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Old     (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       10-05-2014, 7:31 PM Reply   
hey everyone. As the title says, this is about drysuits. I have a boost drysuit from 08 or 09, and used it maybe 5-7 times at the beginning and end of each season. In my opinion, it's not a lot but whatever. It's at the point where it's definitely leaking, but i don't have any full blown holes or anything. Any weak point i can see looks more like the white mesh like material that lines the inside of the suit has separated from the tough outer material.

That said, what kind of repair is needed? Is it a re-taping and sealing of the seals situation? Being that the ankles are not torn (or any other major seal), i am guessing i don't need an entirely new ankle seal.

Any advice would be great. Ultimately, i'd like how to repair it on my own. It seems like a valuable skill, given the cost of these suits and they don't seem horribly durable (or so i feel, given my use).

Also, do you guys have any opinions on boost style vs. Traditional style drysuits? Could one be more durable than the other? And what are your experiences with drusuits and durability in general?

Thanks!
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       10-06-2014, 11:29 AM Reply   
How sure are you the leaks aren't coming from the seals? Seals do age. Many people claim they should be replaced every year even if there are no rips. This keeps the rubber or latex more supple - prevents hairline cracks from leaking and keeps a better seal against your skin. The other likely culprit for a leak is the zipper.

If you send the suit back to O'Neill my recollection is it costs about $20 per seal and maybe $75 for a new zipper. It's well worth the money if the suit body is in good condition. I believe they do a good inspection of the suit before replacing the seals or zipper to ensure it is worth the cost of the repair so there is little or no chance you'll spend all that money on repairs and end up with an old, piece of crap suit. They seem to be pretty honest.

You can do a simple leak test on your own before you send it in. Close off the arm and leg openings (pinch them somehow) then fill the suit with a hose while it lays on dry cement. If there are leaks coming through the body, you will see wet spots on the ground. If so, you may be better off just buying a new one.

There are some youtube videos on how to replace drysuit seals. For $20 per seal, I personally just find it easier to mail it to O'Neill every couple years.
Old     (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       10-07-2014, 1:48 PM Reply   
Esnow!!! how you been lil lady? I ditched baggy suits years ago. Back in the day I used the baggy suits because I was too cold in a wetsuit. I always fought leak issues, and tollerated the bulky drag of the baggy suits. If you are riding hard and falling hard, it will leak no matter what. However, todays modern wetsuits are so freakin warm, flexible, and comfortable they trump the baggy by a longshot, IMO.

So, where are you getting wet? Legs or arms?
Old     (Michael)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-10-2014, 2:52 PM Reply   
The neck on mine was so tight, I would have a hard time breathing. Ditched the baggy suit and went with a wetsuit.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-11-2014, 9:31 PM Reply   
Here's the problems with wetsuits...you get wet and you really won't want to get back in a wet wetsuit if you actually go in cold conditions...ie 50 degrees and less...drysuits all leak a little sometimes but you stay warm the whole time...if your sweats get wet...you use more dry sweats andhop right back in the cold water. Plus once in the water a baggy suit basically shrinkwraps to you body. Baggy means you can wear a few layers under it and be toasty warm....wetsuits suc
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-14-2014, 8:56 AM Reply   
Anybody ever seen a XXXL or similar dry suit? I looked around and have not really seen anything. Was thinking of extending my season a bit and all the guys I ride with do ride most of the year. Not looking to ride in super cold, just add another few weeks to the season
Old     (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       10-14-2014, 10:11 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bftskir View Post
Here's the problems with wetsuits...you get wet and you really won't want to get back in a wet wetsuit if you actually go in cold conditions...ie 50 degrees and less...drysuits all leak a little sometimes but you stay warm the whole time...if your sweats get wet...you use more dry sweats andhop right back in the cold water. Plus once in the water a baggy suit basically shrinkwraps to you body. Baggy means you can wear a few layers under it and be toasty warm....wetsuits suc
This has been the general rule for as long as we can remember, and it is smart logic. However, in the past few years, the heavier (4/3) suits have taped seams and lots of tech to keep water out of the suit. its not the traditional wetsuit that keeps a layer of warm water against your body. I regularly climb out of my 6 yr old Oneill Psycho3 dry as a bone. My legs stay dry and my top only gets wet if I put down the kickstands in a violent fall and take it up the sleeves.

The advantages are that you dont have that draggy feel, and its much more flexible. I hear the newest Oneill 4/3 wetsuits are even more stretchy, warmer, and dryer.

