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For many seasons now, ION have separated their ‘top end’ wetsuit line (and, come on, we’re serious water-people here, we’re not looking below the top end suits!) into two options, the Select and the Amp series. The Select is targeted at the ‘wiping ice off your windshield’ sectors of the market – think Scandinavia or Alaska. Whereas the Amp gives you a bit more stretch for your $ while compromising a little bit of warmth. Of course you can always go for a thicker Amp if you prefer that style of suit, so it really is a lot down to personal preference. For me, I generally prefer a flexier suit so was happy to put the new Amp through its paces.
Having had the chance to check over these suits for a few years, it’s been good to see how they have developed both in terms of materials and eco credentials, and capitalized on new material options, and also how their suits have more aligned with suits from the surf industry in terms of fit and features. The Seek Amp sees a renewed panel layout for this season, with a ‘rhombus-shaped’ exterior which they claim improves stretch across the suit, and a focus on reduced panels and maximum stretch throughout. With an eye on prone foiling, where you may be spending a lot of time paddling, we found that this more ‘surf’ oriented suit provided an unrestricted feeling across the shoulders, and plenty of freedom of movement. We had the 3/2 on test and overall it felt light and fluid. The chest zip fitted well over the neck and shoulders and had zero flush-through when duck-diving.
In terms of warmth, the Seek Amp utilizes ION’s Plasma Plush 2.0 and Hot Stuff 2.0 which have featured in their suits for a few seasons. We found that this provided additional warmth and wind resistance without feeling restrictive or like you had a Merino vest under your suit! For winging, where you spend more time exposed to the wind without being immersed in water, the level of warmth was good, although as winter bites, it is the air temp that would see you reaching for the 4/3 over the water temp.
Overall we found the Seek Amp a comfortable suit to wear which provided excellent range of movement and was warm enough to wear prone foiling and winging in water temperatures below 15 degrees – impressive for a 3/2. AH