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Rip Curl Ultimate Fireskin 5/4/3 wetsuit review

Ultimate Fireskin 5/4/3

Ultimate Fireskin 5/4/3

Rip curl need no introduction these are the daddies of wet suit manufacture, and most discerning surfers would agree they are synonymous with quality style and performance.
As well as being a long-term major player on the world surf market.
For this suit I am a standard medium as I am in most of the new ultra stretch suits – the rip curl ultimate fire skin is no exception.
Time of testing: early January.
  The stretch in this suit like many of the fabrics in today’s suits is to be commended.
The thickness: suit manufacturers vary a lot on what they describe as 5mm and that also varies within manufacturers own range and once the suit is on all changes again.
This is a hefty 5mm, and first impressions are you ain’t ever going to get cold in this sucker as thickness goes through to the bottom of the legs.
Weight wise, it is not light, especially when wet, but other suits compromise weight for less

Out of the Water

Slips on like a glove, the thickness is deceiving, you feel this as the beefy 5mm cuffs snap closed on the arms and legs and fit as good as you could wish.

Once on you realise this suit is as stretchy as any of the suits that are out there, and you feel equipped to take on the Baltic Sea as you instantly begin to heat up.

In the Water

Testing season being early January, wow, amazement, this is boiling, so much so that after the first test the boots are ditched, as a desperate need to vent was required and a twat cap, well, not even considered.

This is without doubt the warmest suit I have tested and that’s a lot now, and I was getting if anything too hot.

Very little, if any flushing as the bat wing is in full effect and no notice of the wind penetrating this suit.

The build of the suit is of top quality, liquid seems and stitching all exuding top quality.

Performance is good, full manoeuvrability with little compromise, paddling, movement etc is fine.

The zip is good being the short length giving more flex through the back.

Downside, and there is only the one, don’t use your thinnest summer board, as this suit weighs a lot when wet, more so than your average winter steamer, possibly down to all those extra air spaces filling with water, I guess I can only speculate to the reason, but I certainly noticed that I was bogging in the water a touch more than I was used to. This is the cost of the ultimate in warmth, and if you feel the cold this suit is for you. If performance, as in lightweight and a touch more freedom is key the Elasto 2 from the same stable fits the bill ( Elasto 2 is made of 100% elastomax 2 neoprene which is exclusive to Rip Curl).

Out of the Water

  Get this puppy off quick; else you may suffer a melt down in the car park. This is the time that re-emphasises how warm this suit is, as you are able to actually insert your keys in the car door first jab! And no need for the après surf shiver frenzy as your core temperature has remained unaffected by the surrounding cold, leaving you ready for more.


This suit has a niche, anyone who feels the cold badly in the winter.

In this category it is unrivalled providing maximum warmth and very good flexibility.

The cost is its weight, that said its brother the Elasto 2 fills that niche, and it’s only the most discerning toothpick jockey that would pick up on this.

So if the cold puts you off the great English winter swell, give this a go, you will not be disappointed.

Press Release

Rip Curl Neoprene -

The Rip Curl Ultimate Fire Skin is made from the lightest, most flexible neoprene ever developed – Elastomax 2. E2 uses the latest super stretch jersey to give the ultimate stretch, and the E2 sponge contains more air pockets per square centimetre than any other neoprene, making it lighter, warmer and more flexible than anything else around. Short back zip reduces water leaks and makes exit and entry to the wetsuit easy.

Rip Curl Fire Skin coating -

Cuts wind chill, less seams hence greater durability. The upper torso is covered with the latest Fire Skin Technology to keep you extra, extra warm!

Rip Curl Batwing system - 

The Rip Curl Batwing provides a barrier from water entry and cold w ater flushes.

Rip Curl Adjustable collar -

Fully adjustable collar system to minimise cold water flushes into the wetsuit

And is made of ultra soft smooth skin (No Need for a Rash Vest)

  Rip Curl 3/4 Grid lock zip -

  A shorter grid lock zipper for minimal water leakage and increased flexibility in the back

Glideskin mesh (exclusive to Rip Curl) on the upper torso region with Elastomax 2 everywhere else

Rip Curl K-Tron Knee pads -

Strong but flexible knee pads to handle copious amounts of duck dives

Rip Curl Aquaban -

  Liquid Silicon Sealed Seams

  Rip Curl critically taped -

Junctions and stress areas adds strength and durability to seams where required

  • Lifetime warranty on all seems 
  • 2 year warranty on knee pads
  • 12 month warranty on materials     

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