Da Yoda wrote: ↑
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:46 pm
Truly there's only one answer... The wetsuit that fits her body the best!
I would disagree with the stathement "only one answer", yet I'd put the fit on top of the list:
1. Fit & flush - the better the fit, the less cold water inside the suit to drain body warmth in an instant. Water flush also depends a lot on the closure system and neck/wrist seels. Front/chest zip gives less flush than BZ, also a bit warmer due to multiple layers neoprene overlapping.
2. Neoprene foam - generally the lower the density (weight), the better the insulation. Yamamoto #40 and Sheico's N foam being at the top of the line for surfing wetsuits, followed by Yamamoto #39 and Sheico S Foam, widely used in premium kite/windsurfing.
Neoprene stretch also plays a great role in wetsuits >4mm, to provide the best snug fit without being too restrictive.
3 Wind chill (double lined wetsuits) causes a huge heat loss in kite&windsurfing.
Difficult to rate & compare between brands. Depends largely on the the weight and structure of the outer jersey (how much water it soaks and at what rate it evaporates it). Some brands use water repellent jersey on the outside, but this never lasts very long.
Kite/windsurfing smooth/glide skin wetsuits are a thing from the past, but there are many brands using smooth/shark/mesh skin neoprene in the chest and back panels. I would put a question mark on this feature, as the waist harness covers most of the back panel and serves as a wind chill protection too. A shark/mesh skin against the harness riding up - yes.
An alternative to smooth skin wetsuit is NP's Combat (men's) / Storm (ladies'): https://www.neilpryde.com/collections/s ... hooded-650
. That's a PU coated jersey laminated to the neoprene foam. A bit too stiff material for my taste, windsurfers love it.
The best thing against wind chill (as mentioned by others above) is using an additional top - like the SharkSkin Chillproof sleeveless top or the NP Armorskin Serene Wind Top (2019 Storm Armor Skin top: https://www.neilpryde.com/collections/n ... top-0-3-mm
). Hurley have a similar one too: https://www.nike.com/t/hurley-advantage ... 940822-010
4. Hooded wetsuit or a separate neoprene hood/beanie. No need to go deeper here - HALF's girlfriend surely does wear one already
5. Lining (inside jersey) - quite important for the overal insulation. Most of the 'plush/fleece' linings do a good job to reduce the thermal loss as they have a low contact surface and capture air (even Yamamototo #40 neoprene foam has higher thermal conductivity than damp air).
But only a few ladies' winter suits have full 'fleece' all over the body (incl. arms, shoulders, upper chest/back, lower legs), as 1) it's more expensive and 2) has lower stretch than the standard high-stretch inner jersey.
RipCurl Flashbomb is the only one I know of with 100% thermo lining in a ladies' wetsuit. And it's probably one of the best linings in the market.
Few other suggestions:
ISURUS has been praised by almost every surfer who's got deep enough pockets to get one. Only one ladie's 5/4 hooded model, but comes in plenty of sizes incl. Short and Tall, unlike most other brands that stick to 4-5 main sizes.
NEILPRYDE Serene (full lining, see the screenshot below) and Storm (same lining) are worth fitting if you have a shop that stocks them nearby.
ION has probably the largest assortment in 6/5 and 5/4 ladies suits.
O'Neill Womens Psycho Tech 6/4 Hooded
XCEL Women's Drylock Hooded 5/4
Special high-tech yarns... smart yarns... titanium, zirconium, paladium... unobtanium, rare minerals, FIR (far infrared), carbon black, bamboo...bla-bla.. it's all big marketing B/S! None of these has been scientificaly proven to give any noticeable boost in thermal performance!