Browsing Tag

Wetsuit

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Glove Review: Patagonia R3 Gloves

October 23, 2013

To be honest, I hate gloves. Cumbersome comes to mind. Disconnected. Uncomfortable. For years I refused. And when I did wear them, the only thing I wanted to do was shake my hands feverishly like some kind of inspired spirit fingers performance – trying desperately to free myself from them. Oh, and did I mention that getting them on was no easier than getting them off? A real pain those goddamn gloves were. But when you start surfing in the winter, or the fall for that matter, they become more important. Because unless you’re some sort of Ice Man, like Arnold in that shitty Batman movie, your fingers are gonna freeze. So I caved and bought a pair, some 3mm gloves made by Matuse, or maybe they were made by O’neil. Anyhow. They kept my fingers from freezeing. For awhile. Then everything went to shit. The seams split and I wore a hole right through the palm, and they eventually let so much water in that I may as well have not beer wearing them.

patagonia-r3-wetsuit-gloves-2
patagonia-r3-wetsuit-gloves-3

My second set was similar. They might have lasted a little longer, or perhaps I just didn’t care about cold fingers that fall. But they fell apart, and so did my third and fourth pair of paw warmers. Disgruntled I was. “Why the hell can’t someone make a pair of mitts that won’t fall apart so fast?!” “Dude,” a friend replied, “gloves are only good for three months, tops!” Bullshit! I’ve owned wetsuits for longer than I’ve owned cars, longer than I dated my high school girlfriend. So if that shit can stick together so well, why can’t they get their glove glue together?!

patagonia-r3-wetsuit-gloves-4

Enter the R3. Now you gotta know I was skeptical of these gloves – with that fuzzy white wool on the inside and the rubber cement covered seams. Karissa had owned an earlier iteration of the R3 and they had, like my friend suggested, lasted her just two or three months… tops. But these looked better, well built if you will. And so here I sit, some six months into ownership, wearing a pair of gloves which appear entirely unaffected by the use and abuse they’ve received. They’ve survived sunset sessions in spring, early mornings in May, evenings in August and now October, which is all kinds of cold. And the entire time these gloves have not only kept my fingers from freezing, but provided additional grabability and are easier to get on and off than anything else I’ve owned. 4/5 as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see how the work this winter!

You can pick up your own pair of Patagonia R3 Gloves, here.

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Wetsuit Review: Patagonia Men’s Hooded R4 Full Suit

December 10, 2012

I was many things that morning – hungover, half awake and hungry – but what I wasn’t, not even little bit, was cold. It was the second Saturday in October, and the first weekend I felt like it really started to get cold on the coast. There was a northwest wind kicking over the ocean, leaving us with nothing but white capped waves. Shoulda brought some soap and washed my whites ;) But that’s beside the point. This is about staying warm when it’s windy and well below 40 degrees. When a warm shower and a cold beer go hand in hand. And I’ll be damned if my new Patagonia R4, a gift from my ever wonderful wife, didn’t keep me nice and cozy that cold morning on the coast.

The R4 is Patagonia’s warmest wetsuit. Lined with merino wool, it is admittedly cumbersome, but I’ll exert a little extra effort if it means surfing for four hours instead of forty-five minutes. At first glance, the R4 might look a lot like other 5/4 wetsuits you’ve owned over the years. But then you begin to see the subtleties. The front-zip function is unlike others, with the flap folding flat across your chest – letting little to no water in – assuming you have your hood on. And then there’s the single, albeit small, neck opening, into which one must squeeze themselves. But once you’ve learned to drag one side of the suit down around your elbow, to shrug your shoulders and shake that shit off, the in-and-out stuff becomes simple. Sorta.

At the ankles and wrists you’ll notice a thick, tear-resistant material made to withstand the up-and-down action that comes with wearing both boots and gloves in the winter. And then there’s the wool – a white fuzzy lining that leaves a waffle pattern on your extremities after a few hours. It might itch a little, or maybe it just feels like a classic Christmas sweater, but again, I’ll take patterned imprints and a lil’ itch over ice cold arms any day. I’ll be damned if the wool ain’t warm!

