Thursday 3 November 2011

Simmer 5/4/3 Winter Steamer Wetsuit

First of all I need to say this is NOT a pimp! It is intended as a thank you to Farrel O'Shea who is the UK Distributor for Simmer Style. I won a Simmer Harness in the 2011 British Speed Championships a couple of weeks ago.

It was a raffle done at Weymouth Speed Week so absolutely nothing to do with my speedsurfing ability. It was however due to my frequency of posts, I posted more than anyone else with a total of about 70 sessions posted over the year. The reason for so many sessions posted was as evidence for my 1000Nautical Mile challenge for the British Heart Foundation. Farrel let me swap the harness for a wetsuit (and I paid the difference) as I was in need of something for the winter, my old one has too much Black Witch around the crotch area to wear without feeling a little embarrassed.

Like most people I was a little hesitant ordering a wetsuit online from a brand I have never tried before without first at least trying one on. The last Animal one I tried in large wouldn't pull over my calves or shoulders, yet a Gul in large felt baggy.

Today it arrived with a little wind for a session, I got to use it within half an hour of opening the parcel which is a rare opportunity when getting something new as many of you will know. It fits like a windsurfing wetsuit should, with extra room around the upper arms and shoulders and nicely snug everywhere else. It genuinely feels tailor made for me. The short zip entry is great, as is the pull over head zip guard. The material is stretchy enough to do this before putting your arms in which makes it really easy to get on alone, and the short zip makes it really easy to do up alone.

The ankles and cuffs are a touch tight which is good especially on the ankles as it saves using velcro straps. Ankle straps are supplied anyway, with a velcro patch on the suit to keep them in place, I often forget to take them off first when getting changed though which causes 'Krypton Factor' style problem solving to then get the suit off.

Ironically for the first 20mins on the water I didn't fail a gybe or tack even though for once I wasn't really putting too much effort in as I wanted to try out the wetsuit properly. When I dropped in finally to adjust my harness lines it took a while before the water got through and cooled me down (steamer is an appropriate name for once). When the wind disappeared with a huge downpour and I had to walk a good 500m upwind I did not get cold at all.

The suit has a thick fleecy chest and kidney guard, and 'anatomically' shaped panels on the shoulders and lower arms. When I read that on the Simmer Style site I thought perhaps it was marketing speak but you really notice the difference with them, they make movement feel as easy as when wearing a thin summer suit. I think this is one of the great things about the suit, movement is easy so it does not feel heavy and restrictive.

Again I just wanted to say a thank you to Farrel for sorting this out for me, I would recommend this wetsuit on first impressions and will let you know what its like in the depths of winter hopefully.

Edit : After another session with the suit, in colder weather I am still as happy as I was with the suit. This time I noticed that it takes a while to actually feel wet with it on, by the time the water gets through to the skin it is body temperature and keeps the warmth in. Also there was no noticeable wind chill while I rigged a different sail. It was cold brisk northerly winds and possibly the coldest day so far since last winter, I expected to feel considerable wind chill while re-rigging so it came as a pleasant surprise to get none.
Good speeds and winds,
'The Bus'


  1. Its a very very good suit. The only cons are that the red colour inside dyes/bleeds and that it take a week to dry.

  2. Mine was dry overnight (about 18hours), and we dont have heating/fire on yet. I leave it inside out to dry after putting in clean water for 5 minutes and it was fine very quickly.

    I had a summer that took about a week to dry, I got in the habit of putting it on a quick spin in the washer, made it dry far quicker.

  3. By the way, it is produced at the same factory as O´neill windsurfing suits. Take a close look at the store next time, you see it easily on the inside of the arms.

  4. Thats interesting, the Oneill are well tried and tested but I always found them a touch tight on the upper arms and around the upper back. I think the different meaurements on the Simmer are designed really well for us windsurfers. Tried drying mine again. 24hours and it was dry.....guess this may get longer as it gets older though


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