Lake Martin early Spring water
Well it’s that time of the year again. February is behind us and it’s time for Spring! The lake is still cold and will be for a few months. Lake Martin has begun to fill, and hopefully it’s temperature will rise faster than it does! I always talk about it being the time to break out the wetsuits (or drysuits if you have them). So what’s actually new out there in the world of wetsuits and how much is a good wettie these days? Well, there’s a big difference in neoprene today. For practical purposes, i’m going to discuss the 3/2, which generally speaking works for the coldest conditions on our water. If your going elsewhere you might need more, like a 4/3 but we’re talking Lake Martin here.. so just keep that in mind. You can buy a plain jane 3/2 (3mm chest and back panels, 2mm shoulder, arm and leg panels) for about a little over $100. This will depend on the brand, or maybe you catch a summertime sale or closeout. So $100 will get you covered in 3/2 neoprene. What’s that actually buy you? You will be substantially warmer in the water. You will have pretty good mobility and overall you can deal with the frigid lake temps for a decent period of time…….. OR you can drop about $500 and get the wetsuit of your dreams.. The O’neil Psycho 2 for instance, it’s name is pretty appropriate considering there is crazy amount of technology in this wetsuit. I’ve mentioned hyperfleece garments before, which is a liner, for lack of a better term. It goes on before you put on your suit, and it’s amazing… and also really expensive. This stuff is essentially built into the O’niell Psycho.. using it’s Double Super Seal Neck, the Double SuperSeam Weld (Watertight Stitchless Technology), O’niell’s Technobutter 2 Neoprene, Super Seal Cuffs, Krypto Knee Padz, Plasma Wrist and Ankle Seals, Patented Z.E.N. Zip Closure System with Drainhole,and Contortionist Seamless Shoulder… can you say toasty in the water and happy as a clam! You can stay in the water for extended periods, getting in and out of the boat with this kind of wetsuit. O’neil made the first wetsuit and continues to produce some of the best products on the market today. If that’s just a little out of your budget, for about $300 there’s the XCEL Infiniti X1. This wettie features Xcel’s easiest on/off front entry system, and all new TDC Thermo Dry Celliant in the front and back chest. TDC is a revolutionary inner lining with smart fibers that recycle your body heat into infrared energy for greater warmth, increased endurance, faster recovery, and enhanced overall performance. I love XCEL, a Hawaiian based company that makes some top notch product and great technology in the suits. Maybe you like these, but they don’t really have the look.. well guess what.. Body Glove has a new “build your own wetsuit” program. You pick all your own colors for the wetsuit and the graphics! For $329 you can get your very own, one of a kind wetsuit. http://www.bodyglove.com/
You will pick gender, and size (you pick the type of wetsuit: 3/2 or 4/3 etc, the 3/2 is $329) then you get to start picking the colors for each of 6 different panels and then the graphics. You can really have some fun and interesting mixes of eleven different colors!! How could we look at wetsuits and not look at the massive line of Billabong product. The Xero Furnace(warmth), Pro(Flexible) and Enduro(All-Around) lines. The Furnace is more for COLD ocean water surfing, but the Pro and Enduro are great options for good warmth and high levels of movement. Personally, I’d probably lean to the Xero Enduro. It’s Billabong’s best all a-rounder. With it’s focus being on both providing both warmth and flex. It also combines the drymax furnace lining, xero foam technology and welded seams constructions. It’s really the best of all worlds and reasonably priced at a little over $300. No wetsuit search would be complete without looking at Rip Curl’s gear they have a few options in the 3/2 category and the RipCurl Flashbomb and E-Bomb are amazing wetties..different choices to zip, via chest or back are nice options the Rip Curl E4 flash lining is supposed to provide 30% more strech and be 20% lighter. It’s ingeniously set up with 2 layers that funnel the water out of the suit once it is hung up….I have an older Rip Curl and it’s definitely one of the most comfortable suits i’ve ever had… but the new gear is always a must have for us water riders… the latest and greatest. Stay warm out there.. see you on the water!
Sawyer Davis is a Realtor on Lake Martin and wakesurfs for Victoria Skimboards