As winter temps in the south drop faster than Julian Wilson’s CT Ranking, it’s time for most surfers to start thinking about winter wetsuits. Should you upgrade now? Hold out a little longer and wait until next year? Or get through most of winter and pick something up on sale in September? One of the other pressing questions is ‘which wetsuit should I buy?’ This Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits should make all of those questions a little easier.

We’ve split up our Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits this year to help better cover the product (and price) offerings out there. As you would have noticed, new wetsuits brands are the new black and there are new brands popping up everywhere.

Today’s guide covers suits in the $3-500 price bracket and runs from most expensive to least. We’ve already dropped the over $500 guide, which you can check out over here. Early next week we’ll drop a sub-$300 guide. Ideally, these three guides will cover everything you’re looking for and help you get a good Winter suit that’ll work to your budget, keep you warm and let you stay flexible too.

O’Neill

Psycho 1

$499

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - O'Neill

The Psycho 1, from O’Neill, just squeaks into the $3-500 bracket for our Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits coming in at $499 – which you could argue is $500 anyway, but it’s on the marker so we’re keeping it. 

The O’Neill Psycho is an evolution of the first Psycho which eventually spread out into an entire family of wetsuits ultimately resulting in this years Psychofreak. The Psycho 1 comes with welded seams, techno butter, FUZE entry system – basically a lot of high-end features you wouldn’t expect to find on a mid-priced suit. Not as wildly decked out like the Psychofreak, but this is a great suit for a smidge under $500. 

The bonus being every time I suit up in this I feel like I’m going to Corey Lopez like surfing, I don’t. Also, I need O’Neill to bring in a modern version of that Animal Suit they had Gerr all up in the ads with back in the day. 

Rip Curl

E-Bomb

$450

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Rip Curl

The Rip Curl E-Bomb 3/2mm Zip Free Steamer is basically the Ferrari within the Rip Curl wetsuit matrix, built for hi-fi surfing by any shredder or kook with enough money to pay for one.

If it’s crazy that there are $900 wetsuits out there (tbh, a custom made suit sounds all sort of dreamy), it’s crazier that you can get a Rip Curl E-Bomb for $450. This is hands down one of the best suits on the market, regardless of price. We reviewed it a while back and as Tim said:

“This is for people who want to feel like they’re surfing in a gymnastics leotard and have the skills to do backflips at will. Also great for those who simply want to be as comfortable as a fat man in trackies when heading into the water.”

This is the suit you get if your Sydney, and north of Sydney up to the Gold Coast. Brilliant suit across the board, and for $450 it’s a steal. 

Billabong

Pro Series

$450

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Billabong Pro Series

This is also another suit I’m somewhat shocked with the sticker price – $450 – it’s an amazing suit up there with the E-Bomb from Rippy but with Billabong tweaks. It’s in this year’s reviews (coming soon) and both Tim and Jim were excited like little kids in a candy store surfing in this suit. 

Triple glued and blindstitched sealed seams with 100% machine applied internal Superflex Neotape with 100% Airlite stretch. The neoprene also features 3D panel shaping with minimal seam design creating the most anatomic form-fitting stretch suit. 

Like we mentioned with the Rip Curl E-Bomb before, this is a suit you get if your Sydney, and north of Sydney up to the Gold Coast. Brilliant suit across the board, and for $450 it’s a steal. 

 



Matuse

Dante

$415

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Matuse

Matuse is a brand that I’d long forgotten about until someone slid into my DM’s to remind me that they’re still going strong and more so, that their wetsuits are amazing. And to be honest, I don’t know much about them so I’ll let their copy take it from here :

“Since day one in 2006, the Matuse mission statement is: To make product Ichiban (the best) by creating function-first, solution-specific innovations; to educate by telling a story, enhancing cultural and environmental awareness. 

Matuse created the limestone-based Geoprene rubber that makes our wetsuits 30% warmer, 30% lighter and kinder to Mother Nature.”

