Isurus I-Elite Wetsuit Review
Designed with cutting edge triathlete suits in mind, Isurus wetsuits is stepping into the highly contested wetsuit market. Made with Yamamoto rubber, there are a few key points that make Isurus stick out from the crowd.
#1 is the forearm. It's tapered and tighter than a normal wetsuit and is supposed to shoot blood back from your forearm to your chest area, using the same thinking behind compression suits that make for more blood flow and consequently, prolonged paddling power. Along with the compression aspect, there are these little racing stripes that not only look cool, but they offer a bit more drag, increasing your paddling speed. It's probably nothing you'll notice, but it's been proven by swimmers to make you move through the water a bit faster, and could be the difference between catching the wave of the day or missing it.
#2 is the Yamamoto rubber. While it's not as stretchy as some other strains, it conforms to your body after 3-4 uses and "remembers" your body type. As well, it's closed cell so the rubber doesn't soak up a bunch of water and get heavier when you surf. The downside is not as flexible right off the bat, but the Yamamoto rubber keeps its original size as opposed to stretching out over time and is of the highest quality.
#3 is the smoothie skin that covers parts of your back and shoulders. The smoothie acts as a solar panel and even with a bit of sun, heats you up quickly.
Overall we were pretty impressed. The challenge is going to be getting prospective consumers over the initial reaction that the suit is not as flexy as some other super stretch neoprenes. But don't fear, it loosens up after a few uses. .Below is what the TransWorld SURF edit team thought of the Isurus…keep in mind we all wore the same suit, the 2/3mm I-Elite front zip. As well, the water was a balmy 68 degrees this morning—in hindsight trunks and a vest would have been ideal!
Remarks: When I first put on the suit it felt a little tight in the shoulders but that went away after a few strokes in to the lineup. Getting in to the suit was easy, and front-zip suits are tough to enter, but this one was all good. I liked the feel of the low neck and there was no bunching on the back of my neck, which I usually get on most suits. I liked the look and feel of the stripes on the forearms and after hearing they aided slightly in paddling I really appreciated them. I didn’t get any water drips the whole session, which is a plus. One thing I didn’t like was the way the seam on the front ride side of the suit accentuated my man boobs—probably more of a personal problem than a wetsuit problem, I gotta get rid of these man boobs.—Chris Coté
Remarks: The suit slipped on easily, and the seam below the shoulder blades aided in keeping my shoulders pulled back—which seemed to help with good posture. The suit was snug, comfortable, and very warm; though the low cut neck allowed a bit of water to seep in, which could be a negative in frigid water. Overall, I was impressed with the suit and applaud the thought that went into the minute details of its construction—specifically the heat absorbing shoulder and back pads that I could tell would definitely hold extra warmth on a cold day.—Zander Morton
Warmth: 4/5 (or n/a since the water was 68 degrees)
Remarks: Stoked on the suit, the rubber is super light and feels great, but you should know up front it isn’t the mega stretchy stuff like some others out there. The consensus is that it takes a handful of surfs before it gets more stretched out and broken in. I’m on the skinnier side (5’10” x 150 lbs) and dug the fit of the medium. The suit was nice and tight in the forearms and wrists and was excellent at keeping water out, though I did get some water in the neck, but it sounds like they’ve addressed that going forward. The suit it almost all 2mm, and although the water isn’t cold enough yet to really test the warmth properly, it felt like it would keep you toasty as most traditional 3/2s.—Casey Koteen
Remarks: Although I picked the wrong size to wear (apparently I'm no longer a medium but rather a large short) I was pretty stoked on the Isurus. I could tell there was a lot of thought put into the creation process and despite mine being a bit on the tight side, it was ergonomically perfect. Paddling felt great in it, and the smoothie part of the suit really heated up quickly when the sun hit it—I was cooking out there! My favorite aspect of the suit is the fact that it doesn't absorb a bunch of water, what you feel when dry is what you get when ripping!—Justin Coté
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Check out Isurus Wetsuits in the TransWorld SURF Winter Wetsuit Guide