Winter wetsuit guide 2017
We may be hitting the coldest months of the year, but that won’t stop us from making the most of old Blighty’s most consistent surf season. Perhaps we’re crazy for heading out on those misty mornings when the thermometer’s sub zero but somehow, the fire burning within always prevails. That being said, we couldn’t do this without the appropriate gear, and that’s why we’ve been working hard to develop the best possible winter wetsuits for UK surfers.
Whether you’re an experienced surfer looking for high performance, or are just starting up and want a wetsuit that gives you great value for money, we’ve got you covered. Wetsuit performance comes from a combination of neoprene quality, body fit and strategic panelling. Over the past couple of years we’ve worked hard to deliver a range of suits that incorporate all of the above, with a focus on British surfing conditions.
Part of developing a strong wetsuit range is about testing their capabilities, adapting and refining until we’ve got the design just right. A few weeks ago we were privileged to have Mr Alan Stokes himself road-testing our new range of winter wetsuits in one of the UK’s most remote and freezing locations, Scotland’s north coast. Boy did he score.
''The Animal Aeon front zip winter wetsuit is my go-to suit for everyday surfs, from October through to May. It's a well-fitted and comfy suit that keeps me warm and allows for a lot of freedom of movement. Progressive shortboarding requires a lot of body flexibility so this is really important for me.
This is the suit I chose for our trips up to Scotland's north coast. It kept me performing at my best whilst keeping me warm in some pretty cold and icy conditions. Our last trip up there saw - 3°C air temps and with the added wind chill you definitely needed a quality suit to keep out the cold''. Alan Stokes
To help you find the perfect winter wetsuit this season, we’ve put together a guide giving you the lowdown on the Animal wetsuit range.
Aeon 5/4/3 front zip winter wetsuit
The Aeon is Animal’s premium coldwater wetsuit, made from A-Flex Pro, our best quality and most stretchy neoprene to date. It features ergonomically designed paddle zones for reduced resistance to surf related body movements, meaning you’ll be saving energy and consequently be able to surf longer.
The major focus for the Aeon is warmth, no matter the conditions. We’ve combined minimal panelling (less seams running through the suit) with our liquidised seam system, giving maximum resistance to water entry. Whether you’re tackling Britain’s harshest surf spots, or just nailing the local dawn patrol, you can feel safe knowing the Aeon wetsuit will keep you warm.
At £220, we recommend this suit for those who head out regularly and are looking to keep toasty, even in the depths of winter.
Phoenix 5/4/3 front zip winter wetsuit
The Phoenix is Animal’s high performance wetsuit and whilst warmth remained a major component in the design of this suit, our key focus was flexibility and fit.
The panelling on this suit has been ergonomically designed, ensuring it fits each and every part of your body perfectly. It features A-Flex Pro neoprene throughout, providing maximum flexibility.
Although liquid taping adds to how waterproof a suit can be, it can also increase weight, so for the Phoenix we’ve opted for 100% high quality GBS seams instead, making the Phoenix the most lightweight suit in the range.
Seal skin neck, overhead front zip and AK knee pads come as standard and complete what has become our most lightweight, flexible and high performance winter wetsuit to date.
Priced at £150, we recommend this suit for those who prefer the flexibility of summer wetsuits to the bulkiness of winter wetsuits, and tend to surf for shorter periods at a time. This suit is ideal for the competitive/advanced surfers amongst you, who are seeking maximum comfort.
Lava 5/4/3 winter wetsuit
The Lava 5/4/3 wetsuit is our mid-range suit and comes in both men’s and women’s styles. This suit is focused on quality and performance, whilst providing great value to the user. It’s a suit that’s built to last and should see you through several years of progression.
To accommodate the varying types of demand in this price bracket, we’ve designed both front zip and back zip versions in the men’s suit. The front zip option comes in a neat asymmetrical grey/red/black colourway or a navy/green colourway, whilst the back zip suit features an all black or black/red option.
The women’s version is back zip only and comes in either black/purple or black/powder blue/green.
The Lava was built using a combination of A-Flex and A-Flex Pro neoprene, with the latter being used in the key areas: shoulders, arms and armpits. It features seal skin neck, AK knee pads and glue blindstitched seams as standard, and boasts smooth skin neoprene panels on both the front and back of the suit for optimum wind chill protection.
A-Flex Pro neoprene
Seal skin neck
Power paddle zones
Overhead front zip system
(for the front zip options)
Time to head out there... Stokesy wears the Phoenix 5/4/3 winter wetsuit.
There you have it, the full spectrum when it comes to cold water wetsuit technology. We pride ourselves on producing the best possible products for our British environment, all the while keeping things within reach financially.
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