There's a real gap in the market at the moment for solidly-made, affordable, mid-top of the range wetsuits. Aesthetically, not much has changed over the past few years in terms how your rubber looks when on, but the superlatives in terms of tech have been lauded for years. Quicker-drying, more flex, more...everything. And that's not a bad thing, by any means. But it is a little refreshing when a new brand emerges, dedicated to producing a high quality product for low end prices.
Introducing Srface, a Holland-based company fresh off the starting blocks. And what Srface have tried to achieve is a bridging of the gap between high end product at low cost levels. What they've ended up creating is a tidy looking wetsuit with some features that surprised us at MSW towers. Like, for instance, the 30-day trial period, want to paddle out, try the suit in the drink and see how you feel after a cool off period. Don't like it? Sling it back. No problem. The bag it's delivered in? That doubles up as a wetsuit bag to stash your sodden suit. And isn't that just the most delightful thing you can do with packaging?
“We decided to start Srface because of the high prices of wetsuits, to be honest,” says Jeroen Coppens one of Srface's forefathers. “But it's more than that. There's a real lack of 21st Century e-commerce in surfing, how you buy something. Of course we know there are other brands around taking this route, still we believe we can do better in terms of overall quality and customer service. Our mission is to give the customer more choice in the way they buy high end wetsuits and the price they have to pay for them.”
And the price? It's just a smooth 200 euros. But let's take a look under what makes this suit tick. First up, this is a 3mm suit for when the water heats up. So of course, it's warm but in a summer suit you're likely looking for something with a touch more flex built in, rather than something that's going to keep you toasty. That said, this suit has no issues retaining heat at all. The rubber is limestone neoprene and is ultra flexible, similar to that of much higher end suits.
There's a front and back panel to help protect from wind chill and hollow fibre plush insulation. This suit hasn't flushed on me yet due to the comfortable water sealed neck, arms and legs. The suit's finish is punctuated with flashes of orange, including the zip and logos, set against the charcoal body. It's a fresh, subtle touch that makes the suit look modern. The seams are taped, adding a level of robustness to those sensitive areas. To paddle in, this suit feels great, due to the hyper flexi under armpit panels. It's comfortable, light and easy on the eye.
“We have been testing this model for over a year with the goal to develop one high end wetsuit model with all the features you need at a low end price,” reiterates Jeroen. “There's only one model for a full suit this is because we wanted to drastically reduce the choices a customer has to make when finding out what suit is best for them.
“It’s quite a jungle out there in my opinion. We have gone through several rounds of prototyping adding features and taking them away again if we found out they don’t improve the performance.
“Of course there are trade offs and choices to make in panel lay outs, zippers, flexibility and overall fit. Our goal was to develop the warmest suit possible, allowing you to surf a thinner suit possible and thus have the highest freedom of motion. That guided the decisions we made while reviewing and testing different options.”
And it's remarkable what's been done on such a small budget. If you're in the market for a new 3mm suit, then this is worth your time, besides, if you don't get along with it, you can always send it back after the trial period. Like to look? Shop HERE.