And now I’ll talk about the price. Because it’s more than most – but not by much. A hundred dollars? One-fifty? But if that’s what it takes to stay warm in the winter, you can collect my coin. Spent four or maybe five hours surfing that Saturday. In water that won’t get any warmer till June or maybe July. And once you’re passed the price and you’ve sorted out how to slide your self in and out of the suit, you’ll never look back. You’ll wonder why you owned anything else, why you surfed so many short sessions, why you didn’t just spend a little more scratch so you could stay warm.

– Justin Coffey

You can pick up your own Men’s Patagonia R4 Wetsuit, here.

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

News

Patagonia + Yulex = First Alternative to the Traditional Neoprene Wetsuit

November 17, 2012

Our friends at Patagonia, have teamed up with Yulex Corp, to created the surfing world’s first non-neoprene based wetsuit. Yulex specializes in creating sustainable, and health-friendly biomaterials…made from guayule (Parthenium argentatum.) Guayule is a shrub, found in the southern United States & Mexico.

The new Patagonia wetsuits are 60% guayule, and apparently 30% stretchier than their neoprene counterparts. Patagonia and Yulex hope to create a 100% guyale wetsuit in the future. Patagonia plans to introduce the suits in Japan, but will be rolling them out of their Ventura, Ca facility in Spring 2013.

Yulex’s official press release can be read below:

VENTURA, Calif. and PHOENIX, ARIZONA (November 16, 2012) — Patagonia Inc., a leading designer of core outdoor, surf and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories, and Yulex Corporation, a clean technology company developing agricultural-based biomaterials for medical, consumer, industrial and bioenergy products, announced today the introduction of a guayule-based wetsuit, a renewable biorubber that is the first alternative to traditional fossil-based neoprene.

“When we started to build wetsuits we knew that neoprene, by nature of its production, was the most environmentally harmful part the product. Our initial approach was to use innovative materials, like wool, that are highly insulating and allowed us to use as little neoprene as possible. But we quickly realized that we needed to create a new material that could be a true alternative to neoprene,” notes Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia’s surf director. “After four years of working together, Patagonia and Yulex have co-developed a unique material that allows us to make a wetsuit that is 60% guayule (plant) based. Our goal is to have the formula be 100% plant based, but we feel that for now this new material is a big enough step forward to let the world know it is possible to buy something cleaner. This is just the first step; it’s our hope that other brands see this as interesting and join the effort to innovate and implement alternatives to traditional neoprene that is used in wetsuits.”

Yulex’s biorubber material is made from guayule, a renewable, non-food crop that requires very little water, is grown domestically in the US, uses no pesticides, and in comparison to traditional neoprene, has a very clean manufacturing process.

Initially, the new suits will be available in Japan only. In Spring 2013, surfers will be able to order custom suits out of Patagonia’s wetsuit facility in Ventura, CA, with a global rollout to follow.

“Yulex commends Patagonia for supporting the advancement of a sustainable, low-carbon future by embracing agricultural-based, biomaterials to replace petroleum-based synthetics,” said Jeff Martin, CEO, president and founder of Yulex Corporation. “Patagonia is guiding the action sports industry to a new level and setting an example for the importance of sustainable practices. Yulex views this partnership as a major step towards a future where use of our renewable, guayule-based biomaterials is the industry standard for consumer, medical, industrial and bioenergy products.”

About Patagonia:
Patagonia, Inc., based in Ventura, California, is a leading designer of core outdoor, surf and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories. With sales last year of $540M, the company is noted internationally for its commitment to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing over $47.5M in cash and in-kind donations to date. Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line. Committed to making its products landfill-free, the company’s entire product line is recyclable thorough its Common Threads Initiative. The company also advocates corporate transparency through its interactive website, The Footprint Chronicles, which outlines the environmental and social footprint of individual products. Patagonia was featured as The Coolest Company on the Planet on Fortune Magazine’s April 2007 cover.

About Yulex Corporation: 

Yulex Corporation has developed a portfolio of biomaterials derived from the U.S. grown guayule plant. The company’s technological innovation is designed to replace traditional tropical or petroleum based rubber for consumer, industrial and medical markets, with the residual agricultural materials utilized as a feedstock for bioenergy. Yulex collaborates with customers to develop and market highly differentiated, premium performance products in an ecologically responsible, sustainable manner. For more, visit http://www.yulex.com.