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REVIEW: Isurus 333 Hooded Wetsuit

The Isurus 3mm hooded wetsuit is a unique set-up. I don't know of any other brand that makes a hooded 3mm, but living in the Northeast I totally get WHY you need this wetsuit in your collection. There are a lot of opportunities to surf in New England into early winter and then again in the early spring. Often during those times the air temperatures are comfortable, but it's the water temperatures that are chilly. That's where this suit fits-in.

I've tested this 3mm torso/arms/hood model in various cold water conditions, and it's out-performed expectations most of the time for warmth and comfort. Like all the Isurus wetsuits, it is derived from the Japanese yamamoto rubber which is super soft and stretchy. The newest version of these suits are using 100% #40 Limestone Neoprene, if that means anything to you. The biggest thing here is that they are extremely stretchy and they do a nice job with compression, creating a super-skin like barrier between you and the cold water.

The arms and legs fit nicely in the XL size... I'm 6'2 195 pounds for reference. The shoulders were not restrictive and putting it on and taking it off wasn't as difficult as other bigger name no-zip suits. The hood didn't fit my head too well and this ended up impacting the overall performance of this wetsuit, but more on that later. I've tested the Isurus 3mm hooded suit in 50° water and 50°+ air temps mostly and been comfortable, sometimes hot. But then I've also tried to wear it when the air temps dropped into the freezing range and I wasn't so comfortable anymore.

The best thing about this hooded suit is that it keeps you warm like a thicker suit. There is nothing worse than a bulky and heavy wetsuit when you're trying to scratch into waves that have critical take-offs. Popping up and stomping that front foot down to make the drop can be very challenging and seem like slow-motion when you're wearing a ton of rubber. I sometimes feel like I'm just heaving myself over the lip and hoping that gravity and muscle memory help me stick the landing. So if I can wear a thinner wetsuit I can wiggle myself into waves a little bit sooner thereby putting myself in a position to surf at a higher level.

I recently had a fun quickie session wearing my 333 hooded suit. I wore it with 3mm Rip Curl Rubber Soul split-toe booties and Xcel 1.5mm gloves. The water was 50°, and the air temperatures were in the mid 50°s. The wind was breezy, adding some windchill, and a lot of dudes were cold, but I was really warm in my Isurus. There wasn't another surfer wearing anything thinner than a 4mm as far as I could tell. Some were in their 5/4s already! And while the thick suit surfers were slow and sluggish I was performing at about the same level I do in a pair of trunks in Costa Rica.

I also tried this wetsuit in 48 degree water with air temps around freezing with the windchill. Even with 5mm Body Glove Red Cell boots and 3mm Hyperflex gloves I was uncomfortable. The rubber just wasn't thick enough to keep that kind of cold out. I only lasted 15 minutes before I lost feeling in my feet and legs. Water was also getting in the hood whenever I would duck-dive... and unlike the previous time it wasn't so refreshing. I had to pull the hood as tight as it would go. The tight hood mixed with ice-cold flushings gave me an ice-cream headache of epic proportions. So I retreated to my warm car, tail between legs after three so-so rides.

My one issue with this wetsuit is the fit of the hood. It lets in a lot of water if you keep it too loose, and when you pull it tight it restricts your neck. My attempts to find a happy medium between not letting too much water in but still flexible enough to not cause me discomfort weren't successful. I've even tried pulling the hood under my chin, like a chin-strap, but I was getting flushed on duck-dives when I did that... So it's for this reason that I'm hesitant to purchase warmer hooded wetsuits from the Isurus line for getting through the colder months. I'll need to see if the hood on the 333 shapes up to my head and eventually fits nicely. The Isurus 5.4 Alpha hooded fullsuit does look amazingly warm and it probably feels comfortable and stretchy on the body... but if the hood design is going to be an issue, no thanks. You can't mess around when the water is in the 30's.

Final Thoughts: I think if the AIR is warm you can really push the boundary of how cold of WATER the Isurus 333 wetsuit can handle... especially paired with some warm boots and gloves. But once the air is truly cold, you're going to need more protection. The flushing in the hood will matter in air temps below 45°, which is pretty regular early winter and late spring time... so hopefully the fit of this hood just needs more breaking-in. I'll try to do an update once I've determined that.

UPDATE 11/27/20 - After repeated uses I want to update the 333 hood situation. It has in fact conformed to my head, though it does need a little bit to stretch back out after sitting for a few months. I like this suit when the air starts to get a chill in early fall, but the water is still in the 50's. I can stay on my lower volumed high performance crafts a little longer before the actual thick suits and booties go on. It's also the go-to suit in the late spring when air warms up to 55+ but the water is still chilly... as long as you pair it with some warm boots and gloves. But I have no hesitation in recommending this Isurus 3mm hooded suit. If you live in the Northeast you'll get a lot of use from it throughout the year, and mine has held up well to regular wear n tear.

Isurus 333

  • Wetsuit Temperature Range 50° – 60°

  • Supercharged Compression

  • Arms Up Design

  • Bio-Mechanical Lat Panel

  • Muscles Stabilization Technology

  • Silicone Pre- Tensioners

  • Gutter Balls

  • Key Pocket

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