LOL, no I dont work for Oneill, just have a suit.
Old     (99Bison)      Join Date: Sep 2012       10-14-2014, 10:32 AM Reply   
^^ this, we have a couple xcel dry lock wet suits.... Yep your dry, occasional get a wet shot sure, but only that area and then it's still warm.
Old     (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       10-14-2014, 11:00 AM Reply   
If you are going that way go for a 5/4/3 like this one and you will love it for $145

http://www.ebay.com/itm/QUIKSILVER-S...item53f62d179d


However, I got tired of that style so after 10 years of this style, i just recently got one of these for $360...and you know what way easier to get the sleeves on and off to take a quick leak...priceless

http://www.afterschool.com/p/oneill-...k-large-890907


But if you indecisive:
http://www.afterschool.com/p/oneill-...e-large-862360

Last edited by scottb7; 10-14-2014 at 11:02 AM.
Old     (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       10-16-2014, 11:05 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_ssr View Post
This has been the general rule for as long as we can remember, and it is smart logic. However, in the past few years, the heavier (4/3) suits have taped seams and lots of tech to keep water out of the suit. its not the traditional wetsuit that keeps a layer of warm water against your body. I regularly climb out of my 6 yr old Oneill Psycho3 dry as a bone. My legs stay dry and my top only gets wet if I put down the kickstands in a violent fall and take it up the sleeves.

The advantages are that you dont have that draggy feel, and its much more flexible. I hear the newest Oneill 4/3 wetsuits are even more stretchy, warmer, and dryer.

LOL, no I dont work for Oneill, just have a suit.
I definitely haven't experienced the new wetsuit tech. But I threw down and got a drysuit over last winter so I tend to go from wetsuit shorts and a heater top straight to a drysuit...
Old     (brhanley)      Join Date: Jun 2001       10-16-2014, 11:32 AM Reply   
I've regularly used drysuits in the last 10 years. Like 20-30 times per year use. I'm at the end of the useful life of my 2nd one (Boost, bought late in 2008). I don't think it's the seals (though you will feel water leak on certain falls), I think it's just the material loses its waterproofness and water seeps in, probably through the seams and/or the suit itself. When you first get the suit, the water seems to bead up. After a while, that beading goes away.

In any event, I still love my drysuit and the slight dampness doesn't bother me. I wear tech long underwear underneath and sometimes my heater top instead. The tech long underwear stays warm even when wet. If you take 2 sets, just have another set of clothes for underneath. Nothing beats getting back in the boat and being (largely) dry. Drysuits are also much easier to get on/off than wetsuits, IMO.
Old     (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       10-18-2014, 10:42 AM Reply   
I have an Assault Hybrid and a Boost. I like the Assault a LOT better. It's much more comfortable around the neck and isn't baggie below the waste. I wear mine with a hoodie over the neck to keep water out on crazy crashes.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-18-2014, 6:29 PM Reply   
There's a reason a wetsuit is called a wetsuit...its not a drysuit no matter what tech/sales speak wants you to believe. Its one and done...unless you like getting into a cold wetsuit. It takes an hour for the quick dry technology to dry. A drysuit will always be warmer because you can layer for conditions. The hard part is getting a boat crew together when the water temp is below 50. Its worse being in the boat unless you've got a hot tube in your pants. With a drysuit you can pump hot air into the suit...inflate with hot air and be toasty warm but you begin to resemble a hot air balloon.
Old     (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       10-20-2014, 10:21 PM Reply   
For sure, in the beginning I might get water in through the neck seal. But at this point it's leaking so bad I can hear water sloshing around in my back leg...it's seriously cups of water that ultimately seep in there. Looking closer at the suit (and through feeling), it's definitely coming in at the ankles, and it might be starting to leak around the zipper. When I get out of that suit, I'm wet from the chest down...which sounds ridiculous because that's just about everything that's in the suit. But my shoulders are dry! I went out for my last set of the season this past weekend with air temps in the 40s and wore a wetsuit under the drysuit. At least with water coming in, the drysuit would warm it, where as with my sweats, I'd just get wet.

I think my problem might be the suit, and possibly age. Looking at it, it's like the main material of the suit is separating from the inner mesh (whatever that material is), and I think that's part of what's creating the space/leak. I haven't torn any rubber or anything on that suit, which was why I didn't think it was the seals.

From a durability standpoint, what has lasted longer for everyone? the baggy drysuits or the thicker and newer wet/drysuits? I'm not opposed to the neoprene drysuits anymore...I almost prefer one this time around. The one thing I like about the boost is layering clothes, but if the neoprene is that thick and you stay reasonably dry, you'll probably get relatively warm in the neo suit. Big thing Is I want something that will last for the money I pay. I did get 5 years or whatever out of the boost, but again, I probably only used it 10 times a year at most. I just don't think that's a lot.

