Ride Engine exploded onto the accessories scene a while ago with a range of harnesses that changed the market forever. A year or so later they hit the ground running with a neoprene range, and it has been going from strength to strength ever since. The APOC 5/4/3 Hooded is their warmest suit in the lineup. With a built-in hood, it’s designed for those super cold days when only the best will do.
Construction is to a high standard, limestone neoprene is used throughout and offers excellent stretch. The seams are glued, blindstitched, taped and given a liquid seal on the outside to keep water out and heat in. The Thermalux Poly Fleece liner on the chest and back dries fast and is incredibly warm. And those last words sum the suit up in a nutshell. It’s toasty; we’ve spent 3 hours on the water in sub 5 degrees Celsius and not felt cold at all, which is impressive.
Elsewhere the drainage holes on the chest, back and legs prevent any bloating after heavy wipeouts. It’s worth mentioning that water ingress into this suit is incredibly low too, the liquid seams doing an excellent job of sealing the suit and the well-fitting hood helping to keep as much water out as possible. The soft mouth cover on the hood is a clever touch and easily folds out of the way when it’s not too cold, and it is easy to pull the hood on and off as the temperature allows.
It’s worth noting that while being super warm, it is still comfy to ride with the hood pulled back, which lets out a lot of the heat from your head. This means you can wear this suit on warmer days too. If you want to stay warm on the water the Ride Engine, APOC 5/4/3 Hooded is about as hot as you can get. There is a trade-off for flex of course, but this suit while being thick and heavy isn’t too restrictive and is a testament to modern wetsuit design that you can have this much warmth and still be mobile.
Hot, very hot, with reasonable flex, you can wear this on the coldest of days and not feel like it is holding you back. The well-engineered integrated hood adds a real bonus of performance on the freezing days and can be pulled back and out of the way without any discomfort too. High-quality materials and construction are used throughout, the sealed seams don’t stretch as much as non-liquid sealed ones, but they do keep the water out incredibly well. When it’s freezing, you’ll find me wearing this at the beach!
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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!