Looking at the Dante suit we’ve featured, I’m impressed with the double seal on the entry system and the silk-like taping. For $420 it’s priced reasonably enough to warrant a look. 

Hurley

Advantage Plus

$399

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Hurley Advantage Plus

Going from the $900 Elite suit we saw earlier in the week, we’re now sharing with you the Hurley Advantage Plus which comes in a much more affordable $400. If you want a quick look at a range breakdown for Hurley wetsuits, hit this link, it’s a nice explanation about them all. 

The Hurley Advantage Plus is the brand’s entry-level suit and comes with ‘Exoflex’ neoprene, strategically positioned seams to avoid rash and allow flexibility, and a soft, quick-drying interior which traps warmth, while smooth skin panels on the chest and back attract heat and keep the wind chill off.

The last Hurley suit I wore (3 yrs ago) impressed me beyond the expectations I’d had, and I imagine this one will be similar – we’ll have a review for this suit up on the site in the next couple of weeks 🙂 

NCHE

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$390

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - NCHE

NCHE has been delivering good mid-priced suits for a couple of years, and along with Need Essentials, were one of the first to market during the great wetsuit brand resurgence of 2016.

Their suits are made from N Foam which is sandwiched between a plant-based internal lining composite of charcoal & bamboo and finished with an ultra soft hand feel external layer. It’s running GBS seams and fully taped on the internals, keeping it light and flexible. 

Oh, and your suit turns up in a pizza box! Pretty neat, no plastic here people – no pizza with the suit either tho. Ha. 



Adelio

Connor

$390

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Adelio

Adelio been around since about 2008 and have a pretty solid story behind them, which you can read about here. 

I don’t know much about Adelio, but I do know Chippa swears by them, as do a few others. I keep hearing great things about Adelio suits and this one – the Connor – looks fairly amazing, very amazing when you look at the price for it ($390). 

Connor is made from Japanese limestone neoprene, has GBS seams and internal taping on all seams. And there’s thermal fleece lined chest and pack panels to keep you extra toasty (and dry quick) on those chilly days. 

They have more expensive ones if that’s what you’re looking for, or even a small step up to the ‘Connor Deluxe’ (which has liquid tape). Overall, well worth a look. 

Volte

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$371

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Volte

Along with Adelio, Volte is a new-comer to our world of wetsuits. I’ve seen them popping up here and there and they’ve just signed Seabass to the team (I think DHobby wears them as well) – which is more than enough to get me to take notice. 

Got me taking notice, but then I can’t get any information from them. The site has fuck-all (literally, NONE) information about the suits. The one featured above is a 3/2 with a chest zip entry system, it looks like it’s running GBS seams and it probably has some fur inside of it, but… 

Overall the suit looks good, seems good, and at $370 is a seemingly great value suit. 

Vissla

7 Seas

$330

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Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits - Vissla

Vissla going from $900 to $320 with this little baby is the equivalent of going from the Tesla Model S straight to the Model 3 with no X Wings in the middle. 

Running anatomically correct engineered body lines that allow for unrestricted warmth and performance the 7 Seas is also running a few spares in its make up. By spares, I mean Spare Tires – The 7 Seas suit has Carbon Black, one of the key ingredients of neoprene, can now be made from scrap rubber tires. This significantly reduces energy consumption and cuts CO2 emission by 200g per wetsuit. How good! 

Extra bonus is triple stitched GBS seams and a 12month warranty from time of purchase. Out of all the suits on offer in this price bracket, this one from Vissla would have to be the go-to for anyone sniffing around this price level. At $320 this thing, an amazing suit in it’s own right, is just a deadset bundle of value. 

 


If reading our Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits has been too much, here’s something to give you some extra froth about surfing in the cold (re)watch the below clip of Dylan Graves (from the series, Weird Waves) surfing the Severn River, where meets up with Guinness World Record holder for longest ride on the Severn River, Steve King. Where does Steve find time to surf in between writing critically acclaimed novels? I really loved this run of content of Vans, it was fun to watch it all and get a different aspect on surfing.