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View Full Version : Wetsuit vs Drysuit


CruisinGA
03-15-2010, 11:33 AM
We're starting to get a few days in the 60's-70's, but the lake temp was at 50F this past weekend.

I'd like to get a wetsuit or drysuit to let me get back in the water sooner rather than later, not sure which would be better. I've heard that wetsuits don't do much for you once you're out of the water, but are more durable than drysuits.

I can wait until the water warms up a little more, but this chart suggests a 4/3 would be necessary if I wanted to get in, say this week. Seems like a 4/3 would be too restrictive.
http://www.wetsuitwearhouse.com/images/water-temp-gen-water.gif

Guess I'm looking for general suggestions like, "X/X is as thick as you want, so just wait till the water warms up enough for that", or, drysuits are the way to go if you want to ski in water less than XX degrees.

Thanks for any pointers. I really don't know my hand from my foot when it comes to this stuff.

Sodar
03-15-2010, 11:40 AM
A good 4/3 won't be restrictive. I also think that chart is a little on the conservative side. I have never needed more than a 3/2 in 50 degree water, but it does suck being cold, so error on the side of caution. Any namebrand 4/3 will be negligibly more restrictive than a 3/2.

As always, I recommend Xcel Infinity... http://www.seasidesurfshop.com/Xcel-Wetsuits-Mens-4-3mm-Infiniti-X-Zip-Fullsuit-Wetsuit.aspx

flipper
03-15-2010, 11:57 AM
Wetsuits do help out of the water too being that they help keep the wind off you. A lot of places will rent them, so try them out before you buy if you're not sure

erkoehler
03-15-2010, 12:41 PM
If the water is that cold I'd rather put on my drysuit than a wetsuit, and I've been out with ice still on the lake.

Barefoot international drysuits work awesome, I've had mine 3-4 years.

Muttley
03-15-2010, 02:19 PM
If the water temp is under 55* I'm in the drysuit. I have a Bare Slalom Baggie. 55* to about 60* or so = the full wetsuit. After that, depending on how warm the day is, the shorty.

CruisinGA
03-15-2010, 05:42 PM
Thanks for the input guys.

I can only afford one suit at the moment (in college) so whatever is the most versatile and would ge the most use is what I need.

I don't have any real need to ski/wakeboard when the water is under 55, and it should be over that here pretty soon, so I don't think I ought to be buying a drysuit, at least not right now since I won't hardly use it until next year.

So it sounds like I need either a 4/3 or 3/2. I've got a degree of "built-in" insulation :D so I'm wondering if the 3/2 would be better and not become "too much" before I'm ready to go suit-less.

I'm leaning towards an Xcel Infinity full 3/2 suit...
What do ya'll think?

YTW
03-15-2010, 05:59 PM
We wear Under Armour Cold Gear under our wet suits.

Sodar
03-15-2010, 06:06 PM
I have a 3/2 Xcel and I have never been uncomfortable in the coldest of the SoCal winters... not saying that means much! :D

vision
03-15-2010, 06:19 PM
Dry suit when water is below 55. Can not beat a good dry suit. O'Neill Boost works great for wakeboarding.

CruisinGA
03-15-2010, 07:20 PM
I have a 3/2 Xcel and I have never been uncomfortable in the coldest of the SoCal winters... not saying that means much! :D

How cold of water do you think that is?

We wear Under Armour Cold Gear under our wet suits.

Sounds good. I've got some under armour.

Jeremy S. Davis
03-15-2010, 09:54 PM
I've got a wetsuit. Best I remember it is a 3/2 from Overton's. Very cost effective. I was out two weekend ago. Air temp was about 55 water temp 42 on Watts Bar lake in S.E. Tennessee. Since I can only do deep water starts yes it was cold in the water but once up the wind dried me out and I was plenty warm with no gloves or booties. Never had a drysuit so I can't compare but at 50 water I would think a wetsuit would be fine and about $200 cheaper!

ShamrockIV
03-16-2010, 12:19 AM
drysuit is the way to go

russlars
03-16-2010, 01:06 AM
One thing to keep in mind about a dry suit is that they fit more loosely than a wet suit so all of that extra fabric acts like a sail to increase your wind resistance. You probably wouldn't notice it as much at lower wakeboarding speeds, but I really notice it at slalom speeds. A wet suit fits so tight that this is not a concern.

Plave
03-16-2010, 04:41 AM
The best investment I made in watersports was a custom fitted drysuit. Last weekend we were out on Lake Windermere, the lake temp this time of year is 3 degrees C, or about 37 f for you US folks. With a good drysuit I'm toasty warm in and out of the water, I use a suit without fitted gloves and socks in the water but they're soon warmed up out of the water.

