To say that I am happy about my suit is an understatement, ecstatic would be more appropriate: I have found the solution to a 15 years dilemma. The perfect suit actually exists! I thought it was only a distant dream.
I put my MAX to task in the freezing Cape Town conditions over the weekend. For the first time EVER I had to leave the water because of tiredness instead of cold. I have always surfed in a 4/3 and on colder days supplemented this with a jersey, booties, hood and gloves. This was probably the 10th session in my Custom MAX, so far it has almost been too warm to wear.
Saturday was cold but I managed to stay in for 3 1/2 hours with my 3/3 interchangeable hood (naked under the suit) while my mates in their top of the range suits [insert any major brand here] could barely manage 2 hours and were bitterly complaining about the water 1/2 an hour after getting wet. Finally got out, rinsed the suit, let it dry in the garage. 4 hours later it was time to meet the crew again. My suit was almost dry (bar the tip of both legs and arms). I arrived a bit late at the end of a 30 minute flat spell that froze their bones off. All were gone an hour later and I almost enjoyed the place to myself while my mates were warming up in the beautiful afternoon sun: no one could believe how warm my body was after coming out, how dry the suit was.... I had told them before but they did not believe me. Now they have witnessed first hand that when the going gets rough Seventhwave is far above anything else available here in South Africa.
For those prospective customers that may be considering Seventhwave — you will find yourself in completely unfamiliar territory with this team of dedicated people: don't believe what is written on the website, it is all an understatement! Seventhwave is about under-promise and over-delivery.
Warmth: Japanese Yamamoto neoprene is 30% warmer. In reality I would place this value way higher. The reason: custom fit. Since no area of the body is loose, water is not running in anywhere. I always had loose areas around the armpits, forearms and wrist when buying MS, the "only" alternative available for me. On the other hand, since no rubber is stretched because of a "misfit", it stays true in thickness around the body, and does not stretch on the seams to let in any water.
Flexibility: unbelievable. The effect is only really felt once one has the suit on, it is not so obvious when feeling it. On, it feels like pajamas.
Durability: I cannot yet vouch for this but before ordering I did some extensive research over the net in sailing, triathlon and diving forums: all unanimously vouched for Yamamoto rubber performance in warmth and lifespan. Once again the custom fit is helping here: the seams will never be handling excess pressure due to misfit. And this is something I have noticed on all big brand suits since getting my Seventhwave.
As an accountant by trade, I cannot resist my instinct to talk about price. If the most conservative claims on durability are to be believed, then one should not consider the suit as a consumable like you would with the major brands. Buying Seventhwave is an investment, all the more for me in RSA where my Seventhwave has barely cost 10% more than any "you-know-who" top of the range brands. I would have found it more expensive had I not followed Jared's advice and settled for a 3/3 instead of the 4/3 I initially wanted (which after testing the 3/3 would have been absolutely too warm around here).
It took me a few years to find "my" shaper, I have now found THE wetsuit maker. I never thought I would write that I now relish the freezing days the South Atlantic can deliver: I have a competitive edge and will stay in the water much longer than anybody else around could ever manage with more rubber. The downside is marital problems: I now have to explain why I spend so much more time in the water!"
Guys, you have changed my surfing life: I could never thank you enough
Christophe VEGEZZI CA(SA)