Billabong Wetsuits

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Flip756, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Flip756

    Flip756 Member

    75
    36
    Mar 4, 2016
    USA North Carolina
    I'm getting ready to buy a new 4/3 (probably with a hood) and have a 50% off coupon for Billabong. In my mind I was comfortable spending in the 200-250 range which opens up their entire 4/3 line. Does anyone here have an opinion on their suits? I've been rocking the same O'neil 3/2 for years and it finally got to an intolerable level of seam leakage. I replaced it with an Xcel and I've been happy with it so far. Quality seems average based on initial impressions.

    I was originally looking at the 4/3 Furnace Carbon?

    What about the 500$ Furnace Carbon Ultimate? Is "Kiwami Japanese 60% Carbon Fiber Lining: Carbon threads maximize warmth and minimize weight" worth the extra scratch?

    Should I spend my 200-250 on a past season XYZ brand?

    I've always made do with a 3/2 and just passed on those super cold days. The cold doesn't bother me I was just hesitant to make the investment until I felt committed to the cause.
     
  2. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

    1,383
    373
    Feb 15, 2004
    USA New Jersey
    I recently got the Billabong 5/4 Furnace Carbon chest zip hooded winter suit along with some boots and gloves. All three have the Furnace Carbon lining. I'm wearing this through the winter in NJ with water in the 40s and upper 30s.

    Compliments:
    • The suit is generally well made and keeps me warm.
    • Furnace Carbon is definitely legit if you need extra warmth. I was wearing mine for the second time alongside a buddy who was wearing a brand new Billabong Absolute X (their cheaper version winter suit). Same suit specs, except that mine is the higher end model with the lining throughout. He said he was really pretty cold and I felt fine. That seemed like a pretty good side-by-side comparison to me. I was also wearing 3mm gloves on a day when I'd normally wear 5mm, and my hands felt hot. I was surprised how late in the season I was able to get away with 3mm gloves by wearing these.
    Criticism:
    • The hood doesn't fit my large melon as well as some other suits. I haven't spent much time trying to adjust it, so it could be user error. It's got the little chin strap/flap of neoprene, which is tricky. If I cover my chin with it, it yanks my jaw open. If I put it underneath my chin, it doesn't keep me as warm and tends to strangle my neck. I also have a fairly large head, so your mileage may vary.
    Other observations:
    • The ends of the sleeves have a weird rubbery edge, kind of like it was dipped in molten rubber. It is great if you aren't wearing gloves, but it makes the sleeve ends so tight that it's a little difficult to roll back so you can put gloves on. This isn't a big problem, but worth mentioning since all of my buddies also commented on this when discussing suits.
    • The chest zipper goes from left to right, so you have to thread the slider onto the zipper chain. (I don't care about that.) It does leave the opportunity for flushing at the rightmost end from time to time, especially if you accidentally don't zip it aallllll the way.
    It is a new suit this season, so I can't speak about durability. Overall, I like it -- it's a nice, warm suit -- but my biggest complaint is the cumbersome hood (or my large head, I suppose). Hope this helps!
     
    SeniorGrom and Flip756 like this.
  3. JMJackFish

    JMJackFish Active Member

    381
    181
    Jul 5, 2016
    USA North Carolina
    XCel has always worked great for me. My .02 - SteepandCheap
     
  4. Flip756

    Flip756 Member

    75
    36
    Mar 4, 2016
    USA North Carolina
    My 3/2 Excel came from S&C, felt like a great deal.
     
  5. FalseDawn

    FalseDawn Active Member

    I've got a Billabong 5/4 hooded Foil+ that's a few years old. For the price, it's held up well. It was definitely a price point suit though.
    I have the same complaints about the hood fit and chin as above.
    Also, not a quick dryer and it's heavy, but I knew that before buying.
    Wore it Sunday in 16* air and 34* for 2hrs and it performed fine. It will be soon relegated to a back-up though with a new 5/4 on the way.
     

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