Stab Magazine | Stab's Guide To The Best Wetsuits Of The Year
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Stab’s Guide To The Best Wetsuits Of The Year

Welcome to “You’ve Got Winter.”

style // Nov 21, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s generally believed that nearly all wetsuits come from the same factory, and the point of difference between brands is a different logo and a fancy new name for the neoprene used. We set out to prove this wrong. Although, in 2018, there’s no such thing as a bad wetsuit, some suits are just better than others. 

A few weeks back, we rented a Transit 15 passenger van, loaded it with over 70 wetsuits constructed by who we believe to be some of the leading wetsuit manufacturers—Billabong, Vissla, Rip Curl, FERAL, 7TILL8, O’Neill, Xcel, Volcom, Quiksilver, Hurley—and spent five days spanning the coast north of San Francisco to Santa Cruz on a mission to find out exactly who is making the best wetsuits in 2018. 

Welcome to “You’ve Got Winter,” Stab‘s comprehensive field test and guide to the finest suits for the winter season. 

For the entire selection, head here. 

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Noah Wegrich in Volcom’s Deadly Stone 3/2mm.

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Jesse and the day’s batch of two handshapes and four to-be-tested wettys.
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Waggy relaxin’ in the O’Neill Hyperfreak Comp.

We sampled anywhere from three to five suits a day; getting out of the water often two to three times mid-session to put on a new dry suit with wet skin. Which proved rather difficult. 

“It’s all backwards,” Noah Wegrich would exclaim while struggling to get his feet through a recently de-tagged piece of rubber.  

We split the test up into six categories: The Warmest 3/2mm, The Best Wetsuit for Under $300USD, The Stretch And Comfort Award, The Fastest Drying, The LUX Category (or best suit over $450), and The Most Stylish. 

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Mr. Guglielmana in the 7TILL8 Custom 4/3mm.

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Jesse Guglielmana and a very pleasant carve in Xcel’s Comp X 4/3mm.

Our wetsuiteers, Santa Cruz’s Noah Wegrich, Stab High wildcard and 4’6 foamboard enthusiast, Blair Conklin, designer/shaper Jesse Guglielmana, and myself wore and analyzed each and every suit. The results are above.

This is the first to come in our series, “You’ve Got Winter.” 

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Waggy off the Central Coast trampoline in the Feral 4/3mm Backzip.

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Blair Conklin in Rip Curls E-Bomb Zipperless.

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Five days and 70 something wetsuits later.

For our short doco, hit the triangle above. 

For a detailed analysis of each suit tested, hit this link

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