Ocean Rodeo Soul drysuit review

First impressions:
-Extremely well made
-Sturdy but not clumsy
-Tailored for relatively skinny people with slim hips
-Lots of material in upper body, a price you have to pay for the smart solution with the horse shoe shaped neck opening (when I tried it on the first time it felt like having a peacock under the jacket :-) )

After first surf session (in this case windsurfing):
-Very good mobility
-Feels flexible and pliant, not bulky
-The impregnation on the legs/trousers is not as good as the jacket. Not a water drop stayes on the jacket, the trousers however get quite wet and dense.
-Difficult go get the last air out of the suit before closing the zipper
-If you use a seat harness with a low hook, the lowest part of the jacket will become a bit bulky and be in the way for hooking in smoothly
-Keeps dry and sealed despite crashes (have my own neohood over the neck lining though)
-Relatively sluggish zipper, be sure to keep it in good condition/greased
-Be sure to check that the zipper is closed ALL the way into the rubber closing, sluggish at the end
-Learn how much to wear under. I had a thin merino shirt and a thin fleece shirt on upper body and just one layer of very thin merino on lower part. Worked well in 33F air and 42F water.
-Totally priceless to be able to take the top off and fold down inside the jacket (when you take a break or drive car etc )

-I choose a Small (I'm 162 cm = 5'2 and ca 56 kg = 121 lb) and at first I thought it looked way too big. It has a lot of fabric and space in the upperbody and also on the backside/bum. This is to be able to have maximum range of movement of course and also for having the smart solution at the neck.
But after the first try on water I'm very pleased with the size acctually. Leg length is perfect and it is skinny in the waist area, which would have made a XS too tight to get over the hips.

I would say the OR size chart is accurate about body weight and inseam/waist. Not height in my case (chart said XS) but the suit turned out to be near perfect anyway.

Also it's almost narrow at the moment when you put the arms in and pull up the upper part - so an XS wouln't have worked.
At the first session I had my surf floatation vest over, which kept all the fabric tight. We'll see what I think about the upper part when I surf without it. Also note that my floatation vest is size XS, it's really quite small and I could fit it over the jacket. So the suit it's not especially thick or clumsy.

Lots of material at the neck area..

Really puffy before you fix it up.

Get the air out, fold away by the zippersides before closing the jacket - and you look more normal :)

Especially the wrist gaskets have to be trimmed (with scissors), very tight
despite serious attempts to strech them!

No problem to get the little vest over.

Here you can see residual air in the arm area.

Fold away the lowest part of the jacket if you have a low hook.

This is not tight!

This is tight, you have to close it all the way against the rubber edge.

I'll be writing continiously, I'm sure I'll think of more things as we get along.. But I can say that I didn't miss my old 6/5 hooded wetsuit for a second, beeing dry is wonderful!

-------------------------------- KITESURF ---------------------------


Did my first kite sessions in the suit mid Nov -16. It felt really good, great range of movement and flexibility.

Completely dry during my first session. Pretty damp at the wrists and ankles the second session, probably after a lot of crasches where water could be pushed through the gaskets - and a rather long bodydrag when the board was lost (read a tips that you can put velcro bands over wrists etc, to stop the waterpressure - read more about this at the bottom!). The more jumping I do, the more I'm tempted to try this.
The last time I was out, I was almost completely dry again. The small dampness was probably condensation from beeing too hot.

Great range of movement, especially nice in upper body and shoulder area.
Again: incredible nice to go to the surf and back home wearing the same suit (the top opened up during driving). Not having to change.
Never cold out on the water (provided having suitable under garment!) despite sometimes extensive time in the water (bodydrag e t c). No problem beeing out several hours, while others have to retire from the cold waters.

My harness didn't do well with the suit, kept slipping up. Had to change to a seat harness.
Bodydragging can be a little more work. The resistance is greater at the neck area due to the collar and at the wrists where the arm sleeve collects water (at the gasket area).
If you're not completely dry you will feel the cooling once up on land. To stand in the wind with a damp shell will cool you down more than you would think. However it dries pretty fast (the jacket faster than the pants, except the sidepocket area made of neoprene).
The undergarment can become damp of condensation if you dress up too warm underneith.

Tips & Tricks to avoid dampness at the wrist and ankles:

Put velcro over the ankle gaskets, it works very well. I thought at first that it was really strange that small amounts of water could leak in, despite me having high ankle boots that fit pretty tight. But it seems that water is just pushed in somehow (pressure inside the boot or what ever).

Be careful so that the sleeve of your under garment shirt isn't creeping to close to the wrist gasket when you take the suit on. It has a tendency to "work" it's way towards the tight part and almost out. Since I started to fold away a small part of the outer part of the sleeve it became a lot better.