At Foil Buzz we never let little things like winter or ice cold water get between us and a foil session. As you might guess, we have come to rely heavily on high quality wetsuits. After spending a few long days in Ride Engine’s flagship cold water suit, we're hooked. It has now become our go to suit when the temps drop and the sane folks are home in their living rooms.
The Ride Engine Apoc 5/4/3 is designed for 38-48 degree water, exactly the water temp of our six demo sessions. Put simply, the suit works and it works extremely well. There are typically three things we dislike about thick wetsuits: limited mobility, poor fit, and getting flushed with icy water when falling in. This suit manages all of these issues masterfully.
We are impressed with the limestone charcoal neoprene's flexibility. Paddling in the 5mm suit feels more like paddling a 3 mm. You can still tell you have a thick suit on when reaching overhead, but this suit is amongst the best for shoulder range of motion. The suit's flexibility also makes the dreaded parking lot shuffle in and out of the suit easier than expected. It still helps to have a friend help when freeing your arms from the suit.
The tight cell structure of this neoprene is apparent, with no detectable movement of water across the fabric. When combined with the excellent gaskets at the neck and extremities, the suit feels more like a semi dry suit than a wet suit. When jumping into the water, the dreaded initial flush of cold water filling the suit is barely noticeable. This is definitely not a suit you would want to pee in, unless you feel like hanging out in urine for the remainder of your session.
The core of the suit has RideEngine's Wind skin and fleece lining. Even with the air temps in the 30s and wind gusting to 40, we can't appreciate any windchill. Two to three hour sessions are no problem.
Fit is as advertised. At 6'1", 200 lbs, the XL fits perfectly, no mending necessary.
Overall Impression: Ride Engine nailed it with the Apoc 5/4/3. It is safe to say, you wont be dissapointed if you buy one. Look for more Ride Engine Reviews here, because we will definitely be trying out some other models.