Stab Magazine | Rubber Requirements For The Last Frontiers Of Surf

Rubber Requirements For The Last Frontiers Of Surf

Tried and tested by Mick Fanning, Mason Ho and your pals at Stab.

style // Apr 20, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Notice how the crowds thin during the year’s darker months? Fact: People don’t want to surf as much in the cold. It’s much more of a breezy affair when (and where) the ocean is at more accommodating temperatures, less so when you have to tear off layers, unravel a dripping suit and plunge into inhospitable conditions. For this reason locations nearer the poles provide more opportunities for finding quality uncrowded waves over their balmy counterparts. 

Take Mick Fanning and Mason Ho’s The Search trip to the far north last year, they certainly didn’t have to compete for waves in glacial waters. Now, surfing in ice and five mil rubber might be on the drastic end of the spectrum, but the fact remains lower temps are congruent with less humans. You are however going to need the right equipment to make it worthy of your time, or you’re empty session will last not much longer than your first duckdive.

Rip Curl just released their latest Flashbomb Plus range (which are the suits Mason and Mick wore on said trip), and they’ve provided a number of reasons in the above vid as to why their neoprene tech remains at the forefront of the war against the chills. 

Confident in their creation, a 3/2mm was dropped at Stab’s Torquay satellite office for test driving between the sirens at the Rip Curl Pro, which we eagerly agreed to. While the autumn Victorian mornings had a bite, and full rubber was essential, the water was well above its wintery lows.

The suit’s insulated with a proprietary lining that encourages heat retention, adds minimal weight and, according to Rip Curl, is extremely fast drying, making it less discouraging to pull out of a wet bucket. First impression and this furry addition feels like a thin woollen sweater has been glued to its interior, but lighter. Visually, there’s nothing to offend, the panelling is slick, all black, simple.

Getting into the suit was brutal. Rip Curl’s latest zip-free system is surely one of the most difficult to gain entry to. This is a good thing though. Not a single drop ran down the neck during the entire session. In fact, coupled with their latest seam technology, the quick-drying material barely got put to the test. The suit simply didn’t take on any water at all, well, not before it had to be manually flushed in the shore break after temperatures became slightly overbearing. Restriction wasn’t the problem. It was after the moderate paddle out to the Bird Rock lineup and back again that things got heated. The 3/2 Flash Bomb Plus was comparable to a lighter (and more elastic) 4/3; overkill for a sunny midday in mild waters, but highly desirable for anything colder.

If you’re looking to update the rubber collection then head this way to check out the latest Rip Curl Flash Bomb Plus Series.


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent


More Dane Reynolds Than You Can Stomach In One Serving

Chapter 11 TV is everything surf media needs.

Feb 6, 2023

Kanoa Igarashi On Concussions, Goose Chases, Title Visions, The Three Types Of Surfers CT’ers Encounter In The Water, And More

A candid and wide-ranging conversation with 2022 World #5.

Feb 5, 2023

Can Small-Scale Investors Buy Into Wave Pools?

Say you got $10k and a dream — what can you do?

Feb 4, 2023

An Early Pipeline Exit For Stephanie Gilmore Amidst GenZ Glory

Day Two of the 2023 CT season was a clear notice that the kids are…

Feb 3, 2023

Hand-Shaping, Glassing, And Finishing ’70s-Inspired Displacement Hulls Will Not Make You Rich

Profile: Tristan Mausse of Fantastic Acid is in it for all the right reasons.

Feb 3, 2023

Hassling, Head-Dips, and Broken Apple Watches

The 2023 CT is underway. Here's what happened on Day One of the Billabong Pro…

Feb 2, 2023

Stephanie Gilmore And Filipe Toledo Are The 2022 Stab Surfers Of The Year 

Caity and Hughie take Best Juniors, “NOZ VID” wins best film, and Ho and Pringle…

Feb 2, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: The Stab Premium Vote

Day Ten: You voted, we counted.

Feb 1, 2023

Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More

A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.

Jan 31, 2023


“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”

Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…

Jan 30, 2023

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023


The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023