As the WSL Championship Tour heads to Europe, the top surfers from around the globe are gearing up to take on the powerful waves and cold waters of Supertubos in Portugal. On one of the rare occasions, we get to see the world's best (wet)suited and booted, it's the perfect opportunity to take a dive into what neoprene the pros have been supplied by the top brands in surfing to keep them warm and help challenge for the title. Read on for our experts breakdown...
After a slow start to the season, you can be sure Rip Curl's poster boy Gabriel Medina will be in full charge to try to make up lost ground in Portugal and get his campaign for a 4th World Title back on track. One thing’s for sure, Rip Curl's pure performance oriented E-Bomb wetsuit with E6 neoprene and revolutionary zip-free design will take his mind off the cold water leaving him to focus on scoring at Supertubos… and we know what he is capable of there! (Check out his Instagram for a preview of Gabby on fire)
Heading into Portugal with a win under her belt already, Rip Curl's Molly Picklum has got to be a favourite for another. But don't expect her team mate, compatriot, and idol Tyler Wright to sit back and let that happen. Although Molly's Instagram suggests she is not looking forward to the cold waters of Europe, we know she will be just fine in the E-Bomb wetsuit with its E6 Thermo lining. But if that doesn't cut it for the Australian she might pick out the Flashbomb with its full E6 Flash Lining and E6 Neoprene.
Take your pick from Billabong's star studded team for the win in Portugal… this year could be all about Australia's latest breakthrough surfer Ethan Ewing who will hope to challenge under the watchful eye of multiple world champ and compatriots Mick Fanning. However, after a tricky first couple of events, our eyes are trained on last year's semi-finalist Italo Ferreira. Whoever it is that takes the baton for Billabong, it wouldn't be a surprise to see one of their high performance Furnace or Revolution wetsuits with incredible Airlite 4D exterior riding the chair up the beach.
Something of a sleeping giant (literally), you can never count out Jordy Smith - a significant result always feels just around the corner for the big man. No stranger to colder waters, O'Neill's latest version of the Hyperfreak Comp wetsuit with unrivaled Technobutter 4 Neoprene could give the South African the edge to deliver.
Sitting just above the mid-season cut, rookie Caity Simmers is causing a stir in her first year on tour. She looks comfortable and dangerous and we're looking forward to seeing what she can produce on the European leg. Caity has the luxury option of O'Neill's Hyperfreak+ wetsuit, the premium TB4X neoprene being so stretchy they can get away with an extra 0.5mm thickness to protect against chilly waters without impacting the performance of the suit.
Roxy boasts some of the best talent ever seen on tour. Look no further than Stephanie Gilmore for an unparalleled career spanning 8 world titles back to 2007! Following in her footsteps with her own impressive record is team mate Caroline Marks, who is in real contention at Supertubos where her exciting style should see her excel. The Roxy riders are backed by a brand that leads the way in women's performance sportswear, as shown with the excellent eco-conscious and great value-for-money Elite wetsuit.
Mystic's WSL Charge is led by the fiery and passionate (and at times controversial) Caio Ibelli, who has had a fantastic start to the season. Expect to see him rocking Mystic's stylish, performance zip-free wetsuit, known simply as 'The One'. High stretch, low weight, high performance, it's the one he's been looking for to get him over the line in Portugal!
Written by Will Arney.
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