The kitesurfing test – Gul’s Code Zero wetsuit

One of the perks of the job at Watergate Bay’s Extreme Academy is working with great watersports brands and being able to test new pieces of kit coming on to the market. So when Gul’s new Code Zero Hybrid wet/dry suit became available, sports manager Carl Coombes jumped at the chance.

Gul hybrid wetsuit - the kitesurfing test

Here’s what Carl had to say: “Operating in all weathers all-year round at the beach can prove challenging, so having suitable equipment is essential. With Gul’s historical credentials for surf and sailing firmly in place it was an interesting proposition for a product to combine a range of materials. Made up of a neoprene long-john body bonded to a waterproof material on the arms, the suit also features neck and cuff seals and a zip system.

Kitesurfing with it seemed a good start. Dropping back into the water for the board start was a pleasure with the neck seal not letting any water flush in. The buoyancy inherent with neoprene is also a big advantage over the traditional drysuit.

Gul hybrid wetsuit - the kitesurfing test
Gul hybrid wetsuit - the kitesurfing test

The next test was speed to see how well the ankle and cuff seals worked. Traditionally, wetsuits can suffer from water flushing past your ankle. Here the seal and velcro cuff combination offered a huge improvement.

So far, so good. But would it take the all-important wipe-out every kite surfer has to experience? The suit passed this test too – despite the wind gusting around 45mph – with no water entering any of the seals or zip system.

Gul hybrid wetsuit - the kitesurfing test
Gul hybrid wetsuit - the kitesurfing testGul hybrid wetsuit - the kitesurfing test

The final consideration had to be ‘is it going to keep me warm?’ While the water temperature is still moderate, a cold northerly breeze can always bring a bit of a chill. In this situation the suit handled it admirably. The 4mm neoprene kept me very cosy but could also be bolstered by a thermal rash vest underneath, or even Gul’s neoprene hoody over the top for teaching.

So there you have it, a comfortable, flexible, dry bit of kit that is exceptionally well made for buoyancy and warmth. A perfect piece of kit for kitesurfing.”

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