Thursday, April 16, 2009


photo Keith Novosel

"The water is still cold in North Carolina. Sure, its going to feel like bath water soon, but the holey Rip Curl 4/3 I've had bit the bullet a month or two ago, and during a particularly cold winter afternoon I couldn't deal with it anymore and decided to score a new suit. I heard about Es-cent-ial wetsuits when I was in California recently. Like many folks, as soon as I heard they were making less toxic suits from limestone instead of petroleum I was pretty intrigued. I, however, had heard alot of good and bad. The good... lighter, warmer, more flexible, better for the environment. Right? Ok sold. Not so fast. The bad.... twice as expensive, strange rashes, twice as expensive, in some cases lack of guarantees, twice as expensive, and a few questions. I got my hands on a couple of these japanese yamato suits and put them to the test in various conditions from 40-65 degree weather and 48-58 degree water in small glassy logging conditions along with churning rough punchy beach break over the last few weeks to a month. I was STOKED on these suits. I couldnt believe how light I felt in the water, and better yet no rash to speak of. Even better still, there are a couple of yamato suits now that won't cost as much as a surfboard. Hands down the best wetsuit I've tried is the suit by Es-Cent-Ial. I know these are for sale at Thalia Street Surf Shop in Laguna Beach, but would imagine them becoming distributed in a lot more places soon. They just simply work really well. They are indeed lighter, more flexible, and better tailored than other wetsuits I own. They are also really really warm for a 3/2. No strange rashes , and one of the cheapest yamato suits on the market. The fullsuit I think goes for around $277. Its packed with all the bells and whistles... batwing, hollow threads to help drain water, and reinforced smooth yamato at the bottoms of the legs and arms to help seal out the water. The style is pretty rad too with a white retro stripe across the chest and a small e... minimal logos and branding which I like. (I think they may even come in all black with no stripe but Im not sure). Im not getting paid a dime to say this and I've noticed only a few sites on the web that have reviewed products in an unbiased way. I'm not going to make this blog a surfing version of consumer reports, but this is a damn good wetsuit, and I wanted to endorse it. " ryan tatar from

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