We put Rip Curl's flagship wetsuit through its paces, here are our thoughts.
Flexibility / fit / comfort:
Of the different wetsuits I tried the Rip Curl was easily the best in terms of flexibility. The Zip free system doesn’t feel bulky around the shoulders at all and paddling was free and easy. This was the case throughout the rest of the body too, nothing felt constricted and I felt free and easy when surfing. The E5 Flash Lining is not only functional it is super warm, cosy and makes the suit super comfortable.
Ease of entry and exit:
I think Rip Curl have nailed their zipperless system. Looking at the small space I had to step into had me worried at the start, but the suit had enough stretch to make an easy job of it. It seems like Rip Curl have tightened up the cuffs of the arms and legs of their suit. It makes it a little harder to put you heels and hands through, but to have no water entry in their areas, it’s a small price to pay and I see it as a positive.
The Flashbomb was such a warm and comfortable suit. Absolutely no issue with getting cold in any session I had. I felt really snug throughout each surf, and even had a pleasant warming sensation on my back at times which I believe was from the Flash Lining, and had absolutely nothing to do with any wettie warmers that may or may not have been done.
As previously mentioned, I feel like Rip Curl may have tightened their cuffs a little more around the ankles and wrists. This meant I had pretty much zero water entry in those areas, which is crucial as there’s nothing more annoying than water pooling in the leg of your suit. The zipper less system also held up well on water entry. There may have been one or two rogue drops during a heavy duck dive or pumping, but nothing that you’d classify as leakage.
Rip Curl have a reputation of producing super reliable and solid wetsuits, and as their flagship model, the Flashbomb Plus cements that. If you’re going to drop $700.00 on a wetsuit, I’d feel safe in doing so on this one. The best all round suit I’ve tried in years, and had big ticks in pretty much every category. A serious suit that will suit surfers who want assurances they won’t be let down on even the coldest dawn patrol.
Suit: Flashbomb Plus 3/2mm Zip Free Steamer