THE SUIT


Rip Curl have been the Mick Fanning of the wetsuit game for a long time now. Outright, consistent champions. Their high end approach has given them the reputation of a go-to brand for many and deservedly so. This year, they’ve come out with a limited edition Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb using the feedback of their world-champ team. The idea was to build the highest performing suit on the market. Here’s what they have to say…

“The Limited Edition E-Bomb E7 is a wetsuit designed for and by Rip Curl’s World Champions. With a seamless upper body panel of E7 neoprene, the E-Bomb E7 offers unparalleled stretch from wrist to wrist, for Ultimate performance in the water. The Limited Edition E-Bomb E7… Made by World Champions.”

Quite the flex that spiel. Let’s see how the 3/2mm version of the suit itself stacks up…

Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb Review

E7 Upper

Unrestricted E7 one piece panel for the upper.


Torpedo Gusset

A strategically designed panel to increase the comfort, function and performance


E6 Thermo lining

The body of the suit features E6 neoprene with Thermo Lining

WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR


The Rip Curl limited edition E7 is for those who want the bee’s knees, the duck’s nuts and any other animal/insect part that signifies ‘the best’. It’s all about high performance. Given it’s a limited edition, you’re probably also paying for a bit of status too. “This thing Mick, Gabby and surf Tyler in”.

In terms of temp, this isn’t as warm as you’ll get with full thermal lined suits. It’s not pretending to be either. It’s something you’ll stay loose as a spruce goose in and comfortable enough that you don’t freeze. Most people in Queensland, NSW and West Oz would get away with this through winter. Victoria, Tasmania and South Oz (plus our American and European friends in the North) might be better to look at the 4/3mm instead.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF


FIT & COMFORT

The fit and comfort of the E7 is spot on with one notable drawback. While the shape and rubber is pure top shelf, the new ’Torpedo Gusset’ seam around the ribcage and chest is frankly kind of annoying. Having tested the E6 in previous years, I’d say that pattern is better from a pure comfort perspective. That said, the rubber is wildly stretchy and soft so mostly makes up for the niggle of a little stitch in your side when first putting it on. After averaging out our 3 tester’s scores this gets 8.5/10.

PERFORMANCE

Well touch my toes and call me flexy, this thing is looooooose. It’s like someone sprinkled pixie dust on the shoulders of the E7, it’s that joyful to paddle in. The single panel up top keeps everything fancy free with the neoprene moving along with every swing, dip and gull swoop. The E6 portion has more than enough give to keep the hips, back and knees feeling unrestricted while somehow support. Seriously. Hats off to Rip Curl in this department. Our first ever 10 for performance.

WARMTH

Like toast… once it’s been on the plate for a while. The E7 does offer reasonable warmth but it’s not as piping hot as something freshly popped off the grill. If warmth is your main thing when searching for a suit, then search elsewhere (think the Xcel Drylock as a start or maybe a thicker rubber). The insulation is okay but the seam around the chest leaked for 2 out of 3 testers, meaning things dripped on the parade a bit. Good for warmer states but not Arctic adventures. 7.75/10.

VALUE

At $550 you’re paying a limited edition and tech premium for this suit. Considering its high performance properties, it’s not out of the ballpark, but if you stack it against the E6 E-Bomb at $450 it’s debatable if you’re getting that much more benefit. If you’re the kind of person who likes ‘the best’ and blow the cost, you’ll still be happy with what you get. If you’re watching your pennies, then sniff around and you’ll find better bargains in the neoprene sea. 7.75 out of 10.

VERDICT


Rather than rely just on Tim’s verdict, we’re splitting hairs and opinions for every suit tested in 2020. Here’s what the Empire Ave x Lipped rubber fetish enthusiast club had to say about the Ripcurl Limited Edition E7 3/2mm Wetsuit…

Jimmy said: Unbelievable stretch and performance, made me feel like I could stretch like a QS surfers moral compass deep in the European leg. No leaks this year. Is it improved or just a lucky suit?

Tim said: “This could have almost been the best suit I’ve ever surfed in. The new E7 rubber is dreamy and the idea of how they put the single piece panel together is amazing. However, the comfort of the chest seam and subsequent leaks was a real let down for me. I reckon the normal E6 E-Bomb cut is better for comfort and that suit is still wildly stretchy. For $100 less that’s where I’d be putting my money as a go-to performance suit. Hats off to Rip Curl though. Really looking to see them tweak this suit into stardom next year.”

Linc said: “First surf in this kinda blew my mind in all honesty. The ease of which paddling had become was out of hand, seriously felt like surfing in nothing. Around the arms/shoulders anyway. When you get a chance to inspect the construction and design of the singular upper piece you really get an understanding of how amazing the design is. The suit itself is pretty good, but that’s because I’m spoilt with Rip Curl – I expect their suits to always be pretty good. They have that rep. ”

Overall Rating

  • It's stretchy
  • Like, really stretchy.
  • Great fit
  • Chest seam issues/leaky
Fit & Comfort 85.
Performance 100.
Warmth 77.5.
Value 77.5.
Buy Now
Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb Review

WHERE TO BUY

If you’ve got $550 Australian spare and we’ve convinced you to get a Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb Steamer, then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, it’s a little more than competing suits in performance but if you want one of the best fitting performance suits out there, you’ve got to pay the piper.

Buy an Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb Steamer from :
⋅ Rip Curl Australia
⋅ Rip Curl USA
⋅ Rip Curl Stockists

Alternatively, we’ve pulled together three Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guides if you’re still a little undecided on what to buy:
*Above $500
*$300-$500
*Below $300

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Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb Review

LIPPED PODCAST

If you’re driving, or reading isn’t your thing, then hit the below episode of Lipped where there’s more rubber talk than a condom convention. Featuring full reviews of suits from Billabong, Buell, Matuse, Need Essentials, Patagonia, Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Xcel as well as a look inside the business of wetsuits in 2020.

Plus we crown the Best Overall, Best Performance and Best Value suits for 2020.


Image Credits for this post::
Product Shots of the Rip Curl E7 E-Bomb suit from Rip Curl’s website
Any other shots are shot by us.