Honest Review(s): O'Neill Hyperfreak Fire - Stab Mag

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Introducing the Hyperfreak Fire: A wetsuit backed by Santa Cruz and South Atlantic locals alike.

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

style // Oct 3, 2022
Words by Corina Stephens
Reading Time: 3 minutes

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.

A seemingly impossible alliance of warmth, malleability, and durability.

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.

Image brought to you by recycled oyster shells, fluid seam technology, and way more warmth features than can fit in this caption.

Read on to see what each of them had to say about the new Hyperfreak Fire.

Natalie’s Review

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.

Superior stretch, without sacrifice.

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!

Did you think Johanne would wear anything but the best?

Natalie’s Favorite Feature: Plenty of warmth that held up well against the wind.

August’s Review

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. 

One suit to rule them all.

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.

If it’s good enough for Jordy, it’s good enough.

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.

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