With Matuse Tumo being my winter wetsuit I have recently waved goodbye to some hard earned money and replaced my “summer” wetsuit. I got a Rip Curl Flash Bomb 3/2 with chest zip. I have been using it for one year now and this is my first hand review.
The first thing I wanted to check when I got my hands on it was whats up with this “fastest drying wetsuit” in the world slogan. How can a wetsuit be dry in 15 minutes? Is this true or is there a catch?
Well, it is true, it’s amazing and it is a catch. The Flash models of Rip Curl wetsuits are lined on the inside with special Flash Dry lining that looks like a orangepink old fleece sweater. This material really hates water and gets rid of it in a few minutes! You take it off and it’s almost dry already, you don’t even need sun, you just need to hang it.
But that doesn’t mean that the wetsuit itself is dry. The neoprene under the lining takes just as much time to dry as any other 3/2 wetsuit.
But why do we hate wet wetsuits in the first place? It the pulling it on feeling of cold and wet neoprene against our skin in an cold early morning. This is where the flash lining steps in. Even though the wetsuit itself is still wet, it is the lining that touches your skin and yes – the lining is dry to the touch in less 15 minutes. It also gives a bit extra to the warmth of the suit. So do I like it? I love it!
Whole wetsuit is made out of fourth generation of Elastomax Superstretch Neoprene. It’s light and stretchy. No complaints here. It is the most “almost like wearing boardshorts” wetsuit that I’ve owned. Still – with taped and sealed seams this is not the stretchiest wetsuit out there, but these things add to durability and warmth.
Stitches And Taping
The suit has E4+ super stretch tape on the internal seams = flexybility and liquid tape on external seams = durability and 100% sealed stitches.
The zipper on the Rip Curl Flash Bomb is turned around! My earlier chest zip wetsuits had a zipper that was closed by puling it towards the shoulder. This one is closed by puling it towards the chest. It seemed funny at first but in my previous wetsuits I had zipper problems because too much stress is put on the zipper when entering and exiting the wetsuit. Simple solution that works!
- Seamless Underarms and Shoulders
- 4 Way Stretch Panels
- Drainage System
- S-Flex Knees
- Mesh Skin
- Stash Pocket
Just some stuff that is not that important….:)
I have used it in water down to 59F / 15C with some cold northerly wind. It wasn’t too bad, but for lots of use in that temperature range and conditions I would rather wear a 4/3. Still nice and warm wetsuit! Also – the neck and wrist seals are good, no flushing problems and no rash either.
My model had white shoulders. The point here is in HAD. It took only 2 or 2 sessions and some sun for the white neoprene to turn into gray. The difference is evident when you lift the part that goes over the head and the neoprene under it is still snowy white. It doesn’t really matter, but don’t buy it because of the white color. It will soon be gone:)!
Price And Final Verdict
It is top of the line Rip Curl wetsuit and it is pricey, but I am not sorry that I bought it. After a year there is no sign of usage so as far as durability goes so far so good. I’ll see what will happen this year.