Rip Curl: Keeping You Warm While Keeping It Core - Stab Mag
What would Mick Fanning do? Photo: Danica Taylor

Rip Curl: Keeping You Warm While Keeping It Core

The Bomb Series has been serving up heat for years.

hardware // Dec 10, 2020
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Of the core four surf brands (you know who you are), Rip Curl, to me, comes off as the most authentic. 

The things they care about are as simple as they are unwavering: winning world titles, exploring new places, and keeping people really fucking warm in places that are really fucking cold. 

Also, Bells. 

And they do all of these things exceptionally well. Which is why I’m always curious (and excited) to see what kind of rubber casing they provide for our annual Best Wetsuits test. 

Without further ado… (watch the full test here)


If you want to live The Search, look no further than the Curl. Photo: Danica Taylor

Men’s Submission: Flashbomb 4/3 Chest-zip (not currently available)

Mikey says: Rip Curl pushes harder than most brands to make truly exceptional wetsuits. As a result, they’ve managed to produce both the warmest suit on the market — the Flashbomb Heatseeker — and the most comfortable suit I’ve ever worn — the E-Bomb Zip-free. But in chasing (and often achieving) these extremes, it’s possible that Rip Curl has overlooked that all-important middle-ground, where comfort and warmth merge to make a suit that serves all needs at once. For me, this suit leaned a little too much on the warmth side of the equation, leaving too much bulk in its wake. But a minor recalibration could bring this suit straight to the top of the heap. 

Can you put a price on warmth? Yes, yes you can. Photo: Danica Taylor

Pro: Very warm, cozy inside.
Con: A little bit bulky, not great for paddling.

Comfort: 37
Warmth: 45
Total: 82

Like a cozy sweater on a chilled winter morning. Photo: Danica Taylor

Women’s Submission: Flashbomb 4/3 Chest-zip ($469.95)

Cori says: Let it be known to the world that, on principle, I detest the women’s chest-zip wetsuit. I may be missing something but, on the whole, I believe them to be nothing more than hair-pulling, neck-injuring machines that unfailingly make entry and exit a spectacle of parking lots the world over. Did the people at the chest-zip company get together with the people at the changing poncho company to form a conspiracy? We may never know, but that said, and to my own surprise, I did not hate wearing the Women’s Flashbomb 4/3 Chest Zip fullsuit. Overall warmth, comfort and like-a-glove fit of this classic design made for a pleasant surf experience. The one exception to said pleasantness was the bout of moderate rub-rash I experienced at the neck within just a few waves of my first session wearing it. Otherwise, not a bad investment if you have a hefty gift card to use up, or an extra $500 lying around the house.

Gliding into the golden hour. Photo: Danica Taylor

Pro: Felt like a cozy sweater.
Con: Neck piece difficult to negotiate.

Comfort: 40
Warmth: 46
Total: 86


Flashbomb tech paired with the Slide On System. Enough said. Photo: Danica Taylor

Men’s submission: 3 mm Hidden Split-toe Bootie ($79.95)

Mikey says: Rip Curl has solved a major bootie issue with their slide-on tech. It was seriously a joke how easy it was getting these things on and off. If they can just pair it with a slightly warmer boot, they’ll have my business forever.

Warmth: 40
Performance: 49
Total: 89

These boots were made for ripping. Photo: Danica Taylor

Women’s submission: Women’s Flashbomb 3mm Hidden Split Toe Booties ($79.95)

Cori says: It’s tempting to leave this review at a mere 3 words: Slide On System. This feature alone sets Rip Curl booties apart in a big way, making them without question the easiest to get on and off – a major factor in overall surf-worthiness. After all, what’s a really great surf boot if it causes you to miss the best set of the day, or to be ‘that person’ in the parking lot – the one breathing heavily on a zoom call while struggling to disrobe on your way into work? Apart from the genius “S.O.S”, the 3MM Flashbomb booties also include the hidden split-toe and super squishy neoprene for a cloud-like feeling in the water and on land. The clear downside to these is how quickly they let water in, and how capably they hold it there, so – word to the wise – pee first. 

Warmth: 42
Performance: 47
Total: 89

Never not searching. Photo: Danica Taylor


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Yes And Welcome Back: The First Day Of Female CT Competition At Teahupo’o Since Melanie Redman-Carr Was Taking Scalps In ’06

Carissa Moore is now two heats away from her 6th World Title, btw.

Aug 17, 2022

“Airlines Hate Me:” Bad Boy RyRy’s Guide To Surf Travel

Want to get pampered at the pointy end of the plane for free?

Aug 17, 2022


What Happens When You Borrow A Pro’s Board?

Joyride: The Shrizz from PANDA surfboards.

Aug 16, 2022


Mick Fanning Samples California’s Finest Local Produce

Mayhem at Lowers.

Aug 16, 2022

Mountains Died So You Could Surf

The value of sand.

Aug 15, 2022


UPDATE: People Are Still Surfing ‘La Jetee’ in Reunion Island

Returning to the best & sharkiest air wave in the world, as seen in Mod…

Aug 14, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Female) Surfers

What the Stab reader survey teaches us about taste.

Aug 14, 2022


Kelly and Local Gal to Win Teahupo’o?

Local insights and a firing forecast.

Aug 13, 2022

These Are Your Favorite (Male) Surfers

Insights from the 2022 Stab Reader survey.

Aug 13, 2022


Fear And Loathing in Mainland Mex

Parker Coffin, Harry Roach, and the Roark crew embark on an authentic Oaxacan (surf) trip.

Aug 13, 2022

Tahiti Preview: The End Of The Road For 72% Of The CT

And hello there, blob of swell.

Aug 12, 2022


While Everyone Flocked To Tahiti, Kelly Stayed in Jbay

...And proceeded to rip the hell out of it on a "borrowed" 5-finned Tomo.

Aug 11, 2022


Can A GQ Cover Boy Take Out Teahupo’o?

Kauli Vaast is your incredibly handsome Tahiti trials winner.

Aug 11, 2022

Watch: Ramble On With Caity Simmers 

An action-rich tour behind the scenes of her triumphant first voyage to Oz.

Aug 11, 2022

PSA: Surf Filmers Not Welcome In Nicaragua

Cameras and drones are being seized on arrival, Stab spoke with two recent visitors.

Aug 11, 2022

Inside The Alternative Surfboard Marketing Machine 

Two of the biz's best — Matt Parker and Blake Peters — spill many beans.

Aug 10, 2022

The Tragic Parallels Between The Murder Of Ricardo Dos Santos & 8x World Jiu Jitsu Champion Leandro Lo

Two Brazilian sporting icons killed brazenly by off-duty police officers.

Aug 9, 2022

The Pick-Up, Vans US Open: In The Belly Of The Beast

Finger flips, shaping with Zion Wright, slurpees, Hawaiian takeovers, and the king of Surfline rewinds.

Aug 8, 2022