Also, I'm kind of over looking like MC Hammer.

Also, I'm the only one that rides. My parents are actually beyond radical and always take me out...they sat in the boat when it was 40 degrees, without question. So I can get a little wet because I go for one long set. But I still want to ride somewhat comfortably in those conditions.

Thanks for all of the replies everyone! I really appreciate your input.
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       10-21-2014, 12:13 AM Reply   
There is no wrong answer, just tradeoffs:
- basic neoprene = cheap ($125) and durable, but less comfortable and least insulation
- advanced neoprene = moderate ($200-300) and durable, better insulation and a little more comfortable
- drysuit (Boost for wakeboarding, Assault for skiing) = expensive ($450 + $80/year in maintenance costs), requires maintenance, but very versatile and comfortable over a wide range of conditions.

I've always heard the hybrid O'Neill Assault is targeted more at skiers where the close fitting nature of the legs is more important due to how close their legs get to the water when leaned over in a high speed slalom turn. I've never heard people refer to them as more comfortable than a baggy drysuit like the Boost.

For a Boost, the body of the suit should last for many years, but you should expect to have to replace the ankle and wrist gaskets (thin latex) every year (and the neck gasket (neoprene) ever few years. Maybe you can increase the interval if you're careful not to rip the latex putting the suit on and you store the suit with good silicon lube on the latex to keep it from getting brittle.

I know a bunch of guys who have abandoned wetsuits and shorties entirely and go straight from heater tops to drysuits. The drysuits are very versatile because you can wear them in anything from cool water to very cold water by varying the amount of insulation you put on. I've even worn them in 75F water with just board shorts and a long sleeve T underneath once (was testing a suit for leaks - wore the shirt to make it easier to find leaks) and was perfectly fine. I've also ridden the same drysuit in 50F water with outside air temps in the high 30s. If you share equipment, drysuits also fit a wider range of sizes than neoprene since they don't rely on a close fit to provide insulation. We've had both size M and L drysuits to fit guys as tall as 6'3" and kids that were barely 5'0". Clearly the 6'3" guy would have preferred something bigger than an M and the 5'0" teen looked a little funny in a L, but they were insulated just fine.

Aside from cost, the problem with drysuits is reliability. If you aren't careful and rip a gasket on a drysuit, it pretty much puts the suit out of commission for a month unless you go the extra mile to learn to replace gaskets yourself. For a severe rip (not just a moderate leak) it can even kill the session right then and there if that is the only suit you have. With neoprene, however, you rarely get that catastrophic rip like you could a thin latex gasket. Even if you do, neoprene is low tech and its easy to find somebody who knows how to repair it or you can just load it up with big ugly piles of aqua seal and buy another year or two with the wetsuit.

You can try to get the best of both worlds by looking for a used Boost on craigslist or ebay, but do some reading about what to look for. You should probably assume the gaskets need to be replaced when buying used... you might get lucky and they are fine for awhile, but its always just a matter of time.
Old     (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       10-21-2014, 4:33 PM Reply   
Quote:
There's a reason a wetsuit is called a wetsuit...its not a drysuit no matter what tech/sales speak wants you to believe. Its one and done...unless you like getting into a cold wetsuit.
Getting into a wetsuit that is dry on the inside is no different than getting into a drysuit that is dry on the inside.

I used to use Boost drysuits. had the same probs everyone else does. Seals go bad over time, douching your dry clothes on bad wrecks, etc. Plus Im 6'6", and getting scorpioned was basically castration in the biggest Boost suit. I started kiteboarding, and the drysuit just has too much drag for that sport, so I reluctantly got a 4/3 "wetsuit" specifically for kiteboarding. What I learned was that in the modern sealed "wetsuit" I wasnt getting wet. I would wear drawers under it and they would be dry when I pealed it off. The inside firewall was also dry. So, I ditched the drysuit all together.

The wetsuit is basically maint free, compared to a drysuit. With wetsuit tech being as dry as a drysuit, no real reason to deal with the baggy suit crap.

Esnow, do you wear guy suits or do you require a feminine cut?

