Review: Matuse Dojo Wetsuit

October 26, 2015 0 Comments

Review: Matuse Dojo Wetsuit

So if you had read my previous post on the best wetsuit for bodysurfing (if not click here), then you would know that I have been completely blown away by the Matuse Dojo wetsuit. Admittedly, this has been purely as a bodysurfing wetsuit, where its a bit of a game changer for those of us ignorant few who have only been using surf wetsuits for shore break bashing.

However, that is one factor and while it is definitely relative, its certainly not the only one of importance when reviewing this wetsuit.

The skinny

This wetsuit is Matuse’s single entry into the triathlete market and as far as tri-suits go, is priced around mid range (USD 400).

What its made of

  • Eco friendlier Limestone derived Raw Geoprene Rubber

Key Features

  • Strategic paneling of varying thickness neoprene (4.5/2/1.5)
  • SCS coating to reduce drag and heat loss
  • Hidden Chamber Tech for buoyancy
  • 100% Hydrasilk interior
  • Winged Shoulders for paddling and chafe reduction
  • Wide Open Body Torso for fit
  • Latent Mini-Zip
  • Low rolled over collar
  • Forearm Pull Pads

Testing Conditions

2 hours of bodysurfing the Winkipop reef on Sydney’s Northern beaches.

  • Water Temp 18-19C
  • Overcast day Temp 21C

    Review Criteria

    Warmth Flexibility Ease of Use Durability
    If you aint warm - then you are cold, which is very very bad as hypothermia is horribly overrated. Resistance to movement - are you a heavy slow lobster or surface skimming flying fish? Do you need to be a contortionist with a degree in physics and a side hobby in escapology. Is it built like one of Hulk Hogan's t-shirts or will it become the next family heirloom.

    Warmth

    Toasty, very toasty. The warmth in this suit stems from a number of it’s key features, the thick aerated neoprene over the body’s core is 4.5mm, a watertight fit that keeps that water layer thin and excellent seams, that offer next to no flushing via the wrists or ankles. The only negative being, a slight but annoyingly noticeable trickle via the back zip entry.

    In the test, admittedly not the coldest water conditions but after 2 hours of swimming and bobbing around, I should have been feeling a bit chilly. Instead, I was cracking the collar open to cool down.

     

    Matuse Dojo Wetsuit

    Immersion testing

    Flexibility

    When you initially put this suit on, it feels tighter, thicker and generally more constrictive compared to a normal surf suit. However, get it into the water and you go from feeling like a shrink wrapped sausage, to a seal like super hero flying out of a phone booth. All the constriction evaporates and is replaced with a buoyant weightlessness that enables you to really open up the shoulder blades without tiring or chafe.

    Ease of Use

    While not my favorite suit entry, the back zip does provide a simple and straight forward mechanism to get in and out of the suit. The closure system is your standard and uncomplicated velcro bat wing.

    As already touched upon – the suit is very snug. Which including the shortness in leg (there is nearly no shin coverage) symptomatic with most tri suits, can result in a bit of a stretching and pulling exercise to get everything in the right position. Nothing serious enough to make you miss waves while wrestling in the parking lot.

     

    Backzip entry

    Backzip entry

    Durability

    The long and short of it, is that this suit was built to be swum in. The very nature of its construction choices in rubber, SCS coating and lightness are all aimed at obtaining that extra in water performance.

    Its a suit that makes you feel like superman but its certainly not bulletproof itself.

    The seams are amazingly low profile for drag reduction but that comes at a cost of less binding. You get the sense that these would pull apart in the long run and lead to leakage.

    Smoothie rubber also has a lot of great qualities but abrasion resistance is not one of them. Contact with anything other than water is going to be detrimental to this suit and even then, you are going to have to treat it that little bit special to get the extra mile out of it.

    Overall

    If I had to be truthful – I did find this offering from Matuse a bit of a random gambit into the specialist tri-suit market. That said, it doesn’t detract from the expertise and effort put into creating a suit that while one dimensional, feels a little bit special.

    With its swim centric design, bodysurfing in this suit is like being the proverbial hot knife through butter. If that knife could also catch waves easier and speed along through barrels. The performance uplift compared to a standard surfing wetsuit is extremely noticeable and will have you grinning ear to ear as you slide along.

    It really is a super hero suit for the right occasion and if you are prepared for that level of dedication and care – well worth the spend. Otherwise best to stick to a less specialized suit with more usage options.

    Winki Bodysurfing Barrel

    Bodysurfing testing case #1

    Review: Matuse Dojo Wetsuit Overall Score: 78%
    Warmth
    Flexibility
    Ease of Use
    Durability
    Price


    Russel P
    Russel P

    Author

    Has spent over 30 years of his middle aged life trying to spend more time in the ocean. Likes to surf, bodysurf, free dive and pretend he enjoys chasing big waves.


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