At A Glance
When first checking out this suit from ION I was a little disconcerted by the fact it was made of neoprene. Very different from what we have come to expect from the word ‘drysuit’. ION have developed this technology to provide the ideal combination of snug fitting, warm neoprene and the baggy style, nylon drysuits. It initially felt heavy just picking it up, but it is this extra weight and thickness that provides the insulation, and requires less clothing to be worn underneath. It also feels very durable and hardwearing. The Fuse is the premium high-end suit in the ION range, designed to keep you riding when the ground is frozen and even the penguins are huddling together for warmth.
Packed with useful features as well as stylish ones such as the cargo pockets for stashing gloves when you don’t need them, the detachable hood and subtle embossed pin stripe design will have you parting with the money before you can say Johnny Cash. Another practical addition is the P-Zip, so when you are caught short you don’t have a schoolyard trouser wetting accident. (Girls will have to invest in a SheWee to take full advantage of this.)
On The Water
One of the main advantages of the ION neoprene dry suit is that much less clothing needs to be worn underneath compared with the usual thin nylon dry suits in order to keep you warm. This certainly helps with comfort and mobility. Just a thin thermal layer will keep you toasty, and you won’t be riding around feeling like the Michelin Man. The neoprene not only aids warmth and flexibility, it is also more buoyant than nylon and therefore will help with floatation should you get into difficulty and end up spending some time bobbing about in the water.
The large hood really helps keep your head warm, whilst also letting the water drain away easily following any wipeouts.
The neck, wrist and ankle seals all work perfectly and once you have got over the initial super tight feeling they are comfortable and don’t feel restrictive.
Despite the large zip toggle and the improved opening and closing capabilities it was still necessary to have a friend help when wanting to seal/open the suit as the zip is positioned across the back. I’m sure with some gymnastics and a lot of practise it might be possible to do it solo, but asking a fellow kiter to undo a zip is a minor factor if it means you stay warm for longer during the winter months.
Surprisingly good looking, flexible and well constructed. Incredibly warm, it kept the member of our test team with the worst circulation on the water far longer than the rest of us, which is pretty much unheard of! Definitely worth the money if you feel the cold, but don’t want to be sat on the sofa while everyone else is having fun at the beach during the winter.
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This review was in Issue 37 of IKSURFMAG.
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!