At A Glance
I recently had the opportunity to test the all-new Amaze Select 5/4 Back Zip from Ion, a wetsuit that is absolutely loaded with tech and features that make their premium wetsuit worth its weight in gold!
In 2022, Ion suits have a few new features that are especially exciting. First up is the new Max_Flex fabric. This cutting-edge material is utilised in the arms and shoulder to offer what might be considered a ridiculous amount of flexibility. The state-of-the-art outside lining offers 30% more stretch than other materials while applying the same force. A way to test that is to take a Max_Flex wetsuit like the Amaze Select and another neoprene wetsuit and stretch the sleeve. Use the same amount of force on each one, and the difference in stretch with the Max_Flex material will be very noticeable. I did this test on my dining table, and it was nice to see what I'd read in marketing materials proven in reality!
Next up on the high tech lineup is Ion's Graphene_Plush inner lining, used throughout the torso and legs. If you turn this wetsuit inside out, you'll see the red fabric, which is the Nobel Prize winning Graphene. It's purported to dry 1.5x faster and be 20% warmer than Ion's Plasma_Plush material, used in the women's Amp and Core models. Ion's Graphene_Plush material features fully graphene coated polyester, making it the warmest wetsuit that Ion has ever made!
The last piece of technology that we want to highlight is Ion's One Global Fit tech means that one cut will fit everyone. Of course, there are still your standard sizes to choose from in each model, but if you're a little tall or a little short or a little thin or a little wide, their extra stretchy neoprene will fit.
There's more - loads more, but I've already written a novel and haven't told you about my experience with the wetsuit! Off the rack, it looks great, with a deep blue colour that almost looks black when wet. It stands out, but not in a garish way. It's a subtle colour that garners a second look but doesn't scream for attention. It's my vibe!
There are a few other very visible features, extra padding in areas like the shins, which immediately had me thinking that this would be the perfect partner for my attempts at kite foiling. There is also a unique pattern on the inside bend of the elbow area and inside of the knee, designed for more flexibility and freedom of movement.
Sizes: 34/XS, 36/S, 38/M, 40/L
On The Water
As soon as I received the demo model, I have to say... I was hesitant! It's a stunning wetsuit with design features up the ying yang, but I've always been a front zip sort of person. And, I normally avoid 5/4's like the plague, as I've found them particularly difficult to get into and out of.
I've always found a back zip to enhance harness pressure in uncomfortable areas. However, that didn't happen at all with the Amaze Select. Not only was it a lot easier to get into than some of the front zip wetsuits I've ridden in recent years, I never once noticed any strange pressure points. The low profile zipper essentially disappeared!
I found the wetsuit very comfortable and as flexible as promised. Even when putting on and removing this very warm 5/4 wetsuit, I did not feel uncomfortably constricted. On the water, the wetsuit didn't get a second thought. There were no annoying moments trying to shake sea water out, or swing my arms around to loosen up the material. The wetsuit fit like a glove, and moved along with me.
Ion's next-level materials are extra flexible, incredibly comfortable, and dry super fast. All in all, I'm super impressed, and after a few years break from wearing Ion suits and stubborn avoidance of back zips and 5/4s - yes, even to the point of riding cold rather than riding stiff - the new Ion Amaze Select has swayed my opinion. I think it's about time I add one of these to my kit!
This review was in Issue 93 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit ION Products
By Crystal VenessEditor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.