Friday, May 3, 2013

Suited Up For Three Seasons - The Interchangeable Hood Option

We may be heading into a southern winter, but one thing's for sure - the surf never stops - and your surfing doesn't need to stop either.
In fact, as those in the know will tell you, getting out in the cooler waters of autumn/winter - with the cleaner, uncrowded waves, and crisper air - can bring a whole different level of stoke to your surfing experience. In fact its been described as “a more profound stoke”.

“There’s nothing on earth like scoring epic uncrowded waves with friends, putting on warm clothes, cranking up the car heater, and then sitting in a wind-protected backyard with the sun warming your face.” In the Thaw - Rob Gilley, Surfer Magazine

Exactly.  However to seek out that cold water stoke in comfort you are definitely going to need to have the right gear for the job.
Hood, booties and gloves on top of a good westuit are the minimum requirements to have in your surfwear quiver. But which wetsuit for which conditions?
At Seventhwave that choice has been made much easier with the Interchangeable Hood Option now available on our top-line Max and Viper model wetsuits, for both men and women.

Steve McKean, keeping warm in his hooded Max in Japan
What is The Interchangeable Hood Option?
The Interchangeable Hood Option suit is a “natural extension” of our popular neck entry, or zipperless wetsuit. If you choose the interchangeable hood option you will receive a neck entry bib with an attached hood and a standard neck entry bib. This allows you to change the type of bib depending on the conditions, using the hood for mid-Winter sessions and the standard bib for Spring and Autumn. A versatile option to cover most of the year.

How does the Interchangeable Hood Option work?
The bibs can simply be swapped around depending on the conditions on the day, giving you the level of warmth you need in the water.
With our original neck-entry wetsuit the pullover bib was sewn onto the back of the suit.
With the Interchangeable Hood Option the bib is attached at the back with a small zipper. This means it can be taken off and swapped with the bib that has the full Arctic Hood. 
The hooded bib panel has the same zipper at the back and the front, and once attached to the back and pulled over the head is done up in the same way at the chest. Couldn't be easier!

Interchangeable option with collar attached

Interchangeable option with hood attached

The detachable bib is connected to the suit with a zip and secured with domes.

What are the benefits?
Versatility and Comfort in the water are the two big pluses of the Interchangeable Hood Option.
Versatilty: this is really like having a 3-season wetsuit that can effectively cover most of the year.  Put the hood on for Winter and just the collar for Autumn and Spring. Titaniun hot top/shorts underneath for added warmth in the Winter months.
Ultimately, whatever makes you feel right in the water on the day this gives you the flexibility to decide what to use depending on the conditions you are about to surf in.
As one satisfied surfer says “the fact that it's so easily interchangeable means that if I'm feeling a bit to hot with it on, it's so easily swapped.”

Comfort: As anyone will tell you one layer of neoprene is always going to be more comfortable than two! Not only is the attached hood better sealed at the back, but with one less layer of neoprene around the neck area – compared to say using a wetsuit and separate hood or wetsuit/Hooded Hot Top - there is less rubber therefore less constriction, and more comfort, more enjoyment.

Who's it for?
Surfers, kiteboarders, bodyboarders – men, women - anyone who wants to keep on going throughout the year. The Interchangeable Hood Option gives you the performance you need across the entire year and within each season.
And it's not just for those dealing with the cold in the South.

Jaimie from Tribal Surf in Whangarei says his 3/2 Max with detachable hood “is my favourite suit and gives me the best range for surfing and kitesurfing in Northland”.
“April-June - no hood, for when it gets a bit cold early and late surfing and for wind chill kiting... “July-September - hood on for surfing cold offshores and stormy onshores kiting. Then September/October - hood on for duckdiving as the water temperature drops, and for those long Naki bar sessions.
“I can also have the hood attached but flipped back for enjoyng the sun's heat when its shining but flip it back on for paddle outs when it's bigger, and for cold southeast kiting sessions.”
“Back full circle to April and I'm back into the Max again... its my second skin and my best

Why have it?
If you are keen to score some of that “winter stoke” then this is the suit for you.
Let's face it - a hood is essential when it's cold if you want to enjoy your time in the water and spend more time out there. But on some days a hood may be a step too far.
The versatility of the Interchangeable Hood Option means one suit can help get you through the coldest Winter months while you'll also have a suit for the border zones of Spring and Autumn - when water temperatures and windchill can vary considerably on the day.
The initial outlay maybe more expensive upfront, but for that you get a suit - with Custom-Fit also an option – that will bring you the maximum in versatility and comfort for 3 seasons of the year.

So go on – explore those cooler horizons!

Learn more about Custom-Fit wetsuits [here]

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