Good points all around. I 2nd the point about drysuits not being that great in the waves, but if you're mostly riding in flatwater, they can be more comfortable than wearing a wetsuit. I get a lot of comments from people that they feel like they have more freedom of movement in the Lucifer than any wetsuit they've had.
That being said, if you already have a suit, and it's not falling apart, and you just want a little more warmth, you could always just get a polypro fleece top or short-john to layer underneath your suit. They really help when it's a little more chilly and you don't have the break the bank. NPX makes one called the Hellfire and just about every surf company out there makes them too, so you shouldn't have a problem finding one in your local shop.
If you do decide to go with a new wetsuit, consider getting one with some sort of drainage system in the calves. I think your ProMotion has drainage (velcro closures?). However, if you get a suit without some sort of drainage, you might find yourself getting a lot of "balloon leg".
I had a drysuit for a while. It did keep me warm, until a hole wore through simply by walking around with the baggy legs knocking against each other. I would get one again if I lived somewhere really cold that absolutely needed it. But if you live anywhere that is doable with a wetsuit (like the OBX of the initial poster or my own Virginia), I think the wetsuit is more comfortable. And the notion that you have more flexibility of movement with a drysuit doesn't hold up to practical use in my opinion. Maybe some cheapo wetsuits still suck like the ones from 20 years ago. But I feel more flexible and actually more "free" in a nice wetsuit than I did in a drysuit. I'm currently using a Matuse 5/4/3 down to the 30's, and it's very comfortable, and very warm. Before that, I was wearing a Rip Curl super stretchy 4/3, and that kept me plenty warm as well. If I need to quit, it's because my hands are getting cold, not my body core. Personally, I'd much rather feel like a seal in a wetsuit than feel like I'm going snowboarding with all that baggy clothing. Also, a drysuit sends you to the laundry room after every session, which gets to be a pain. With multiple sessions in one day, of course a drysuit offers the option of warm reuse with a dry change of clothes, which is nice. But I usually just try to strategize and start the day with an older wetsuit or my 3/2 and switch to my warmest one later if I know that I'm going to ride more than once and don't want to don an already wet wetsuit.
My choice - 5mm wetsuit with 2mm short sleeve Thermal vest and a 1mm long sleeve Rash Vest which I use in UK waters down to around 6°C with an Impact vest which also helps againt wind chill. with boots and gloves and knowledge of the symtoms of Hypothermia.
Doesn't matter what you are wearing - when you start to feel cold its time to get off the water.
Postby windsurfer-resurrection » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:31 pm
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the lucifer is just a bad idea, your gonna add a ton of bulk just so you can look cool? And whats up with the annoying useless hood?
quite the contrary , Lucifer is the least bulky suit i've ever tried. It's super light and flexible - easier to swim in then some of the winter wetsuits i've used. Great for tricks and freestyle. As for the hood - I thought it was useless at first too.. then when it got cold and i was hanging out on the beach , i actually put it on and changed my mind instantly.. even if you're wearing a neoprene hat already, this one blocks the wind and keeps you very warm.
Any one using or considering a drysuit needs to consider the fact although rare, failures do occur. I had an ankle gasket fail in my drysuit while landing hard from a jump. I was wearing fleece pants/top and thermal underwear underneath-- It was was uh...startling to realize how little those materials insulate once wet (water temp= 34 F, air temp ~40 F). From then on I have been wearing my thinner wetsuit beneath my drysuit. I know of at least to other kiters who have their dry suits fail and have similar sentiments. Unless you have a wetsuit specifically designed for wind sports, a drysuit is probably the better option for kiters in these kind of temps.
Wetsuit in warmer water and summer. Our ocean water is in the low 40's during the winter with = or lower air temps. I use a wetsuit in late spring, summer and early fall. For the rest, definately a drysuit. it is way more comfortable. If you are nervous about mobillity, or do lot of wavekiting, then the Ocean Rodeo predator is your drysuit answer. This suit is specifically made for surfing, so fine for swimming in if you lose your board and kite. I use it for both surfing and kiting. You can find my review about surfing in it under the review section of this site. The more conventional bag suits work fine for kiting in flatwater locations. Drysuits offer mobillity and warmth--so why not?
to answer the question about getting water in your drysuit--it is still warm, even if you get some in.
go to the products section - they have numerous models and make an interesting start point for researching drysuits.