Welcome to our Cold Water Riding series. Today we will feature a comparison of our most popular drysuits. If you tuned into our last episode comparing wetsuits to drysuits, you know that there are some compelling reasons to check out a drysuit as a water-wear option. Our most popular drysuits for kiteboarding or wing foiling are the Ocean Rodeo Soul, Heat v3, and Ignite. There are some significant differences and a large price gap between these models. Let’s get into this so you can figure out which model best suits your feature needs and budget.
Ocean Rodeo Drysuits
All Ocean Rodeo drysuit models have standby mode, top quality nylon Ventor construction, slim fit, and Ocean Rodeo’s unprecedented support.
Standby mode allows the neck seal to be taken off and folded across your abdomen and under your jacket. This is ideal for traveling to the beach, setting up gear, and just hanging out on the beach because it allows maximum ventilation of the suit and a jacket-like collar for all-day comfort. When you are ready to hit the water, simply pull the neck seal over your head, close the zipper and go ride.
Ocean Rodeo’s nylon construction is second to none for long-wearing durability, mobility, and a massive range of temperatures. Some brands will use a neoprene based drysuit material. For action sports, this is inferior because it is heavy, cumbersome, easily damaged, and too hot for moderate temps or high activity levels.
As we talked about in our last blog and video in this series, the fit is very important. Ocean Rodeo drysuits have a slim fit for maximum mobility, heat retention, breathability, and reduced drag in the water. Be sure to reference the size chart rather than order your typical wetsuit size. For instance, I am 6’3”, 200 lbs, 32” waist and typically wear a large tall wetsuit. For drysuits, my ideal size is XXL.
As I said, the quality of these suits is second to none. However, if you do have a problem or questions, Ocean Rodeo is one of the most responsive and generous brands that I have dealt with. They even have an unheard-of 60-day satisfaction guarantee. So, if you decide you need a different size or model after those first few uses, you are covered.
The Ocean Rodeo Soul is the best selling boardsports drysuit of all time. This feature-packed, value-priced suit is simply too good to ignore when considering a drysuit for cold water fun. Some notable features are its removable hood, latex seals, ankle seals, and pee zip.
Personally, I rarely use the hood while riding. It just seems to block my view of what is around me. However, I do use it regularly before and after a session when it’s windy. The latex seals might require a little bit of stretching or trim when you first buy your suit, but they are the least bulky of the options, so you get a great fit and exceptional mobility without loss of circulation. One reason this suit is so incredibly popular is the ankle seals. While most drysuits use nylon style socks, the Soul has ankle seals that allow riding with bare feet and split or round toe boots. The more direct connection to the board will give you a better feel, performance, and a more comfortable fit.
The Heat v3 is the newest suit in the Ocean Rodeo drysuit lineup. We anticipate this suit will be a popular choice for many riders because of its incredible value. Yes, you lose some nice features like a pee zip and ankle seals, but there is still a lot to love at the $699 price.
Compared to the Heat 2.0, the 3.0 has an adjustable neoprene neck seal and neoprene wrist seals for easy-fitting comfort and long-lasting low maintenance. The neoprene tends to be a bit more durable, but also more bulky, less stretchy, and takes longer to dry.
This model has nylon socks so you can keep your feet dry; you’ll just need to be in round toe booties all the time. I find this can be nice in really frigid temps because you can put a set of thin wool socks inside as a heat booster; just make sure you buy your booties large enough.
There's no hood with this model and the collar is pretty low profile, which is great for visibility and neck motion, but a little cooler in nasty winds. No frills, no hood, no pee zip- just function, and a great price.
The Ignite suit is more of an offshore sailing or first responder suit, but it is still loved by many watersports riders because of its bells and whistles. You get a higher storm collar, more reflective accents, additional pockets, adjustable wrist & ankle cuffs, and removable knee pads. Like the Heat 3.0, the Ignite has an adjustable neoprene neck seal, neoprene wrist seals, and nylon socks.