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Old 09-22-2013, 10:29 AM
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TripleThreat TripleThreat is offline
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Wetsuit Advice - Youth

Having just purchased my ProStar 209 in July, I am looking for ways to extend the skiing season for my daughters.

I'm considering purchasing a pair of wetsuits that would hopefully give us a few more weekends on the water this fall and that would allow us to start earlier next spring.

I'm thinking about the O'Neill Epic 4/3 Full Suit. It has sealed seams and the 2013 model also has a new poly-fleece lining in the torso area to help keep the wearer dry and warm by wicking the water between the suit and the wearer away from the skin.

Living in Indiana, I think we could probably add a month and a half to two months to our season with wetsuits. I had one as a kid growing up, but the technology has changed considerably since then.

Any thoughts or advice?

Jeff
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:53 AM
mcLove mcLove is offline
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I live 10 minutes from the beach and am constantly out body boarding throughout the year. the water gets down to low 50's and im good with a 3/2. now even if the water is colder their they are only in the water for a little till they get pulled up. A 3/2 will also be cheaper

This is one of my favorites, don;t own it personally but my friendd does and i've used it a few times.
http://www.jackssurfboards.com/wetsu...s/W24%7C/4240/
it's cheap and tight(if you get the right size)
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:59 AM
mcLove mcLove is offline
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I didn't make it clear but the link is to a 4/3
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:06 AM
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a 4/3 will stay comfortable into the low 60's water temps - or more depending on the person. I have full 7/5 a full 3/3 and a 3 shorty. The 7/5 can get me a a run or two when the water gets into the upper 40's.

Hey Triple - you should be skiing into November easy.. - being in southern indiana and all - although it will be warmer in southwest chicago today..
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:49 AM
H2ORidr H2ORidr is offline
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I have a Hyperflex full 5/3 and I push ice out of the way when early season kiteboarding. The big thing about that suit is that the upper body chest and back are much less permeable, so the wind does not get through. Once out of the water wind on a suit can make it feel really cold. Kiteboarders go out in all seasons and we are out in wind all the time so keeping the wind out is just as important as keeping the water around one's body warm (which is what a wet suit does).

My kids and I all have shortie Aquaflex 3/2s and we love them. It pays to work with a local scuba shop because fit on all suits are important. Also they will back you up if something should happen. My Aquaflex started to tear near the zipper origin and it was over a year old. I took it back to the shop for repair and they said it should not have done that all all and they handed me a new on one the spot.

Booties are going to be the real issue. I have thick booties for when it is cold. Sure a wetsuit can keep the body warm but the feet are always in the water. That is where the weak link is for staying out late in the season or getting out early. My booties are near impossible to get on they are so thick and tight, but I can walk in icewater for a long, long time with no issues. They do need to of course fit into ski or wakeboard bindings. Us kiteboarders use strap bindings so we don't have to worry about our booties fitting inside bindings in most cases. Last spring we took our jet ski out when the lake ice was melted out to about 150' from shore and I rode my kiteboard and I beat everyone for being the first on the lake. I came out of the water toasty and happy and the local Malibu owner that is always the first out was beat.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:20 PM
kgrove kgrove is offline
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My experience with kids is keeping them warm in the water makes less difference than keeping them warm when they get back in the boat. I'm not saying spending money on a high quality wetsuit isn't going to help, but if I were on a fixed budget, I'd rather get an average quality wetsuit and take that money and spend it on warm booties (Ugg knockoffs for instance) and swimmers parkas (the long, lined jackets swimmers wear between events) for when they get out. Heavier wetsuits can also backfire and make kids colder if they are so difficult to get in and out of that the kids leave them on between sets rather than take them off to put something warm on. Keeping wind off wet bodies and wetsuits when they are back in the boat will make a bigger difference than the wetsuit will.

You can also go full sissy like I did and go for a dry suit. They aren't as much more expensive than high quality wetsuits (e.g., taped seams) as you would think and because they don't hug the wearers body sizes fit a wider range of bodies than traditional wetsuits. They have the advantage of letting kids be dry the instant they are back in the boat. They are more expensive though and you will go through seals as well. I was able to find a used one for my kids cheap on craigslist and then replaced all the seals. Works great and only cost me $220 including the repairs.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:18 PM
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kbrighton kbrighton is offline
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I get by with a shorty until I go full drysuit in a month or so. Ive got an Oneill Hybrid with the baggy top, so I just layer more sweatshirts as October turns into November
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:07 PM
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CruisinGA CruisinGA is offline
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My full 3/2 worn under my barefoot suit gets me footing in sub 50 degree water in early spring here in GA.
If wakeboarding, booties (you can get cheap $15 eBay ones) that fit in the boots make a huge difference.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:54 PM
uplander uplander is offline
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for kids I would go with a full suit, my son wears his and keeps it on between runs. works great for him, I think the warm shower would be the next plus which I plan on next year. I bought an Oneil suit on sale end of season and works fine.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:09 PM
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Aric'sX15 Aric'sX15 is offline
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i use 3/2 all the way through the winter until water hits upper 60's. then i man up and no suit it!
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