It’s getting warmer! Time to shed some of that neoprene and slide into something a little more free and less restrictive.  If you’re a fan of the springsuit this guide should help as you transition from a full suit to boardies.

I’ve been testing rubber for some time now, and have been a fan of springsuits since I was grom – whether that’s right or wrong doesn’t bother me, I love a good springy. Tim, on the other hand, hates them, and will most likely come thru with a Summer Wetsuit Buyers Guide later for you covering SS Steamers and Vests.

The big challenge with this, and other guides is that we’re trying to pick from an online viewpoint only as most of us do research online before buying, or going in-store to purchase. And to be frank, what you find online from all brands is pretty bare fucking bones. I’ll blame AB testing for this one…

Couple of images, some bullet points about tech-features and a price. Not much to give you confidence, or a reason to buy online – which if that’s the strategy (to get you instore) then it’s doing its job. One would think with the increased purchasing behaviour online that brands would be developing better, more informative online stores to make it easier to buy from.

Patagonia has a good amount of information around the suit, it’s materials and what you’re getting. If they added more images – both of the suit, and on-model shots – would be clearly in front. Other brands could improve quite easily with more copy about the suit, its features (explaining the techno-babble) and an understandable fit guide of sorts.

Anyway, ranting aside while I sit on the sidelines, here are my top picks for springsuits this year

Rip Curl E-Bomb


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E6, the newest neoprene from Rip Curl, is amazing. It’s not an incremental upgrade from E5, it’s a leap forward. I’m not sure how widely available E6 is yet, but you should definitely be tracking it down or holding off until you can get it.

You’ll also get GBS seams, critical taping & one of the best warranties in the industry. Plus you got that grade-A wetsuit reputation that Rip Curl has so you know this suit is top of the tree.

Although at $350 it might leave you second-guessing, understandably so with the minimal info on their online site. But I can assure it’s money well spent, their reputation is 30+ years strong of making amazing suits.

O’Neill Hyperfreak


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In my opinion, O’Neill has the best chest zip system on the market and when you combine that with Technobutter 3 you’re left with a pretty damn amazing springsuit.

Grab one of these and you’ll be in a GBS suit made from Technobutter 3 with the FUZE chest zip system, along with a nice 12-month warranty. The new Technobutter is wild, and a good upgrade from the previous version.

Beyond me gushing about them, you’d be hard pressed to find any extra information about the suit on their online store. But, as I mentioned with Rip Curl, O’Neill has has making great suits for a long time and you’ll be happy with your purchase here.

Billabong Pro Series


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Billabong wetsuits have come a long way from even a few years ago, these days Bong are mixing it up with Rip Curl and O’Neill in most regards – especially with their full-suits.

Their Pro Series springsuit looks good, ships with GBS seams and has the bonus of liquid tape on the outside to keep you really dry/warm. If you’re a lizard who feels even the slightest leak, this is the springsuit to get before you slide into boardies and vest.

At $300 it’s a touch cheaper than the Rip Curl and sits at the same level as the O’Neill and Patagonia springsuit options. Choice is always nice, take your pick and run with it.

Patagonia R1 Yulex


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Every year I try the Patagonia suits and every year they’ve been stiffer than a politician trying standup. Not this year, as they’re steamers were amazing. And so, if their springsuit is similar to the R1 steamer Tim tested then you’ll be getting a stretchy, warm, well-made suit that has environmental considerations built in.

I won’t go into detail about the Yulex rubber being better than neoprene, or recycled jersey being better than virgin, but safe it say, it makes a very caustic product much more friendly for mother earth. The enviro aspect is now a bonus, instead of the main feature.

Hurley Advantage Plus


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Hurley. Do you dare?

I’d say consider them, their steamers we’ve tested in the past have been pretty good. And at $280 their springsuit comes in at an ok price and their materials and cuts have gotten a lot better recently. Plus if you’re a strong Kolohe or Julian fan and desire the two stripes on your leg, then this is the winner for you.

For reasons unknown, there’s no GBS seams here. You’re getting the 90’s vibe with flatlock seams, which if your following the current trend this thing might be right up your alley. If GBS is a must-have, best look elsewhere.

Xcel Comp


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XCEL has to be the best-kept secret of the wetsuit world, these guys continually make amazing suits but rarely seem to feature in top lists (we’ve been guilty of skipping them). The ones I’ve tried have been fantastic to surf in, fit was great, materials felt nice, entry system was solid.

You probably don’t want the brown one that’s featured but track down a black one and I think you’d be pretty happy with the purchase. You’ll be surfing in a springsuit that has GBS seams, limestone neoprene and an engineered fit that some have told me is best in the market.

The big bonus is the price and 12month warranty though, coming in at $250 it’s hard to pass this up as a consideration.

Peak Climax Pro


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PEAK, they’re still out here kicking! As Rip Curl’s little brother in the wetsuit game, you should consider getting one for one good reason, it’s basically a Rip Curl suit just a season or two behind the current Rippy ones.

If you love the Rip Curl cuts and materials, but can’t find a springsuit running E6 I’d suggest getting a PEAK springsuit. It’ll be much cheaper and will definitely be a good suit with a great warranty.

You have to buy thru Rip Curl’s online store as the PEAK one is undergoing a rebuild, which again just reinforces the fact you’re pretty much getting a Rip Curl suit for less cash. Win Win. The only thing I miss is the colorways Occy used to rock back in the 80’s when he rode for Peak – need that to make a return.

Need Essentials


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Hello, value. Need Essentials continue to put out good quality suits for a very affordable price. Tim tested their thermal steamer a while back and had nothing but positive remarks, so we thought we’d include their 2mil springsuit in the guide as well.

It’s stealth all black and performs reasonably close to most of the other top-tier suits out there. The finishing isn’t as good as the other options, but you’re getting what you pay for there. Make no mistakes though, it’s an incredible suit for what you’re paying.

GBS & taped seams, limestone neoprene and a very affordable price tag have a lot of people repping the NEED essentials in the water. If you’re watching your bucks and want something that’s rock solid and will keep you in the water, grab this suit.