They can be very bulky but like anything else in the world you get what you pay for, a good drysuit well looked after can last you 20 years or more.

We tend to ride at about 6.30 when it's quietest so the air temp is only maybe 42 as well. We switch to full wetsuits around May, shorty suits in June and if we're really, really lucky we get a week in just shorts in August.

Kyle
03-16-2010, 07:37 AM
I use a Oneil baggie dry suit. The colder it is the more clothes you wear under it. It works really well with no leaks. The warmer it gets, start wearing less clothes. I go from that straight to shorts. I have a shorty but dont like it. Once you can wear a pair of shorts and a t-shirt under baggie give it a week or two and you can just jump in.

If you get a baggie you will need to let some air out of it before you get in. I always wear a life vest over it but have gone without one before. The vest helps keep the legs from cinching up too tight when the air goes up to the top of suit while floating.

CruisinGA
03-16-2010, 12:35 PM
It's looking like a 3/2 full wetsuit is going to be the most cost-effective way to go.

From a little looking around, $100-120 seems to be the price point for these suits, unless you're looking at the top of the line brands like Xcel Infinity, which runs $230+.

Plave-
While I've enjoyed my two trips to the UK immensely, I'm glad I don't have to ski there. It seems to me, that at this point in the game, being Spring already and that I don't have much budget, a $100 wetsuit is the way to go, and if I want to board next winter/early spring, and have found a job after graduating :rolleyes: a drysuit would be worthwhile.

What do ya'll think about a regular full wetsuit vs a farmer-john plus jacket? Seems like if I'm only going to buy one suit, it would be nice to shed the jacket as things warm up.

Thanks again for the help!

aremsing
03-16-2010, 12:54 PM
I use the farmer john plus the jacket and wouldn't want it any other way. If it starts to get too warm out I can lose the jacket, and I like having the jacket available to me when I'm driving. just my thought

YTW
03-16-2010, 01:02 PM
The john and jacket is more versitle. Look for one with the nylon 2 construction. I have an older version of the one in the link below and it is much warmer than my son's standard neoprene full suit.

http://www.bartswatersports.com/catalog/Wetsuits/Mens_Wetsuits/Body_Glove_System_5_John_&_Jacket/index.asp

CruisinGA
03-16-2010, 01:16 PM
How about this one? Says Nylon II...

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=36432&pdesc=Jet_Gladiator_Mens_Farmer_John_With_Jacket&aID=600I1B&merchID=4006

CruisinGA
03-17-2010, 02:25 PM
Unfortunately the one on Overton's isn't available in my size. I like the looks of the one at Barts' but $200 by the time it's shipped is a chunk of change. Not sure it's worth an extra $80 for the farmer john vs a standard full suit.

Any other suggestions on where to look for a Farmer John?

Thanks for the help.

kkkeating
03-17-2010, 02:56 PM
If you're in college and trying to save money, ebay or craigslist has good deals on slightly used wetsuits.

MattsCraft
03-17-2010, 03:55 PM
How about this one? Says Nylon II...

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=36432&pdesc=Jet_Gladiator_Mens_Farmer_John_With_Jacket&aID=600I1B&merchID=4006

I have this one, love it, very versatile with the jacket. However, I will say this, I am not geting in 50 degree water with it unless I have to, you young bucks go for it. I have used mine in 65 degree water and feel warm in and out of the water. Here is the Hypothermia Chart.

Water Temperature Expected Time Before Exhaustion or Unconsciousness Expected Time of Survival

(F) (C)
32.5 0.3 < 15 minutes 45 minutes
32.540 0.34.4 15 30 minutes 30 90 minutes
4050 3.310 30 60 minutes 1 3 hours
5060 1015.6 1 2 hours 1 6 hours
6070 15.621.1 2 7 hours 2 40 hours
7080 21.126.7 3 12 hours 3 hours indefinite
> 80 > 26.7 Indefinite Indefinite

CruisinGA
03-17-2010, 05:06 PM
If you're in college and trying to save money, ebay or craigslist has good deals on slightly used wetsuits.

Believe me, I've been looking. Somewhat difficult to find the right weight, style and size. Don't want to end up with some stiff scuba wetsuit.

Nevertheless, I'm going to keep looking. Would like to keep my investment small, until I'm sure it's worthwhile to drop the coin on a nice suit(s).

CruisinGA
03-17-2010, 05:17 PM
I have this one, love it, very versatile with the jacket. However, I will say this, I am not geting in 50 degree water with it unless I have to, you young bucks go for it. I have used mine in 65 degree water and feel warm in and out of the water. Here is the Hypothermia Chart.


