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Picking a Wetsuit for the Oregon Coast
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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infinitysa

Since 29 Aug 2009
5 Posts

Kook



PostWed Apr 24, 19 4:38 pm    Picking a Wetsuit for the Oregon Coast Reply with quote

My wife needs a new suit for the coast for summer kiting. She's a real softy when it comes for temperature, so we are choosing between a 5:4 and a 4:3. Previously, she had. 4:3 circa 2008 that was nowhere near warm enough for her on the coast, but it sounds like suits have come a long way in the last 10 years. Sales people are telling us that the 4:3 will be plenty.

My concern with going 5:4 is that it may be too warm, plus they all come with hoods, which I don't like for kiting. The problem with 4:3 may be warmth.

What do other women use to stay warm?

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
267 Posts

Obsessed



PostWed Apr 24, 19 5:10 pm     Reply with quote

5/4 all the way. Oregon coast water is freezing even when it's 85 degrees out.

I too like to be warm and I wear my 6/5/4 on the Oregon coast in the summer.

If she also surfs get her a hooded suit too.

You can always flush your suit with water if you are too hot.

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1175 Posts
Hood River
XTreme Poster



PostWed Apr 24, 19 6:33 pm     Reply with quote

5-4 all the way with hood and booties.
I can 100% guarantee that she will never be warm or too hot.
Most summer days at the Oregon Coast start with jeans and a puffy jacket and I usually have mine on until I pump up my kite.
If it's warm enough for shorts and t-shirt on the beach chances are it won't be windy.
It can happen - warm and windy, but not very often.
Smooth skin on the wetsuit is also a big help.

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A_Ron

Since 19 Mar 2009
25 Posts
PDX
 



PostWed Apr 24, 19 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

This time of year I'm in a 5/4 Oneill mutant. Once we get more into summer I usually switch to a 4/3 Oneill Psycho, although I'm not one to get cold easily. The thick Oneill Thermo-X rashguard long sleeve top and shorts can do a lot to make any wetsuit warmer, while not restricting motion.

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WindSki

Since 14 Dec 2012
335 Posts
Portland
Obsessed



PostWed Apr 24, 19 6:55 pm     Reply with quote

5/4 !!!!!

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Windian

Since 28 Apr 2008
798 Posts
Newport, OR
NEWPORT OG



PostWed Apr 24, 19 8:15 pm     Reply with quote

I have lived here on the central Oregon coast for 30 years now so I have seen all the seasons come and go along with the abnormalities for time to time. Can't speak for what a woman would need since I am of the opposite gender. My wife for instance won't have anything to do with the coastal ocean waters here no matter how thick a wetsuit can be made by a manufacturer. She loves the water in Hawaii and mainland Mexico.

Speaking for myself I own the whole gamut of rubber suits depending on the conditions. I have worn everything from a 5/4 for the coldest the coast can deliver on down to nothing but board shorts one summer back in the 90's when El Nino delivered 70 degree water temps to the central coast for 3 weeks in late August.

My go to wetsuit for the bulk of the time (year round) is a XCEL hooded 4/3 Drylock. The only time I go to a 5/4 Drylock is during winter when the air temps are in the mid 40's or lower. Nothing worse than being overheated in a wetsuit for me as it makes me feel like I am spiking a fever. For the most part I like to dress with the minimal wetsuit necessary to do the job as it is less restrictive and more comfortable.

Today was a perfect example of hooded Drylock 4/3 weather here in Newport. Kited multiple hours in large surf and 30 knots of north wind (water temp was 53 degrees/air temp was 51 degrees).

