Tested: Quiksilver Mens Highline Pro 1mm Zipperless Steamer Wetsuit, Eight Months Down the Track

6 Aug 2020 11 Share

Nick Carroll

Senior Writer

COASTALWATCH | NICK CARROLL | REVIEWS

The Wear and Tear Update

I got this crazily super minimised suit in late September last year, did a couple of weeks’ testing, then inflicted the review on ya.

Another four or five weeks passed with me wearing the thing at every opportunity and freaking out all my surfing buddies with its paper-thinness, ease of use, and yep, also the price tag.

Then one morning, I was busy extracting myself from its grasp when I felt something give. It was the short seam running down from the right side of the entry to a point just under the right armpit. It was taped, but now it was split top to bottom.

I called Chris Branch who runs the product R and D at Boardriders. Chris told me I wasn’t the only person to have popped this particular seam. The same thing had just happened to Kanoa Igarashi in France. He asked me to send it back — they wanted to get this fixed before the suit was out in the market. Over the next week Chris’s team went to work trying to replicate the damage, and discovered the seam’s tape had a weakness — when pressured from one particular angle, it tore through. It just happened to be the angle on which pressure was exerted on that one seam, when you were pulling off the suit.

The suit went back to its maker, a custom wetsuit tailor in Japan (so that’s why the rubber is so nuts). The tailor re-did the seam, this time with two layers of tape, one layer opposing the other, so the seam was locked against the tearing pressure. A simple fix that was then applied to every new suit.

Chris returned the suit along with a new version. He urged me just to use the first one as backup, but I ended up using them on interchange. They were my go-to wetsuits for the rare upwelling days in summer then regularly from April on in Sydney. Both would have had 30 or 40 wears in the period. There were no further issues with the seam tape — that seam did feel a bit sturdier than before, but that might have been confirmation bias on my part. One of the suits — the first one — has a slight tear on the left wrist cuff which has stalled on the internal silicon tape and doesn’t seem to have continued beyond that, it might be related to the fact that I often wear a watch on that wrist. Other than that, both suits are still in excellent condition and the rubber retains all its qualities of crazy flex and pretty much perfect memory, it still has that second-skin feel.

I hope it stays that way for a while yet. It’s not a suit I’d choose to wear when a SW snow wind is blowing, but the 1mm Highline Pro is still easily the best pure surfing wetsuit I’ve ever used.

THE DEETS


Label: Quiksilver

Name: Mens Highline Pro 1mm Zipperless Regular Foot Steamer Wetsuit

Price: $999.00

Features:
1mm throughout
Hand-blown Japanese neoprene
Fine-weave nylon outer layer
Slight plush nylon inner
Minimised nine-panel construction
Glue/welded seams with super-thin silicon exterior taping, some support internal spot taping
Zip-free one-shoulder entry (custom to stance)
Weight: 670g dry, 950g wet


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