Surface immersions suits (or drysuits) are slowly catching on in UK SUP circles and Ocean Rodeo is a brand leading from the front. Their sensible colour ways, cool snowboard styling, feature packed suits and competitive price points should ensure a large following.
During the winter cold snaps we tested the brand’s Heat suit, which arrived looking stealth in charcoal and black. Dom Moore, Ocean Rodeo UK media relations guy, puts this to great use down in Kernow – busting out downwind missions in Arctic temperatures.
One noteworthy point was how easy the suit was to get into. Many drysuits have super tight neck, wrist and ankle seals which, while great for preventing water flush, doesn’t do much for quick splash ‘n’ dash SUP sessions. This isn’t to say they aren’t snug fitting and secure; quite the contrary in fact. The heavy duty zipper is also a nifty design and, instead of fastening across shoulders, it loops round the wearer’s neck – no having to get a mate to zip you up.
As with all drysuits, you’ll need to expel trapped air before hitting the brine, otherwise you’ll end up as a floating marker buoy. Once sorted though the Heat fits like a glove and is supremely comfortable and quite flattering to the wearer.
Out on the water it keeps paddlers ablaze with warmth and allows unrestricted movement through each stroke, manoeuvre and turn. Inevitably we ended up taking a dunking but the suit didn’t leak and, on inspection after testing, the only moisture present was sweat.
It’s worth pointing out that the fringe seasons of autumn and spring, when air temperatures are slightly higher, are still perfectly fine for the Ocean Rodeo Heat. Simply discard the long sleeve/leg thermal layering and replace with shorty versions.
Ocean Rodeo’s Heat surface immersion/drysuit boasts good looks, high end technical features that you usually only find on more expensive models and a level of insulation that’s second to none. Perfectly at home in either paddle surf, downwind or flat water environments, if you want to be as toasty as possible during cold snaps then look no further. If versatility is your thing, and getting maximum bang for your buck, then don’t forget the Heat is perfectly applicable to spring and autumn use, as well as deep winter.