Rip Curl has been the best wetsuit brand in the world for decades now, bar none. Their consistency at delivering warm/flexible wetsuits that fit well is pretty incredible really. The Rip Curl Flashbombs, Heatseekers, E6 pure performance, etc,  the hits just keep coming.

This latest suit upgrades their biggest breakthrough from last year in the flexy E6 neoprene and adds in their Flashbomb Thermal lining. Here’s what Rip Curl have to say about the 2021 Flashbomb Zip Free 3/2mm Steamer:

The perfect combination of stretch and warmth. Now with E6 Flash Lining throughout the body providing stretch and warmth, and our lightweight super stretch E6 neoprene throughout the arms and shoulders gives surfers unrestricted paddling and movement.

Let’s see if the suit lives up to its big expectations. Here’s your latest Rip Curl Flashbomb wetsuit review.

E6 Neoprene

Super stretch rubber for flex and comfort


No zip, more comfort and less flushes. 

Flashbomb Lining

Fast drying and super warm


The Rip Curl Flashbomb is the kind of option you buy when you want a great wetsuit from a great brand. It’s not Rip Curl’s full top option in terms of price (that’s the Heatseeker – review here) but it’s their best balance of warmth, flex and value.

Winters in Sydney should be a treat in this thing, same as West Oz, no worries at all. Some crew would get away with it in Victoria and South Oz as well paired with a hood and boots. Around the 13-17 degrees C (55-65F) mark and you’re pretending you’re Mick Fanning at J-Bay, snapping lips and punching sharks.



The Rip Curl Flashbomb is nipped and tucked in all the right spots, with the zip free silhouette making you look like a stealth superhero without a cape. The stretchy rubber and thermal internal is supple against your skin, feeling like butter sliding over a perfectly roasted potato. For some reason I’m hungry now. Mind back on the suit, and this section is one of Rip Curl’s consistent wins. They know how to make a suit that fits really, really well. Sparrow needs to be inducted into the Surfing HoF for his work with Rip Curl suits. 9.5 out of 10.


Stretchy like a freshly chewed piece of bubblegum. The new Rip Curl Flashbomb has definitely benefited from the inclusion of the E6 neoprene in terms of performance. The thermal lining does inhibit things a little compared with just going all E6, but the balance is incredibly impressive. The cut of the suit means it’s all E6 around the top of the shoulders too where you need that extra flexibility for paddling. Well into the excellent range here, Joe. 9 out of 10.


Rip Curl have done a pretty amazing job here in tiering the warmth of their suits from the Ebomb, to the Flashbomb, to the Heatseeker. This isn’t their warmest option but it’s still very, very warm. The difference here is that the top E6 portion of the suit maximising stretch, has held back the cook stakes a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the balance is great. But, if you’re wanting a warmer 3/2, then pay more for the Heatseeker (or maybe look at the Hurley Advantage Max if you’re willing to sacrifice some flex for $). Still, the Rip Curl Flashbomb is a bubbling 9 out of 10 here.


Great suit. Great brand. Solid price. At $550 you’re looking at a pretty amazing suit for $100 or more less than some of the other top options for the other big brands. One thing that’s noticeable this year with other brands though is that they’re massively stepping up the eco considerations too. Rip Curl do have some of these built in (eg solvent-free glue and limestone neoprene), but they’re not going as far as crew like Billabong or Patagonia with Yulex rubber and recycled jersey. Even Need Essentials have a Yulex/Recycled option (review here) that’s sub $350 which is crazy. If you care about sustainability, and build in future costs to your pricing, then this has to deduct a little bit. However, in terms of pure performance and warmth for what you’re paying, it’s still a good deal. 8 out of 10 here.


Tim Said:
“Definitely one of the best suits we tested this year. When you look at a balance of warmth, flex, warranty, and brand perception, this is an absolutely incredible wetsuit. The fit is spot on, the thermal lining keeps you toasty and the ultra stretchy E6 rubber is in all the right places to keep things swinging free like a yoga-master. The one drawback of this suit is that it’s lacking the eco considerations that quite a few of the other surf brands are building in these days. With the breakthroughs that crew like Billabong have nailed this year in terms of flex, it would be great to see Rip Curl stepping up the stakes on what is fast becoming a must-have consideration for some surfers out there. That said, this is a top-notch suit for a very reasonable price for what you’re getting. Highly recommended for those who judge things on performance alone.”

Jimmy said:
“An exceptional suit balancing the warmth of Flashbomb with E6 performance. Rip Curl has nailed the perfectly balanced suit for anyone demanding performance and warmth.”

Lincoln said:
“Rip Curl, consistently, make the best suits year in, year out across all their suit categories. Sparrow should, if he isn’t already, be inducted into Surfing’s Hall of Fame for his contributions to wetsuit design for Rip Curl. As always, this suit – the Flashbomb – is exceptional. The cut, the fit, warmth and stretch. It’s all there and then some. My first response anytime asks me about which suit to get, it’s generally ‘can’t go wrong with Rip Curl, best suits out there’. I am excited to see where Rip Curl land in the environmental aspect of wetsuit over the next year/s.”

Overall Rating

  • Warm
  • Flexible
  • Excellent fit
  • Starting to fall behind on eco considerations
Fit & Comfort 95.
Performance 90.
Warmth 90.
Value 80.
Buy Now


If you’ve got $550 Australian spare and we’ve convinced you to get a Rip Curl Flashbomb Suit, then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, Rip Curl has been the best wetsuit brand in the world for decades now bar none. Can’t go wrong. 

Buy an Rip Curl Flashbomb 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 $550
*Below $350

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If you’re driving, or reading isn’t your thing, then hit the below episode of Lipped where we talk all things wetsuits 2021.

First off we chat with the movers and shakers behind the best suits on the market to find out all about the innovations that moved the needle in 2021.

Then from 36.40m Jimmy is joined by Tim Hawken and Lincoln Eather from Empire Ave to look at suits from Billabong, Need Essentials, Xcel, Hurley, Rip Curl, Patagonia and Vissla.

If you want to stay warm, stay flexi and potentially look after the world around us then this is a must listen.