A really good combination for kiting around here is to have a 4/3 hooded wetsuit and then get a Promotion Exoskin from Dana at Promotion Wetsuits in HR. If it is mild go with the wetsuit only and if it is cold or really windy put on the Exoskin over the wetsuit.

http://www.wetsuit.com/2New_ExoSkin_Tops.html

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Ho-Toe

Since 30 Apr 2014
155 Posts
pissed-off science guy like Bill Nye
CO2 quantifier & upwelling specialist



PostWed Apr 24, 19 9:33 pm    wear your rubber Reply with quote

I kited with Windian tonight and was perfectly hunky-dory in my 5.5/4/3. I think I'm more prone to chilling than he is though. Very Happy

I wear the same model of suit all year long on the OR coast for both kiting and surfing, with very rare exceptions. It has an integral hood. If I'm hot I peel it off my noggin.

With that in mind--2 different kiters, same session, different go-to wetsuits--I will summarize with: wetsuit choice is a very personal thing. Take your wife to a real brick & mortar store and have her try on a whole bunch of wetsuits to find the one that fits best. She should be sweating and mad by the time she's tried them all on, and then she should go back and try on her favorite one(s) again. The better the suit fits, the warmer it feels, and the happier she'll be. You can't fit a wetsuit correctly over the interwebs. Purchased sight-unseen, there's always gonna be an unexpected flush-inducing pooch or flap, and you're gonna regret that when you have to self-rescue from waaaaay offshore, or duckdive a D.O.H. set...

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4796 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostThu Apr 25, 19 6:17 am     Reply with quote

Kited multiple hours in large surf and 30 knots of north wind (water temp was 53 degrees/air temp was 51 degrees) a few hours before Windian & Ho-Toe showed up

Laughing


Patagonia Yulex R4 was comfy - in summer will switch to an inexpensive 5/4


   6m lit 2sm.jpg 
   6m lit 1sm.jpg 

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Ryan

Since 14 Jul 2005
507 Posts
Oregon
Addicted



PostThu Apr 25, 19 7:23 am    upwelling Reply with quote

Keep in mind as the wind builds through the spring and early summer so does upwelling. Water can be bone chilling cold into the 40's.

5/4 no question.

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infinitysa

Since 29 Aug 2009
5 Posts

Kook



PostThu Apr 25, 19 9:11 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the great advice. Since the 5/4s all have hoods, can you peel it back comfortably, and does it get in the way while up? I used a hooded wetsuit that I found really annoying and would get in my peripheral vision, but maybe the newer, stretchier materials make the hood not so cumbersome?

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1175 Posts
Hood River
XTreme Poster



PostThu Apr 25, 19 9:30 am     Reply with quote

infinitysa wrote:
Thanks for the great advice. Since the 5/4s all have hoods, can you peel it back comfortably, and does it get in the way while up? I used a hooded wetsuit that I found really annoying and would get in my peripheral vision, but maybe the newer, stretchier materials make the hood not so cumbersome?


Late afternoons on the coast you kite right into the sun heading out.... so it's nice to wear sunglasses and the hood keeps everything in a nice tight package. I wear sunglasses with a croakie and a baseball cap with a large brim under my hood.

I don't even notice I have the hood on - I like that it shields my ears from the sun and wind noise.

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Windian

Since 28 Apr 2008
798 Posts
Newport, OR
NEWPORT OG



PostThu Apr 25, 19 9:36 am     Reply with quote

Buying a cold water/weather kiting wetsuit without an attached hood is a waste of money. If your head gets hot simply pull the hood down and it is totally out of the way and ready to be pulled back up if needed. Plus, heat loss is greatest out of your head and the best way to stay warm in cold wind is to be hooded. Never liked the separate beanie hood as they are easily lost or forgotten, and it allows water to seep down the back inside of the wetsuit. Hooded wetsuits nowadays are designed to be super comfortable and no loss of peripheral vision.

I am always hooded when kiting around here and find them indispensable for warmth and keeping cold wind out of my ears since I had surgery to remedy "surfer's ear" in both ears. Don't really want to get another surgery in this lifetime.

