Matteo V wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:01 pm
The worst suits that I have owned - from a durability standpoint - are expensive "smooth skin" suits. Every one of those that I have owned has failed in the first year. Also, you may notice that even non "smooth skin" suits fail on the few smooth skin parts they have, such as a "smooth skin" chest panel. I know some people have had good luck with some brands of smooth skin suits, so chime in and tell me which ones hold up more than a year.
There's a reason some modern smoothskin suits are rubbish and it is primarily down to pricing, in real terms in recent years wetsuit pricing fell quite dramatically even though the quality of some of the double lines suits improved, with stretchier neoprene, polypro lining etc, but smoothskin got worse. The reason, they worked out a method to fake it.
True single lined neoprene is made from the neoprene adjacent to the mould surface and is a little more dense. Neoprene is blown in big moulds, then sliced, the middle bits get sent to be lined, either single or double with cloth, but the two bits at the top and bottom get lined on the reverse only and they're the bits we want. Surface wind sports should always require single lined, to prevent the 'wet T shirt effect of having the cloth adjacent to the foam'.
So somwhere along the line some clever cloggs, decided to try spraying one side of a middle section with a mix of neoprene slurry and additives to make it glossy and hey presto, single lined look alike and off they went. These suits began appearing shortly after the early days of kiting and a fresh influx of less experiened newbies who set about trying said suits on in store and ripping the neoprene with their fingernails, the painted on stuff not having quite the resilience of the older top layer stuff. Then UV went to work, my new Oneil lasted one season and started cracking up I haven't bought an Oneil since and I've been using them since 1979. Shops stopped stocking them(single lined). 'They're only kitesurfers, so just sell them double lined like surfers, they wear their pants out side their suits so they don't know the square root of didly anyhow', and so it went on. Stores don't really want to carry the SCU's major COREporations were involved, like Billabong with Excel, Quicksilver, RipCurl etc Surf was the fashion of the moment, so sell kiters surf suits, Surfers spend more time in than on the water so not so concerned about single lined and wind effect, but kiters were being sold short. They got away with it with advances like using polypro in the lining then calling it stupid names like flashbomb and other BS.
The last company that I was aware of still making suits with the old style top layer single lined was Spartan and I cherish both my suits and dread the day when they give up the ghost, I've not come across any other company using the real deal, if anyone knows different please enlighten me, I'm going to need a new suit soon, but sadly suits these days suck, can't help you with any recommendation Spartan folded in the last recession gave up around 2013 from memory but still making very good quality suits.