Is the Srface Heat 4/3 the best wetsuit you’ve never heard of?
Usually, when I’m due for new gear, I turn to the internet. Once on the internet, I’m a sucker for reviews in video form. Why? Because you can see how products perform, and the chances of running into fake reviews written by someone in a dusty temple of cubicles for the exchange of a few pennies is small-ish. At least, that’s what I want to believe.
One such day, I searched for a wetsuit to warm my perfectly groomed chest on an upcoming strike mission to Portugal via a detour to a small place in the Galician heartland called Finisterre. They also call it the end of the world. And anyone who’s seen the end of the world knows it’s cold. F’ing cold!
The pursuit of warmth in combination with rubber let me down a rabbit hole of reviews, videos, naked men and a bunch of average products that underwhelmed (me).
Also, how can anyone justify splashing $500+ on a wetsuit that one reviewer described as “Not the most comfortable wettie I’ve owned, but a great option for a quick surf on a sunny day.” 500 Dollars for an uncomfortable option on a sunny day?! Mhm, sure.
So the search continued. Until one day, the metaverse came full circle. An ad saying, “the ultimate wetsuit for every surfer,” caught my attention. So I clicked, expecting another overpriced, overpromised piece of rubber that wouldn’t cut it at the end of the world. But, I was pleasantly surprised, and they had me at the 30-day trial period that spoke directly to my opportunistic soul.
The brand in question is called SRFACE – and no, that’s not a spelling error, even though my writing assistant keeps suggesting otherwise. SRFACE is a Netherland-based assembly of surfers that might have just solved an industry-wide issue by producing high-quality, no thrills wetsuits at an affordable price.
Their claim to design wetsuits they couldn’t find at a price they could afford speaks volumes as the industry has gone wild by throwing hot air, neatly packaged in high tech features we don’t need nor want, at us in order to charge a premium.
Their wetsuits are classy with no thrills but incredible attention to detail. Make no mistake, though; the low-key image is deceiving, as the brand packs a multitude of features into their rubber in the form of intangibles. For instance, their 30-day trial period is truly a game-changer.
I’m not talking about trying on your wetsuit at home after a shower – barely breathing or moving, not to rip those tags off. I’m talking about cartwheels in the sand. Going over the falls. Running a 100-meter dash or getting a few salty tubes. Putting it through the works is encouraged, and if you don’t like it at the end of the day, just send it back. No hard feelings.
In addition, the performance of the suits in the water is just as impressive as the performance of the crew behind the rubber on land. Ordering your wettie is as easy as jumping online and putting in measurements your better half collected just minutes earlier. SRFACE’s intuitive size finder and temperature guide make the selection process an absolute walk in the park.
Life just keeps on giving, and with that in mind, I ordered myself a 4/3 SRFACE Heat from their online store in a last-ditch effort to save my dysfunctional relationship with cold water and average rubber.
Getting your wettie can be summarized as; Not too long, not too short, just the right amount of time to get excited.
However, the cool thing about the ladies and gents at SRFACE is that they make you part of the family before receiving your goods. While waiting patiently for your precious rubber to arrive, you’ll get little content nuggets delivered straight to your inbox on anything that will improve, maintain and enhance the longevity of your wetsuit.
It might be a minor detail, but I thought it was a nice gesture. Or have you ever received a how-to guide on cleaning your socks the day after you purchased them? Me neither!
Fast forward to four days later and a trip to the post office, I finally hold my purchase in my hands. The first feel is incredibly soft but slightly more restrictive around the seams than other wetsuits I owned, but after a few sessions, I either got used to it, it stretched, or both.
Either way sliding in and out of the wetsuit is a breeze, thanks to the premium Japanese Limestone neoprene. At no point, whether it was before, after or while surfing, did I feel restricted or uncomfortable. In short, the flexibility is next level, easily keeping up with some of the Patagonia suits I owned in the past. At a fraction of a price, that is impressive, considering that wetties at that price point usually resemble the feel of an overbaked pretzel, slash, cookie-cutter.
One of my favorite features of the entire wettie is its quick-drying hollow fiber plush insulation, particularly around the chest and back area, to keep you cozy in conditions best described as “F-this!” While I occasionally got chilly around my lower arms and lower legs, the insulation around the torso is next level without ever feeling rigid or heavy.
At the beginning of this piece, my intention was to put the suit through a series of tests to determine whether the SRFACE Heat 4/3 would be cut out for the end of the world. However, after much deliberation, watching a subpar Youtube wetsuit review hoping for inspiration, I decided against it because I realized some tests are overrated, some are overused, and others are just downright crazy.
Instead, I opted for one single test. To surf on the worst, coldest and ugliest day of the week. Lucky me, the recent cold front pushed over from the Alps hit the Basque Region gloriously – meaning 30 knots onshore winds, heavy rain and inconsistent 2ft slop was delivered on a silver platter just in time.
Two-plus hours later, I can comfortably say, If you’re looking for an affordable wetsuit with all the features you need and none you don’t, SRFACE makes the best suits in the biz. And it’s not even close!
There’s not much you can say about a flexible, incredibly warm and comfy suit. There’s nothing you can say about a flexible, incredibly warm and comfy suit that costs nearly half as much as comparable wetties made by more premium brands out there.
It’s a top-notch product, made by top-notch legends, providing top-notch service.