This is probably one of the most popular wetsuits in Southern California. It has all the stretchy rubber that is expected at a $400 level and its seams are welded and sealed on both sides of the seam. This keeps the suit together at the seams.
For a guy who has some shoulders and is not skin and bones like I was when I was 18 the O’Neill wetsuits seem to fit the best for me. So I have worn these for years. Like I said the seams are tough as nails and stay together and withstand at least 3 days of surfing every week.
The suit is warm and pretty much water tight when you first get it. So your first season you can wear a 3/2 out all winter and get away with it. However after that first season and wearing it in to spring then fall surfing back into your next winter, it is not as warm.
Here is what I have found that wears out on this suit:
The shoulders – meaning where you stretch it and paddle the material just gets thin and starts letting water seep through.
The key pocket- located on the lower right leg it’s great and works excellent but it eventually rips at the corners. This allows water in. Not a huge deal but it does wear out.
Next to the seams – I have had the smoothy on the chest pull from the welded seem. This also causes leakage. This one however can be fixed by you, the factory or Joann at the Froghouse.
I suspect you give up longevity for comfort and flex and a light suit. This soft rubber works great but doesn’t last as long as we would like it to. I would like 3 seasons from a suit that I pay $400 for but I really only get 2 seasons.
However, O’Neill is a stand-up company who backs their products. I had a Psycho II that literally fell apart after one season. I sent it to O’Neill and with in a couple of weeks I had a brand new up to date model that lasted twice as long as the other one. That kicked ass.
You can read all the wetsuit sites for proper care but I have found a few simple ways to prolong the life of your suit. 1. do not hang it on a hanger! Especially when it is wet. This just wears the shoulders out. Hang it over the back of a chair in the middle of the suit.
this wont put all that wet weight stretching out while its drying. 2. Don’t leave it in the sun all day. If you leave it outside for a couple hours after a surf take it in and turn it right side out and let the outside dry indoors. The sun breaks down that black smoothy and seam welds. 3. Rise as good as possible after your surf. The saltwater eats everything if left on it. I seen saltwater destroy steel boat trailers in a year so think what it can do to your soft rubber suit.
Summary – This is a great suit I would recommend for its performance and fit. With some simple steps you can really prolong the life and get at least a few years from it before you are scratching up 4 more bills to replace it.
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Check out the O’Neill Website and Psycho II
Best Suit ever
This is possibly the best suit on the market