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The Most Technical Wetsuits Of 2024

Come, delight in the extravagance. 

hardware // Jan 19, 2024
Words by Brendan Buckley
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Wetsuits were invented in the 1950s. 

If you were to put one of the OG suits on today, it’d feel like a leaky straight jacket that rashed you horrifically. But, you could surf in cold water — and that was a leap we’ll forever be grateful for. 

Things have changed a lot since then. Suits don’t feel like straight jackets anymore. Nor do they leak (not right away, at least). But that doesn’t mean they’re done evolving. Wetsuits are still getting better season after season, keeping us warmer and more comfortable while disappearing into awfully cold water for extended periods. 

In our 2024 Best Wetsuits test, a few models stuck out as the most technically advanced. We’ll break them down below. 

If tech is your thing, get into one of these. 

Orca Tango 

This brand has been making suits since 1995, with a focus on triathletics. And, shockingly enough, triathletes are more tuned into tech than surfers. Orca uses the best available materials (in the Tango’s case, it’s Yamamoto neoprene) and employs unique fits designed to be ultra-flexible and help you beat your bastard of a surf buddy in a paddle race.  

Rip Curl E-Bomb E7 

When Rip Curl released this thing, it’s likely that every other wetsuit designer in the world spent considerible periods of time going down rabbit holes about how they pulled it off. This was easily the most innovative suit we tested — specifically the top panel. As in, it’s one panel. That’s unique, and it represents a big step forward. Below the top panel, the E-Bomb E7 is also decked out with all the tech Rip Curl worked with World Champs to design. Very nice. 

Ion Seek Amp 

Want to talk liners? Let’s talk liners. Ion’s Max Flex features a rhombus-shaped structure that enhances flexibility and allows water to travel down small channels rather than soak into the suit. You’ll be able to feel the former — it’s insanely flexible — and, who knows, maybe even the latter if you pay enough attention between sets. 

Patagonia R2 Regulator

Looks like a normal wetsuit. Feels like a normal wetsuit. Is not a “normal” wetsuit. Patagonia pioneered the use of all-natural Yulex to replace neoprene in wetsuits. It took them 4.5 years of R&D, and they rolled out the first suits in 2016. They’ve continuously evolved since then, and the R2 Regulator is as warm and flexible as you’d ever need. 

The coolest thing about it is that they didn’t keep the Yulex tech to themselves and have invited all surf brands to produce Yulex suits. A stand-up play from a brand built on standing up. 

Watch our 2024 Best Wetsuits video in full here.

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