I has been a little bit less than 2 years since I’ve swapped my Matuse Tumo for a brand new Rip Curl Flash Bomb. My beef with the Tumo was frequent flushing through the collar, what use is there for a top winter wetsuit if it lets cold water in every third duckdive flushing all the had insulating work into the booties or out of the suit. Flash Bomb works much better. First few sessions I was almost completely dry crawling out of my wetsuit and even after 2 years, when all wetsuits stretch out a little the flushing is still minimal.
I haven’t used the 5/3 as much as my thinner wetsuits but still I has seen about 60-80 surf sessions in water temperatures from 50-60F (10-15C), lots of times with strong wind. Here are my thoughts and observations:
RC 5/3 Flash Bomb is a top of the line RC wetsuit and for the price you pay you expect a very good wetsuit. The Flash Bomb comes through. It’s a very warm and comfortable suit. Of course don’t expect miracles from a 5 mil suit, it’s nowhere near like wearing nothing when it comes to paddling:). I’ve heard some complaints about the quality of built when it comes to RC wetsuit, like seams falling apart after one year etc… I must say that after 2 years mine still look as good as new.
Front zip is turned around from what you would expect. You zip from the outside in. This might seem weird but it is much more forgiving on the zipper which gets stretched and pulled on when you are putting it on. Zipping from outside in eliminates this.
Seams are taped with stretchy E4 tape. As said, all the seams and tape is still where it need to be and look as good as new.
The body and the legs of the wettie are lined with Rip Curls flash lining. The lining really is dry to touch in 15 minutes making putting on a wet wetsuit a little more comfortable. But because of the 5 mil neoprene that holds more water than lets say a 3/2 the lining gets damp when you start moving, pulling and squeezing the neoprene to put it on. Don’t expect it to be completely dry. Also – if you like to pee in your wetsuit, the lining starts to smell much faster that neoprene:).
No more zippers on key pockets – thumbs up. I don’t use the key pocket regularly so each and every zipper that I have owned got stuck making the pocket useless. Fresh water, soap, WD40:) nothing helped. So the best thing to do is to get rid of the zipper.
If you have any questions, ask them in the comments.
Rip Curl 5/3 Flash Bomb Review
I gave it 4 stars for flexibility because it’s a thick wetsuit. It is flexible for this thickness.