I thought I would jump into the fray with this one and address some of Fred's comments, while I doubt he is intentionally being misleading there were a lot of mistakes in his posting...
Just keep in mind that a torn drysuit fills with water fast especially if you have to bodydrag. With no drainage at the ankles it will turn into an achor and you are at total mercy of the currents. This is not true, at all.
We have cut a 6" gash in the leg of our suits and jumped in the water and this is not the case. Remember that before riding the user of a drysuit will "burp" excess air out of the suit. This is not something you need to remember to do, it is a natural instinct as otherwise you feel like the Michelin Man! With a properly burped suit the water pushes the suit against your body when you are submurged. It is actually a very weird feeling initially, kind of like being shrunk wrapped! Given that the suit is tight up against your body in the event of a large cut to the suit you will end up with only minnor seeping of water in around the cut and not a rush of water.
In fact, in order to fill even partially one leg of a torn suit you need to do a lot of work to hold the cut open and pull the suit (now sucked up against your leg) away from you and allow the water to come in.
Swimming is also harder with a drysuit. Any undergarments should be specifically designed to be used under a drysuit.True.
Actual swimming with a bag style drysuit is tough to do as there is a lot of fabric. However, there is a small amount of trapped air in the bag suits which will make you boyant and therefore help you stay afloat and safe if you end up with a long swim in. What is more, the new Pyro Surf is a skin tight suit that is very streamlined and has virtually no trapped air in it and is very easy to swim (and paddle) in!
Just to be on the safe side it's a good idea to use as rounded off fins as possible. You don't want to be tumbling around in a big wave with a "sharp finned" board.
I guess I agree with this too. However, our Pyro Lite, Classic and Pro model suits are made with a super tough 200 denier PU coated nylon. This material is very tough and is unlikely to gash in the event of a fin contact with the suit. The Pyro Surf suit uses different materials, including an ultra durrable Lycra outer layer and a very flexible and accomodating under layer. The most likely time you will tear your suit is on the beach if you snag it on a sharp point of some sort or another (stick, nail, sharp corner of your vehicle, tarp tie down, etc). A fin impact is too spread out to be of much concern.
Unlike regualr wetsuits maintinance with a drysuit has to be perfect. I'm not a nay sayer, but the risks are there.Again, not true.
I can not speak for our competitors but with a Pyro drysuit you can expect to get 3 to 4 solid seasons of use out of with absolute minimum mantainance. By this I mean that if you keep the suit clean, sand and dirt out of the zipper and if you wax the zipper after every 2nd session (a 2 min. job) the suit will remain in perfect condition. Over time it does make sense to have the suit pressure tested and possibly have the seals replaced. However, even with an old seal that allows some seepage of water you are looking at the inconvience of 1-2" of water in the legs after your 2 hour session, hardly life threatening. Ocean Rodeo offers full product support for all of our drysuits and can patch or replace any faulty or worn out part of our suits.
Pricy buggers too. You could make a trip to a nice warm place where you can kite but naked for the price of one.
This is a matter of perspective. What I can tell you is that the Pyro Pro has a suggested retail range of $600-$680 USD while the brand new Pyro Surf comes in at $500-$570.
Hardly more than a top end wetsuit, and for what its worth, considerably less than I just spent on my last trip to Mexico.
Finally, how about some shameless benifits of a drysuit over a wetsuit...shale we?
- 2nd sessions
- no one likes cold and wet wetsuits. 'nuff said.
- Longer sessions
- with your core dry and warm you are able to stay on the water longer and spend more energy riding rather than wasting it keeping warm.
- its no joke that 4-6mm of rubber is tough to stretch and move...our traditional Pyro line of drysuits feature patented flex pannels to accomodate your movements and our new Pyro Surf is .
5mm thick and has virtually no resistance at all when paddling.
- when was the last time you had a wetsuit last for upwards of 4 seasons with no maintance, were able to then have the suit maintained directly by the manufacturer and reasonably expected to get at least another 2 seasons of use out of it?
John Z - OR Sales