Why Xcel Wetsuits are Our Top Choice for 2024

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On a chilly morning, I suggested to my daughter, Stasi, that we head for a session at Mussel Rock, a chilled spot where we live, in Mount Maunganui. She wasn’t too keen on the idea, recalling how during our last surf sessions her old wetsuit flushed with water and left her shivering, with purple lips.

But I had a surprise: two brand new Xcel Comp X wetsuits (one of these was for myself). I know how good these suits are, having used them for years in a range of conditions. Check out my review here.

Now, two of the best sensations in surfing are: breaking out a new board, and wearing a new wetsuit. I explained this to my 10-year old and despite her initial wariness, she decided to give it a try.

When we arrived at the beach, the golden sands stretched out before us, and the waves looked inviting. The wind swung from cross-shore to offshore almost on cue.

Stasi was a bit hesitant about the neck entry on her new Kids’ Comp X 4/3mm Full Wetsuit, but after a few attempts, we figured it out (my advice: let your kid figure it out themselves). The suit, with its 100% ultra-stretch exterior and Thermolite IR core, promised to keep her warm and comfortable.

She couldn’t hide a grin when I asked how comfortable her wetsuit was. Compared to her old Rip Curl suit with ankle zips, this felt extremely silky and warm.

As we walked along the beach, the morning sun started to warm the air, but it was the suits that truly made the difference. We paddled out, and Stasi soon exclaimed that she had never felt so warm in the water. She caught wave after wave, turning gracefully and riding them all the way to the sand. Her confidence grew with each ride, and the smile on her face was priceless.

For me, the Men’s Comp X 3/2mm Full Wetsuit is a game-changer. With its Channel Flex exterior and Thermo Dry Celliant (TDC) infrared interior, it provided unmatched flexibility and warmth. I spent over two hours in the water, pushing Stasi into waves without feeling the chill. The suit’s front zip and Fusion X Seam Tape ensured that no water seeped in, keeping me dry and comfortable.

It’s actually incredible how such a high performance wetsuit can keep you feeling almost dry. You can feel that these suits were designed by surfers, for surfers.

Here are some of the standout specs of our Xcel Comp X wetsuits:

Men’s Comp X 3/2mm Full Wetsuit:

  • 100% Channel Flex
  • Thermo Dry Celliant (TDC)
  • Front Zip
  • 1 piece Front and Back body panel
  • Semi Dry Zipper System with Magnetic closure
  • Fusion X Seam Tape

Kids’ Comp X 4/3mm Full Wetsuit:

  • 100% ultra-stretch exterior
  • Thermolite IR core
  • Critically taped seams

These suits deliver high performance and infrared warmth for extreme comfort. They’re light, stretchy, and incredibly durable. The craftsmanship is top-notch, and the technology allows us to stay in the water longer with less rubber.

We’ve tried almost every wetsuit brand for kids and nothing had Stasi so stoked. She literally wouldn’t return to the beach and we had to return for a second surf before leaving for the day. That says it all.

Our surfing adventures, like this one, have inspired our latest book, “Lilly Loves Surfing,” available on Amazon. It tells the story of a little girl discovering the joy of surfing, much like Stasi does every time we hit the waves.

Xcel: our wetsuit brand of the year

Ed D’Ascoli founded Xcel in 1982, working from the bedroom of his Sunset Beach house. Drawing inspiration from the world-class performances right at his doorstep, D’Ascoli was driven to create high-performance products for athletes who demanded the best. This passion for product development became the defining characteristic of the Xcel brand.

Developing wetsuits in Hawaii came naturally to D’Ascoli, who grew up surfing New Jersey’s chilly Atlantic coasts. While Hawaii’s temperate waters rarely call for more than 2mm neoprene, the challenging waves of Sunset Beach and other North Shore breaks demanded world-class products for maximum performance. D’Ascoli’s experience in establishing Victory Wetsuits (Japan) as an international brand laid the foundation for Xcel, revolutionizing the industry with cutting-edge material and design development.

After establishing a strong presence in the surfing market, Xcel expanded its offerings to wider audiences. Today, Xcel is known for its surf, dive, UV protection, paddle, and wake products. In 1990, Xcel moved to its present headquarters in Haleiwa and opened a California warehouse to better serve mainland retailers and enter the recreational diving market. Xcel’s expertise in surf and military wetsuits quickly set new standards for dive wetsuit design.

Xcel’s reputation for exceptional product quality is the result of an unwavering dedication to research, development, and design innovation. With products for tropical to cold-water conditions, Xcel prioritizes performance, featuring maximum stretch, durability, sealed-seam construction, and a custom-made fit feel.

Xcel has been voted Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association (SIMA) “Wetsuit of the Year” by its industry peers four times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2020). Their commitment to excellence is evident in every suit, making Xcel our top choice for 2024.

Xcel has become my favorite wetsuit brand. Their products are tough, reliable, and the technology is impressive. Plus, they’re a great company to deal with—a true surf icon. So, if you’re looking for the best wetsuits in 2024, look no further than Xcel. They’ve made our surfing days warmer, more comfortable, and filled with stoke.