We’ve all been lured by the “Summer Looks Good on You” campaigns, or the promise of sustainable products that are good for the environment. Tempted by an appealing spring suit in colours that perfectly match your kite, the practicality of the product can often be overlooked.
After several seasons kiting, it’s safe to say that Cat has worked out a thing or two about swimwear that performs to a high standard. Here, she shares with you her top three wetsuits, one for each season, that combine both function and style.
As someone who surfs, I’ve learned that wetsuit products offered by the major surf brands are not always the most functional option for kitesurfing. After many kite sessions picking wedgies out from barely-there bum coverage, and at times being at risk of drowning from a wetsuit that is ballooning with water, I decided it was time to find some gear that was much better suited to the sport of kitesurfing.
If you’re new to kiteboarding, it’s difficult to know what is going to work best for you as I’m sure you’d much rather be focused on your progression than be distracted by an ill-fitted, malfunctioning wetsuit. As a complete beginner, depending on where you’re learning to kitesurf, I’d recommend wearing leg and arm protection to prevent cuts or scrapes from submerged rocks or coral. However, once you’re up and riding, it’s time to show off your new style, and perhaps ditch the leggings!
After trying a multitude of different wetsuit styles and brands, I’ve finally settled on a few that I think are great options. So, here are my top three, tried and tested wetsuits to wear kitesurfing.
Ink In Water - Sleeveless Vixen Spring Suit
RRP $199.00. Sale price $129.00
I came across this Australian brand early in my search for the perfect kitesurfing spring suit, and since I favour brightly coloured attire for on the water, I appreciated the colourful designs.
Why do I love it? Aside from the colours matching my kites, the neoprene is soft and flexible, the lower cut and fuller bum coverage provide some modesty, and the longer front zip offers easy access.
If you’re after something a little more subtle and a little bit luxe, I’ve heard from a very reliable source that Duskii also has some great options available!
Ion – Amaze Hot Shorty 1.5 LS Front Zip
Ion products are specifically made for kitesurfing, so it would be strange if their products didn’t make it onto this list! The Amaze Shorty has quickly become my favourite long-sleeve spring suit by far!
Why do I love it? Aside from good sun protection on your arms, the silky smooth neoprene clings to your body with comfort, and the slightly longer bikini cut on the bum ensures the atomic wedgie is a thing of the past.
Oneill’s Bahia 2mm Long Arm Mid Spring Suit also gets a notable mention here. This was my “go-to” springy before switching to Ion. However, if you ride with a stiffer waist harness with less padding, the back zip may get uncomfortable on longer sessions.
Billabong – 3/2 Synergy Back Zip Steamer Wetsuit
As one of the market leaders in innovative wetsuit technology, it’s no surprise to see Billabong on my list.
Why do I love it? True story – I purchased this wetsuit only because it matched my kite perfectly! However, for a 3/2 wetsuit, it is super lightweight, has great flex, making it easy to get in and out, and most importantly, is great at retaining heat for those longer sessions on colder days.
While our body shape, size, and kiteboarding priorities might be different, I think it’s safe to say that we all want to have a great time out on the water. Having gear and equipment that is right for you is always going to mean a better session with more stoke! That includes having a wetsuit that fits well and provides maximum performance.
I am eternally on the search for funky and functional swimwear products, so leave me a comment below and tell me your favourite and why? Otherwise, I’m always up for a good disaster story as well!
Just be stoked!
– Cat Jay