an even millimeter the suit is a half millimeter thicker than your typical 4/3 wetsuit which makes the suit warmer. Some would argue this also makes the suit less flexible, and that is true, but the light weight neoprene, and thinner seam welds make up for that.
2013 Rip Curl Flash Bomb Plus
The Rip Curl Flash Bomb Plus is a chest zip wetsuit that is internally taped, and externally seam welded through the entire suit, except for in the arms where it is stitched on the outside and taped on the inside. This gives the suit extra flexibility where it is most important for paddling. The interior of the suit is fully lined with the Rip Curl’s Flash Dry Lining which adds warmth, and also has the ability to dry in 15 minutes when turned inside out. The Flash Bomb Plus also features a smooth skin insulated chest and back panel of neoprene for added warmth and wind resistance.
Down To The Nitty Gritty
Which suit is warmer?
These suits are honestly pretty close to call for warmth. If I had to give it to one suit I would give it to the PsychoFreak simply because it is .5mm thicker which I think plays a greater role in warmth than the flash dry lining, or special smooth skin insulated chest and back panel.
Which suit is more flexible?
After trying on both suits, I found the arms in the Flash Bomb Plus to be more flexible than the PsychoFreak, but only by a very small margin. When it came down to overall flexibility I found the PsychoFreak allowed my entire body more fluid movements.
Which suit is lighter weight?
This one didn’t take any guesswork. After weighing both wetsuits, the PsychoFreak came in .25 pounds lighter(in a size medium), and I would say that is definitely noticeable when you are wearing it. This doesn’t take into account the weight of the suits once they are wet, which I believe would lean heavily in the favor of the O’Neill suit due to it’s TechnoButter neoprene.
Which suit is going to last longer?
This is tough. Both O’Neill and Rip Curl make great suits. I haven’t had any complaints about their quality of materials or construction and I’ve owned both brands over the years. I honestly don’t think this category maters that much, but I’ll give you a few thoughts. The Flash Bomb Plus seems to have a bit more sturdy knee pads. The PsychoFreak having the Super Seam Weld through the arms seems like it would hold up in the shoulders a bit longer. This one is a tie.
If you’re not sure what to get still, you may want to consider the fit of these suits. In general O’Neill suits fit a bit more tall and lean, while Rip Curl’s are better for a slightly less so. If you need fitting advice give us a call, we’ve been fitting people into wetsuits for 30+ years.
Chest Zip or Back Zip? Everyone has their preference. You might want to consider what you would like. Our 12 misconceptions about wetsuits article talks about back zip vs chest zip if you’re not sure.
I personally would go for the Flash Bomb Plus, simply because I like Chest Zip better, and the suit felt a little more flexible in the arms. If they made the Psycho Freak in a Chest Zip, then I might be more inclined to go for it. Both suits are definitely top of the line, and feature all the bells and whistles you would need in a wetsuit, but in the end it might come down to personal preference for most people on this one.
What do you think? Do you own either of these suits? Which one do you prefer?