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Kmun

Since 05 Jul 2009
189 Posts

Stoked



PostThu Apr 25, 19 9:47 am    SKIN to WIN !!! Reply with quote

Skin for the WIN!...in the wind

"Slick Skin" neoprenes' external surface is a "raw" non water adsorbent elastomer native to the cellular insulating elastomer. As you exit the water moisture will bead up and roll off leaving a "dry" surface. Meaning, this outer surface does not gain water weight.

It does however, tend to grip a bit too well when straddling a surfboard, so it is not great for prone surfing. Early slick skin generations earned a reputation for low durability and were easy to cut by fingernails, fins or harsh words. Retailers got burned by damage from unsuspecting customers in dressing rooms desperately stripping off a sweaty suit. Those days are history. This material is tough but, not as tough as "nylon two" (inner and outer surface laminated with synthetic textiles). Despite it's superior wind thermal resistance it a rare offering compared to the Surf market. Few manufactures care to build product for the small wind sport market.

Factors that kill insulation value based on neoprene thickness

1. Water Exchange:

2. Evaporatiive Cooling:

...A. As wet textile evaporates water, insulating neoprene below actually cools down.
...B. Even warm sunshine onto a wet fabric accelerates water evaporation from saturated surface textile causing additional evaporative cooling. Raw "skin" exterior suits will not retain this water.

3. Wind Chill: Wind accelerates water evaporation and causes Increased heat loss!


Have a fit about fit:

1. Avoid water intrusion or exchange". A "good fit" is how well the suit fits, flexes and keeps water exchange out at the neck, wrists & ankles. Minor slack in other areas have little effect on warmth.

...A. Consider additional features like ankle & wrist straps, hoods.

2. Chose a design that has minimal exterior fabric laminate as possible.


NP (Neil Pryde) and Promotion and others have this "skin" neoprene.
https://www.npsurf.com/collections/combat

On a budget? Augment the wet suit with a shell:
http://stores.wetsuit.com/exoskin-tops/

http://www.wetsuit.com/2New_Windsport_Wetsuits.html[i]

Last edited by Kmun on Sun Apr 28, 19 7:22 am; edited 5 times in total

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Ryan

Since 14 Jul 2005
507 Posts
Oregon
Addicted



PostThu Apr 25, 19 10:11 am    Cleanline Reply with quote

I just took my daughter out to Cleanline for a 5/4 hooded surf suit for her. Josh and the cleanline staff are the best. They will get your wife set up with just the right suit hood or no hood. (here are hoodless 5/4 suits if thats really what your after)

They have the best selection of coldwater suits in Oregon...especially for women!

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Slappysan

Since 13 Jun 2012
267 Posts

Obsessed



PostThu Apr 25, 19 11:34 am     Reply with quote

While I concur that Exoskin over top your suit adds a lot of warmth for me it added way too much water weight. The thing holds about 8 lbs of water every dunk.

I've since switched to NP Surf Edge wind top, they aren't as warm but it's pretty close and you don't weigh 300 lbs after every water start. They have a female version too.

Be warned that they fit super small (at least the men's version). I wear medium in NP wetsuits but for the Edge top I wear a large with nothing under it or a 2m neo top and wear a XL over my 5/3 and 6/5/4 suits.

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jeremy

Since 18 Aug 2006
245 Posts
Manzanita
Stoked



PostThu Apr 25, 19 3:25 pm     Reply with quote

I bought a Mystic Majestic 4/3 last summer (I highly recommend), it turned out to be as warm as my NP 5000 5/4/3, I think because it's more form fitting due to the rubber being a lot stretchier. I have a 3/2, 4/3, and 5/3 set of suits, the 4/3 is my main goto suit for the coast, but when it's colder, it's nice to have a 5/3. Having a fleece shirt, gloves, booties, and a hoodie all are nice extras for staying warm.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1749 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostFri Apr 26, 19 8:35 am     Reply with quote

I run on the colder side. . .I love my hooded 5/4.
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