I would have already ordered that one, but they aren't listing my size. Can't find another comparable for a similar price.

Just too many choices.

If I can't find a comparable farmer john + jacket I may call up buywake and see if can pick up this one in their local retail store to save shipping.
http://www.buywake.com/catalog/detail/Jq4DT
It's worth saving $100 to not have the farmer john/jacket. (The FJ/Jacket suit at Barts would end up being about $100 more by the time it was shipped.)

This would all be a lot easier if GT would just let me graduate. :rolleyes:

CruisinGA
03-17-2010, 05:30 PM
Ok- one more question.
Thanks for stickin with me :D

I think I've got it narrowed down to two suits.

Called Overton's, unfortunately the farmer john that someone linked is a 2008 model and what they have is what they have. However, the guy pointed me to this one-

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?r=view&i=36426&pdesc=DiveMaster_Two_Piece_3mm_Suit&merchID=1008&str=36426&from=search

It's a shorty that goes over a farmer john, made out of the same nylon II 3 mm. Seems pretty trick. Probably a little stiff with both pieces on.

What do ya'll think? Overton's 3mm "3 options" suit, or Quicksilver 3/2 full suit I can pick up locally for $100?

Am I way over thinking this wetsuit thing? ;)

CruisinGA
03-18-2010, 09:11 AM
Come awnnnn I know everyone's sick of this thread-

Gonna buy one of these, which one?

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?r=view&i=36426&pdesc=DiveMaster_Two_Piece_3mm_Suit&merchID=1008&str=36426&from=search

http://www.buywake.com/catalog/detail/Jq4DT

Thanks. :D

nmcjr
03-18-2010, 11:14 PM
Of those two, I would do the latter. I wouldn't buy any wetsuit with "dive" in the name, for fear it might be too inflexible.

I'm gonna give you one last pitch for the dry suit. If I were to buy only one suit, it would be a drysuit. You can wear it later in the spring too-just wear shorts underneath. I like it WAY better than a wetsuit. Its the best $350 I've ever spent (O'Neil Boost). Plus, my guess is that if you had one you would ride earlier and later in the season (maybe even year round). Drysuit is a world of difference from a wetsuit. I only missed two weekends this year. Coldest day was 45 water/ 41 air, and I was perfectly comfortable in the water.

Other advantages: you are not wet after you ride, so not cold sitting in the boat, you can share it with others since it doesn't get wet on the inside, and I find them to be very flexible.

A friend blew out a seal on his drysuit so he wore his 3/2 and said he was cold a couple weeks ago, so I think a 4/3 might be a better bet, but then the price approaches that of a drysuit.

CruisinGA
03-21-2010, 03:08 PM
I appreciate the comments on the drysuit. Unfortunately, it just simply isn't a possibility due to the cost. I don't doubt that I'll have one at some point.

I ended up with the $100 Quicksilver 3/2 suit from the local shop. The suit is all super stretch neoprene, I found it extremely comfortable.

Got to try it out last weekend, the water temp was a little under 50 degrees, and the air temp approaching 70. Feet were a little chilly in the water, but once I was up and riding, I was completely comfortable.

At the risk of ridicule, I attached a picture of myself in the new 'suit. :D Thanks for all the help!

Age Fighter
03-23-2010, 12:50 AM
At the risk of ridicule, I attached a picture of myself in the new 'suit. :D Thanks for all the help!

Well -- you were on the lake this week -- and I was not. So no, YOU won't be the subject of any ridicule!!! :cool:

mjs
04-20-2010, 01:53 PM
Let me know when you buy one, I'm considering getting one too and I'm in Tennessee, not too far away from G. Tech.

CruisinGA
04-20-2010, 02:25 PM
Let me know when you buy one, I'm considering getting one too and I'm in Tennessee, not too far away from G. Tech.

Bought the quicksilver wetsuit I'm wearing in the picture the week before that post. Used it 5 or 6 days since then, already been worth the $100 it cost. Very happy with it.

I would expect any brand name 3/2mm wetsuit, made out of the super stretch neoprene would be the same.

D3skier
04-20-2010, 02:58 PM
I just bought the O'neil epic II 4/3 and we're skiing in 50+ degree water and it's not a problem very flexible and you don't even notice the water temps at all

CruisinGA
04-20-2010, 03:52 PM
My friends have Oneil suits, and they seem to be really well constructed.

Water temp was right about 50 first time I used my 3/2 suit. Cold for sure, but the sun was out so as long as you were riding you were fine. Landed more jumps than usual :D

I also bought a pair of 3mm neoprene socks, IMO makes a HUGE difference, especially if you have open toe bindings.