At A Glance
Ho Stevie! might not be a name you're familiar with, as us kiters typically gravitate towards the major kitesurfing accessory brands, and, if not, a major surf brand. However, in a world where everything is getting increasingly more expensive, we wanted to take a minute to focus on value for money.
When we saw the price point of the Ho Stevie! wetsuit, we were pretty sure that there was no chance a suit priced at $200 USD could match the competitors within the kitesurfing industry. But, we had to know for sure!! So, we ordered a suit and, while excitedly awaiting its delivery, dug a bit more into the story behind the brand.
Ho Stevie! is a California based company owned by a surfer whose goal is to keep access to water sports accessible to all. Steve, originally from Wisconsin, moved to San Diego in 2009 to follow his love for surfing, and ended up spending some time in Kauai for several months surfing in boardshorts. Starting a brand isn't easy, especially up against industry giants, but Steve had a vision and he made it work by cutting out the middleman and foregoing athlete sponsorships. Ho Stevie! is wholly focused on delivering premium products at a much more attractive rate, and, like Steve says, "Who doesn't want to save money!?"
The 4/3mm wetsuit we ordered arrived in a flat cardboard box. Our first thought was, "Who ordered pizza?!" We quickly realised it was, in fact, the Ho Stevie! Surfing Wetsuit, arriving in a simple but effective box without unnecessary plastic packaging. It was great to see the little details on the back, including instructions on how to clean your suit and how to extend its life span.
At first glance, we were quite surprised by the feel and look of the suit. It's a minimalist black neoprene, front zip wetsuit, with the cheerful Ho Stevie! Surf Club palm tree logo. While simple, it is not lacking in the features that matter to watersports users. We were stoked to see an original YKK zip, the creme da la creme of zippers. A nice feature on this suit, which should be a staple in all wetsuits, was the key loop in the front of the suit, for easy storage of your car's water key while out for a session. The price point of the Ho Stevie! is incredible, and before even putting it on, we were already blown away by the quality for the price.
Sizes: XS, S, ST, MS, M, MT, LS, L, LT, XL, XXL, 3XL
Thickness: 3/2mm, 4/3mm
On The Water
Putting on a fresh suit always feels good, and the 4/3mm Ho Stevie! offered a comfortably snug fit from the get-go. The front zip design delivered a nice seal around the neck, ensuring water doesn't get in.
Ho Stevie! didn't skimp on the suit, another pleasant surprise considering the price point they were able to achieve. They chose a super-stretch limestone based neoprene, offering a lot of stretch in the arms, ideal for reaching for the board to nail that tweaked grab, or swinging those arms to gain those extra style points in the surf.
They also used GBS (glue and blind stitched) seams with neoprene tape on top, which was noticeable while in the water, as there was no pesky water leakage. The 4/3mm we tested was also toasty warm, making for a comfortable ride in cool Atlantic seas. The robust knee pads were comfortable and placed perfectly. The inside of the suit has a furry material in the chest and stomach area which proved to be comfortable. quick-drying, and warm.
The Ho Stevie! offers up everything a kiter needs from a wetsuit at a price that can't be beat. The quality is very good, and, just to be clear, you're not getting a $200 wetsuit for $200. As the Ho Stevie! website states you're essentially getting a $400 wetsuit for $200. We agree. This suit isn't going to fall apart in one season, so you can use it, abuse it (Disclaimer: they recommend not abusing it), and keep shredding the gnar, whether it's on the kite or in the surf.
For $200, you seriously can't go wrong, and if you've been holding off on updating your tired, holey wetsuit due to the growing cost of a premium kitesurf wetsuit, this is an option well worth considering! Next time, we're ordering a 3/2mm for the warmer days!
This review was in Issue 96 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Ho Stevie