Surfers know the best swells usually come during the winter months.
With ocean temps hovering in the low 50s though, having a good wetsuit is mandatory if you want to take advantage of winter’s bounty. Traditionally that meant squeezing into a stiff 5/4 neoprene winter suit that constricted every movement and made paddling a chore.
Luckily, those days are long gone. I couldn’t believe it when I first wore my O’Neill 4/3 Hyperfreak on a chilly day at my favorite spot in Santa Cruz. Hands down I was warmer than I had ever been while surfing cold water in the winter. What’s crazy is I felt like I was surfing naked. The Technobutter 3 neoprene was so stretchy it did not restrict my movements at all. It’s no exaggeration to say it feels like wearing nothing.
My old wetsuit used to have me shivering in between sets, but my new Hyperfreak keeps me toasty even when the waves are few and far between and I’m just sitting there on my board. With patented AQUA seam technology that uses solvent-free glue, the Hyperfreak is pretty much a second skin layer with zero cold-water leakage coming in from the back or armpit seams.
The front upper zip entry will take a little bit of practice if you are used to the traditional back zip design, but once again the stretchy Technobutter 3 neoprene saves the day, making the Hyperfreak a breeze to put on and take off once you get used to it.
Surfing is an extremely difficult sport to master, that’s why it’s important to stack the odds in your favor with the right wetsuit. If you are in the market for a new wetsuit and you want to test yourself in Northern California’s chilly waters, check out the Hyperfreak 4/3 or the super toasty Hyperfreak 5/4.