I had my first Seventhwave suit made 4 years ago
—it was a Viper 3/2 GS ZB Steamer
. I’m an irregular size so I've never had a perfect fitting wetsuit, so was stoked to be having one made by Seventhwave. The whole process from start to finish was awesome—understanding what I wanted from my suit, what conditions I would be using it in, the fitting, the communication, the service and after sale service (I live in Dunedin so it was great to have the confidence that if there was any problems with the suit I could send it back to the guys in Christchurch and it would be returned within a week).
Having a Custom-fit suit for me meant not only was I more comfortable surfing, but I was a lot warmer too—there were no areas that let water in or sagged, and all the warmth was locked in. I couldn’t believe how warm I was surfing in Dunedin—the water here is pretty cold and usually after an hour or two you start to feel it. In my Seventhwave suit I was surfing for 3hours+ and was only starting to get cold at the end, I was amazed.
A year later I was lucky enough to pick up a very cheap brand new Ripcurl Ebomb 4/3 (the luxury of always having a dry suit to put on was too good). I bought it at the end of summer and was loving it. As we got in to winter I quickly realized that my top of the line Ripcurl 4/3 was actually nowhere near as warm as my middle of the range Viper 3/2 from Seventhwave. I ended up just wearing my Seventhwave suit in the winter and keeping the Ripcurl 4/3 for summer (my Seventhwave was almost too hot in the summer!) People kept asking me why I was crazy enough to be wearing a 3/2 during Dunedin winter, and I kept saying to them every time: “because its warmer than my Ripcurl 4/3!”
Since then, and based on my boasts and recommendations about my Seventhwave suit, quite a few of my friends have had one custom made for them. All of them have raved equally about how great it is and how much warmer they are.
4 years down the track and I'm still wearing the same suit. It’s seen a lot of use over 4 years—I surf at least twice a week and more in the summer. It’s got some war wounds but it's still warm and comfortable. My Ripcurl suit started falling apart after 1 year—seams ripped, the back zip broke, holes in the knee pads. I started looking for a new suit a few weeks ago, and I didn’t bother checking the Ripcurl suits. I compared an Xcel Infinity 4/3 and then phoned Paul at Seventhwave. After a long chat with Paul about the benefits of having a custom made MAX 4/3 I was amped to get my new suit under construction. The price tag was daunting at first but Paul is great and appreciates returning business, and knows how much I love his suits. Even at full price these suits are a steal. Given the extra comfort and warmth you get wearing them, and the unquestionable quality of the material and workmanship, getting 4 years out of a suit you surf in 2+ times a week is awesome and worth the investment.
My new suit arrives soon and I can’t wait. I'm excited about surfing winter again. I will put my trusty Viper 3/2 back in the cupboard for summer as I know it will probably last me another 4 years of summer surfs and will still be warmer!