Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire
Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women
For a company that’s been in the neoprene game as long as O’Neill has, it’s not surprising to witness the level of technological progression they’re pushing.
What is surprising is how rapidly they’re doing it. Using its own standards as the bar, the Santa Cruzan brand has surpassed its own benchmarks year after year, continuing to stretch (pardon the pun) the possibilities in performance, longevity, and now, ecological responsibility.
Learning about the release of their latest coldwater essential – the Hyperfreak Fire – we wanted to put its capabilities and comfort to the test. We partnered with two Santa Cruz natives – Natalie Marquardt and August Howell – to do just that. Because anyone hailing from the oft-frigid Central California region learns neoprene critique early in life and speaks it like a second language.
Read on to see what each of them had to say about the new Hyperfreak Fire.
The suit was super comfy and soft like a cozy sweater. It’s easy to change into, but if you have broad shoulders like me, I would recommend sizing up! The Technobutter material feels less rigid than other 4/3 wetsuits, is super warm, and doesn’t let in much water, which is great.
One common drawback of this feature is that it can often wear out quickly, especially in areas that get stretched, like the shoulders and elbows. O’Neill addressed this issue head-on with added graphene and TB4 technologies, making the Hyperfreak a durable and overall great suit!
Natalie’s Favorite Feature: Plenty of warmth that held up well against the wind.
As weird as it may sound, I was worried about how light this O’Neill Hyperfreak felt. The knock on past O’Neills I’ve worn in Northern California – particularly when adorned with Technobutter – is that what they strive for in flexibility, sacrifices warmth.
Fortunately, my preconceived notions were rendered moot thanks to the fourth rendition of the brand’s buttery tech, TB4. Donning the red and black, I felt I could pose on the mat with Jack Robinson without breaking a sweat. No suit is perfect IMO, but this is the best all-rounder O’Neill has produced in years.
August’s Favorite Features: This thing has all the function to meet the form. Most of the inner torso and legs are covered in the latest Technobutter, what the O’Neill team calls the TB4 Firewall. And wow, this thing is so secure the Pentagon would approve. While the arms and shoulders still have Gumby flexibility, I could tell this thing was sturdy enough to withstand a stormy winter and still not compromise a roundhouse cutback. It’s also built with eco-friendly carbon lining and a recycled cocktail of plastic, spandex, and oyster shells (!?) that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, both physically and mentally—a recipe for a fun session.
Get yours (before they’re gone) at O’Neill.com.
Watch: Stab’s Best Wetsuits of 2023
Our quest to objectively establish the best men's suit, women's suit, and booties out of…
Eithan Osborne Belongs On The 2003 World Tour
But he's gotten an invite to the 2022 Vans Pipe Masters, so we caught up…
“I Could Do Reels And Surf Two Foot Beachies And Hoard Cash But That’s Moral Suicide”
Noa Deane’s thoughts on money, media, airs in glassy waves and more.
Watch: Torrey Meister’s Gunslinging SEOTY Entry
"Bull-riding is such a great warmup for surfing big waves."
Guess Who Else Just Got Invited To The Vans Pipe Masters
3 more withdrawals, and 3 more exciting replacements.
‘Buying Double Cheeseburgers, Acting Like He’s Hit Some Sections Today’
RAGE 400 drops ft Noz, Chun, Creed, Vinny, Jel, Wado + others!
What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?
Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.
Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT
After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…
An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties
A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.
Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl
And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.
Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden
Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.
Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’
Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…
How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4
The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.
‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California
Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.
The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023
Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?