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Topic Title: Wetsuits
Topic Summary: In a season where cool-to-cold travel is likely to be abandoned.
Created On: 01/01/2022 07:50 PM
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 01/01/2022 07:50 PM
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ww

Posts: 15407
Joined Forum: 08/17/2007

    I'm old, plump, and have pretty broad shoulders, which meant problems with chest-entry wetsuits. Shoulder problems made things worse, but now that both rotator cuffs have been repaired, the problem has been easing a lot more than I would have guessed. Still, there's cases where something like a wooden hanger or long shoe horn is needed to pry the rubber off a shoulder. I'm following advice from Feral (which showed its goods at the Florida Surf Film Festival a while back) to use back zips.
    Looking around for back zips or other shoulder-friendly features led to Cleanline in Seaside, Oregon. They sell the popular brands, but also feature items by smaller brands. The first time I heard of Buell was at Cleanline, when they were selling one suit. Now they're selling 11. Currently, they're featuring an expensive Isurus, an obvious endorsement. They have just one suit from Hotline, a hooded 5/4, a fairly expensive but essential item for the PNW. So I checked Hotline and spotted an almost-affordable 4/3, also available in chest zip. Hotline is 40 years old, in Santa Cruz, and manufactures a few of its products in the US.
    Hotline is on the "no fuzzy lining" side of a design divide. Their "thermal lining" on the back (not chest) is smooth and slick, not carpet-like. Feral discusses the issue. "No fuzz" includes Buell, Matuse and Patagonia.
    Cleanline has also taken up Dakine, which is selling expensive zipperless entry suits and slightly less expensive chest-zip. Their zipperless 2mm surprised me by being pretty easy to get in and out of. They do fuzz.


Edited: 01/01/2022 at 08:02 PM by ww
 01/02/2022 03:03 AM
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Greensleeves

Posts: 19683
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Yes ww, Hotlines are excellent suits. Probably one of the best suits I've ever had. I've been wearing 4/3s in 50 degree water for a while. The last couple of times I've ordered a suit I wanted hotline and they were out of my size so Ive had two quicksilver's (synchro plus last one, pretty good but no hotline) from cleanline and had them shipped where I was traveling. Cleanline folks are top notch, great prices. I got gloves last order a few months ago and man those help in cold.
 01/02/2022 04:21 AM
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StirfryMcflurry

Posts: 5517
Joined Forum: 08/17/2016

around here they are headed the way of telephone booths, & fax machines. Discuss,

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Ima just island boy, and I'm tryin to make it, Ima island boy
 01/02/2022 08:07 AM
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Greensleeves

Posts: 19683
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Sad but truish. Could use some weather.
 01/02/2022 06:53 PM
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ww

Posts: 15407
Joined Forum: 08/17/2007

    Hotline's expensive UHC 5/4mm hooded is made in USA.
    Their more affordable GT 4/3mm, chest or back zip, is from Thailand.
 01/03/2022 03:32 AM
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tom

Posts: 7298
Joined Forum: 07/25/2003

Have not worn Hotline but have used Cleanline for cold water gear. Good selection, good prices, excellent response.

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add a signature since I'm here in profile anyway
 01/05/2022 11:27 AM
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turtle2008

Posts: 76
Joined Forum: 09/16/2008

Will throw out there that the Isurus zip free works well for me and I have an injured shoulder with limited range of motion. Counter-intuitive but easier than a chest zip. The comfort and quality are excellent so far in a new full this fall and my 3 year old jacket from them looks new. They used to seem pricey and now I think they are in line with most of the market. Never had a Hotline or Buell but can say the Isurus is well ahead of Xcel and Ripcurl. Just a regular guy offering candid experience, no endorsement/incentive.

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 01/06/2022 12:45 PM
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ww

Posts: 15407
Joined Forum: 08/17/2007

Similar results with Dakine. Oddly, the care label gives the address as Greenover Sports UK, that fills retail orders for assorted outdoor sports brands and has its own online surf shop, Green Overhead, out of a beach town in Devon. It's probably just obligatory language to sell in the UK, but I suspect a collaboration between Greenover and Oregon's Dakine (in beautiful Hood River, dry side of the Columbia River Gorge, fabulous fruit farming country).
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