Wilco, Thanks for the questions! I have tried to answer all below!
One thing i've heard from the "loose" cut pyro's suits users, was that when they were wearing a tight thermolayer only they would "feel" the cold water pressed against their bodies and this was better when they added an looser fleece sweater over the thermo underwear. How's this with the surf suit?
This is a very good question. Yes, you will feel the cold water pressing against your skin and for a lack of a better word it will feel "clammy". This is solved, as you guessed, by properly layering up for the weather and water conditions. We will be releasing in April (Had wanted it sooner but did not want to rush it to market) a thermal layer system
that features a single piece long john with a back zipper (for comfort when paddling) and a shorty over layer. You can choose to wear these together for maximum warmth, just the long johns for good warmth or just the shorty with poly pro long underwear for a warm day but cold water.
Specifically I will tell you this. The thermal layer has been tested on our coastline in the middle of December as it snowed. The water temperature rarely rises above 4 or 5 degrees celcius here (even in summer) and the air temperature was clearly below zero. The rider was toasty warm and happy!
If you are planning on using your own thermal layer, say from your snowboard gear, here are some tips:
1) Layer up first with a thin poly pro long john to pull the sweat away from your body
2) Your next layer is your warmth layer and, if possible, should be a one piece. This is to prevent your lower back and belly getting cold from the separation that will occure between a top and a bottom.
3) These layers can be "loose fit" if you like. You will want to make sure that a) they are not so loose as to bind up and hamper your movements and b) that you follow the provided instructions with the suit as to how to put the suit on if you are wearing loose fitting under layers (to prevent the legs and arms from being pulled up as you don the suit).
Realistically a good base layer will keep you very warm, you do not need to dress like the michilin man...remember, you are working while on the water and this will generate heat too!
Another question about the durability, is it possible to use a waist harness over the lycra layer will it stand the abrassion of it slipping and sliding?
This lycra outer layer ain't like your wife's yoga outfit!!
This material is an incredibly high grade lycra specifically selected for its ability to avoid snags and pilling and to stand up to the abuse you will dish out. We have had a number of versions of the suit in testing for quite a while. One of the origional versions of this suit is now close to 2 years old and the lycra is fine. It has been used for kiteboarding and surfing and is no worse for wear.
What is more, the suit is built to be easily serviced. You will be able to patch any knicks or tears in the inner bladder and the outer lycra skin is replaceable. As such we plan to release different colours of the skin for purchase and also to have extra skins for warranty and repair concerns.
Btw have a question about the sizing too, pm'ed/mailed you about that..
Sizing of this suit is very easy! 75% of people will be the L/XL size as this suit stretches to accomodate their size. Another 20% will be the S/M size with roughly 2.5% on each of the XXS/XS size and the XXL/XXXL size.
Thanks for all your interest in the suit, please continue to post questions here if you have anymore! Also, expect to start to see independent reviews coming up here and on our website shortly as shops receive their sample orders. We plan to start shipping these first 200 suits world wide for expected delivery around Feburary 15th.
John Z - OR