For the love of all things sacred, that sounds great! But is it a factual statement or just a bunch of hot air?
My job is to let Internet surfers know if what a surf company such as Radiator says is true. Therefore, I set out to give the Radiator a real once over in real waves.
The Real DealThe Radiator website states it may take as long as 3 weeks for delivery outside Australia, but mine came much faster than that, about a week and half or so to arrive here in the U.S.
I ordered the Steamer full suit (3/2 mm thick). Being considered full, the suit has long sleeves and long legs. The Steamer is sealed, glued and blind stitched which means it has no protruding knobs or nuggets that might rub against your skin and cause a nasty rash (one of the most sinister problems associated with surfing in a wetsuit).
The first test is comfort. The Radiator Steamer slides on easily which is normally a problem with thicker wetsuits. They don’t have much give, especially around the ankles and wrists. In contrast, the Radiator pulls on and off with little effort. This sounds silly, but many of the “big” brands have tight, thick seams around the wrists and ankles that make it difficult to the suit on and off. This one, however, comes off rather smoothly due to the seamless edges and the slick inner lining. Also, the Steamer is lined on the inside with something called “slipskin” which makes pulling on the Radiator as easy as pulling on a pair of jeans.
According to Radiator, “slipskin” is not just easy on the skin as I experienced but rather “a new type of wetsuit material technology.” It is said to be a reflective inner liner that truly locks in body heat. So in the interest of objective journalism, I will state that Radiator Steamer is very easy on the skin and insanely warm. But how does it move?
I surfed in this suit quite a bit in water that wasn’t quite freezing but still in the 60’s; however, I will state unequivocally (meaning without a doubt, without reservation, without any other thoughts or opinions to cloud the truth) that the Radiator Steamer is light, flexible, and VERY warm.
Having wide shoulders, my trial suit was a bit tight in that area but still offered that naked surfing experience required of a good wetsuit. I was warm and comfortable from paddle out to my last wave. The seams were seamless and the overall quality and performance was solid.
Radiator doesn’t offer the multitude of styles of some of the gargantuan mega-plex neoprene peddlers out there, but their product is strong, light, and flexible. In fact, according to the Radiator website, they offer 20 different products including hybrid style 1.50mm x 0.50mm springs and steamers, short johns and even specialized scuba diving garments (now being used by the Australian SAS and the Navy clearance diving teams).