Here at Wavelength we are lucky enough to get to try just about every serious surfing wetsuit on the market.
We usually recommend surfers to (if possible) try before you buy, or use the brand’s wetsuit size chart.
Wetsuit fit should be your number one priority and is often overlooked when purchasing a new wetsuit. For a brand to make one style of wetsuit too fit everyone must be a challenge! People tend to vary in shape and size with many struggling to hold on to that paddle fit figure of their dreams.
Even the best suit in the world with the latest most technical features will not perform if it is ill-fitting. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the right fit for you.
Follow the size charts.
Lots of people don’t even look at these but the manufacturer has created these for a reason, they aren’t gospel but they are a good place to start.
You can find Xcel’s size guide here.
Try before you buy.
Put the wetsuit on, walk around for a while and make sure you feel comfortable. If you are a little clammy, don’t be afraid to jump about and wave your arms so the suit can settle into its natural resting position. If you are uncomfortable in a shop, it won’t be much better in the water and two-hour paddle fest in the sea will be an unpleasant ordeal.
Look for the signs of an incorrect fit. A super stretchy suit may feel like it fits ok although if its too small, the seams will become stressed and the longevity of your wetsuit will be significantly reduced. Signs of the suit being too small are – riding up on your arms and legs. If the front of the suit isn’t long enough, it will pull on the collar and you will get gaping in the neckline, this means water flushing when you duck dive, never nice.
Signs of the suit being too large are – bunching at the wrist and ankles, knee pad placement too low. Excess material behind knees, armpits, and the back of the neck will cause rubs and be very noticeable when paddling.
The correct fit is in simple terms is a Second skin tight fit to the skin without feeling restriction.
If it fits like a glove excellent, if not try another size or style. Here is Xcel’s dealer guide
The Xcel Brand
Over the years most core surfers across Europe will have owned an XCEL wetsuit at some point or another. Xcel has been making wetsuits since 1981 and is a wetsuit company first and foremost claiming that
“Performance is always taking priority over fashion, never is there any unnecessary seams just to add a colour panel, Less Seams = More Stretch.”
The products undergo test after test to ensure the most competitive fit and performance standards. With this dedication to wetsuits, Xcel has a competitive advantage with first access to new technologies and materials.
There are no gimmicks. Every inch of the product serves a purpose. It is with that confidence that we had to test it for ourselves.
The 16th Annual SIMA (Surf Industry Manufacturers Awards) took place on 11 March 2o2o. This year, the much-coveted Wetsuit of the Year award went to the Infiniti LTD by Xcel, awarded to the wetsuit style that featured the most exciting design, appeal or innovation. Category finalists included O’Neill, Rip Curl, Vissla and Sisstrevolution.
The Infiniti is one of XCEL’s longest-running and most popular suits and this latest version, Infiniti LTD released in Winter 2019 is packed full of innovative updates to keep you and warm and flexible. Xcel took the shape or silhouette from their 2017 Wetsuit Of The Year, the Comp X and then updated again with some fresh new tech.
The Infiniti LTD is the Golf GTI of wetsuits
Triple glued and blind stitched seams to ensure that this suit keeps you as warm as we have all come to expect from an XCEL wetsuit. Obvious.
Fully lined with Radiant Rebound. Put simply is a metal-based lining, much like one of those silver ambulance blankets that block cold from the outside and keeps your body warmth from within. Genius.
Channel Flex looks a bit like that ripstop material that you see in technical outerwear and again this is for a reason, the material is actually milled out, not like other brands where the material is embossed for decorative effect. This gridded material breaks up the surface tension by reducing material fibre, improving stretch for lightweight performance.
If you want to do some more in-depth reading about Xcel’s technologies, you can read more here:
The Infiniti LDT has stood the test of time and those SIMA judges know their onions. Having worn the latest Infiniti LTD in a 4/3 all winter when others were firmly in 5/4’s, we can safely say that this latest technology combo works a treat.
As we all crave a bit of certainty in our lives right now, the Infiniti LTD 3/2 should be your go-to summer option for 2020. Just like a Golf GTI, you know what you are getting, top quality, with true performance that stands the test of time. By choosing this wetsuit, our prediction is that you will likely still be still surfing in this 3/2 deep into October.
You can find a dealer or buy your wetsuit direct from XCEL here
So long as we are in this bind, we see say treat yourself, you damn well deserve it.