For a ladies suit:
http://www.oneill.com/#/women/americ..._32_fsw/black/

If you can manage the guys cut, this one is ba dass:

http://www.oneill.com/#/men/americac....53.5mm/black/
Old     (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       10-21-2014, 5:09 PM Reply   
Just want to reiterate - I own both the Boost and Assault. The Assault is more comfortable - particularly around the neck, and it's nicer not to have baggy legs. Also you don't really get any water in the leg area. I don't get cold at all, but my water temps don't get lower than the high 50s. When I get in, I feel no coldness or shock, whatsoever. With that, I won't even wear a sweatshirt under the top as I'll get sweaty. A l/s t-shirt does fine. I think I would be fine down to the low 50's/40's and then just wear a sweatshirt under the top. You also don't have to worry about the leg and wrist seals every year. Although with the Assault, I wear the velcro straps around the wrists to my arms from getting wet. If I don't wear them and crash, my arms will get wet, but I do have pretty skinny wrists. My Boost was given to me as a gift, and it's basically just my backup and for a loaner.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-25-2014, 6:49 PM Reply   
Orange covered it pretty well. I would stay away from used drysuits. Time is the enemy. Glue drys out and delaminates and seals crack and tear after a round 5 years but I've had BI drysuits last 8 years before ripping a seal. These are baggy but as soon as you get in the water you burp the air out the neck and get shrink wrapped. Not baggy after that. Maybe wrinkly. We only barefoot so horsepower overcomes any drag the suit may have in the water. We fall at 40-47 mph and usually still stay dry. Eagle makes some nice drysuits but I haven't used one yet.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-25-2014, 8:08 PM Reply   
A we went out today in Colorado. Nice 78 degree air with bitter cold water. My wife used our very nice wetsuit and had a great first set. I used my kokatat drysuit. A couple hours later I was toasty,warm and on the verge of sweating. My wife was shivering uncontrollably. It was so warm she did not figure she needed her drysuit.....the wetsuit just stays cold and wet though. A drysuit is a revelation if you have never used one.

We have a Boost and nobody has ever successfully stayed dry in that thing. We had good luck with the adrenaline baggy suits but they are a little sweaty compared to a good goretex suit. I upgraded to a kokatat and have been enjoying it during the shoulder seasons for the past 4 seasons. Never had to change a seal or anything. Occasionally have a few drops of water here and there. I wear my ski pants and a prima loft mountain hardware jacket under it and it is perfect in almost any temperature. The main thing to remember is to wear a neoprene hat since you get some serious brain freeze once you hit it and your head is chilling in the cool MTN air at 8,600 feet.

Kokatats are not cheap. Given how much we spend on boating, very worth it. Especially if if gets you into October when all the bozos are off the lake. We have 3 of them and I'm saving up for another one next summer. It also gets the kids out in frigid water.



Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       10-26-2014, 7:44 AM Reply   
Mr Bakes... You guys are hard core at 8600 feet.... Thanks for the info... Glad I live in south Texas where a good wetsuit and a hot shower system to fill up the suit is money....
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-26-2014, 10:57 AM Reply   
Curious what lake you are on at 8600 ft?
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-26-2014, 11:40 AM Reply   
Grand lake and Lake Granby. They are actually a is a bit less than 8,400 feet but still way up there compared to Tacoma and Louisiana where we had been boating for the 5 prior summers. I had to re-prop after moving here from Louisiana.

Grand Lake and Granby are the only lakes I have found that I can expect to get good water here in Colorado. The only problem is that there is no warming up once cold. We rented a cabin there for a week in August and dry suited every day.

About the only thing I miss about Louisiana was the endless warm water on the red river. Even still, we used the drysuit when we would go out in dec, jan, feb.

In any case, a drysuit is in the same category as perfect pass and a tower for boating. Not absolutely needed, but makes the experience so much better.....especially at altitude.

For those of you getting chocked by the rubber seal, take some nice sharp scissors and cut away about 5mm. There should be a bunch of concentric lines that you can use as a guide. Use that for a few sessions. If no water is getting in and you are still getting chocked then cut another 5mm off the neck. Go slowly and carefully here as you need to be precise and you cannot put it back on.

Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-26-2014, 1:57 PM Reply   
You also need to let the air out or you can pop the seals in a fall.

I've only ridden my snowmobile across Grand lake. Lived in Boulder but had to move back to California because its just too cold in CO.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       10-26-2014, 2:33 PM Reply   
Also I have not had good results cutting neck seals. It causes the rubber to fray and crack early. If someone complains about the neck seal just remind them that it is not actually enough to choke them and its how the water is kept out. A comfy neck seal is a leaky neck seal. You want it tight. Stick a football or coffee can in it to stretch it out a little if you absolutely must but its better to just get used to it and stay dry.
Old     (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       10-27-2014, 8:09 AM Reply   
I used to get water in my neck when crashing upside down wearing my Assault. I finally figured out to wear a hoodie that covers the neck area with it. No water in my neck since then, and if it's cold enough to wear something like a drysuit, you should be wearing a hood anyway. Plus side is it's nice to have a warm head, and it helps provide some degree of ear protection.

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