Gear Junkie Review: The Matuse Hoplite Wetsuit

January 25th, 2010 | By | 1,623 Comments

The Matuse Hoplite blends functional design and top-notch materials, delivering a wetsuit that’s both warm and surprisingly comfortable.

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A 5 star review of the 4/3/2 Matuse Hoplite Wetsuit from Gear Junkie:

 

What to do on a brisk November day in New York City? Go surfing, of course! The Atlantic coast of Long Island is home to some great surf spots like Long Beach Island, only a short ride from the bustle of Manhattan. Bring a wetsuit though, since the chilly water and whipping winds can make things a little, well, refreshing.

The upgraded Hoplite 4/3/2mm fullsuit is the workhorse of the Matuse wetsuit line. It’s constructed of ultra-stretchy “Yamamoto Geoprene” rubber, which is produced from limestone as opposed to standard neoprene from petroleum byproducts. Potential environmental advantages aside, the Geoprene foam boasts a higher closed-cell ratio than regular neoprene. This means more insulation with less waterlogging.

 

Pulling on the Hoplite wetsuit takes a little patience. It has a fit that’s even more snug than other comparable suits. But as I dove in to the fifty-something-degree Atlantic water, my first impression of the suit was a pleasant surprise — virtually no trickle of cold water down my back. This is thanks to the company’s “flood gate” bib system, which is built into the torso of the suit. The seamless neck seal, which has a slightly lower cut, was also much more comfortable than other wetsuits I’ve worn.

The sleek fit is especially appreciable in the water, and the suit’s ergonomically-shaped panels of flexible Geoprene allow excellent range of motion while paddling. Smart placement of the thicker 4mm layers means the Hoplite maintains an unobtrusive, streamlined feel. In fact, it wears much more like a thin tropical suit than a cold-water steamer.

The Geoprene Hoplite felt substantially warmer than other similar-weight neoprene wetsuits I have tried. When my face and hands were cold enough to call it a day, my body remained toasty. Warmth and comfort are enhanced by the glued, blind-stitched, and taped seams, which ensure no leaky stitch holes and no chafing.

Instead of standard nylon cloth coating, the Matuse suit features a “Hydrasilk” finish. It’s smooth to the touch and it won’t snag every Velcro tab in sight. More importantly, it did a great job blocking a stiff 45-degree breeze when I was sitting up out of the water waiting for a wave.

The suit glides beautifully through the water, too. I discovered this when we finished up our session with a little bodysurfing. Just ask that seal who was jealously watching me from the beach.

The Hoplite’s unrestrictive fit and wind-blocking abilities could make it a great option for cold-water rafting and boating as well as surfing. The price tag may be its only drawback — it’s roughly $100 more expensive than some other high-end competitors. But the Hoplite is a performance wetsuit that still delivers solid bang for the buck. Based on the design details and the quality of the materials, I’d also expect above-average durability from the suit.

—Contributor Benjamin Roman is a writer and design consultant from Venice, Calif.

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Hozell Helping Haiti

January 25th, 2010 | By | 183 Comments

Help Hozell Help Haiti…and get a rad shirt too.

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From Hozell:
If you’re like us, you wish you could donate endlessly… but don’t have the spare cash to throw down. We’re creating this t-shirt, with proceeds going to The Red Cross and other relief efforts to help the people of Haiti, so you can help the cause and get a great looking tee out of the deal. 

If you can… get one for yourself, one for a friend, one for your mailman, your gardener, the guy at the gas station, and so on. 

[though this item isn't being custom constructed at 100% of our standard hozell retail quality (to keep the cost down and raise more money), these shirts are still soft as hell and super comfortable]

Get the Hozell for Haiti Tee HERE.

Behind the Scenes Makeup Tips from Today’s Photo Shoot

January 20th, 2010 | By | 1,381 Comments

Get the Swell model look with these makeup tips from our makeup artist Rene.

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Although we fully believe that beauty is on the inside, it never hurts to add a little illuminating powder to bring it out from time to time! Our makeup artist Rene was nice enough to share some of her insider secrets on how to get a flawless natural look. Get ready for a pretty good sized list…apparently even Swell models need a little liner-love to be camera ready!

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The full deal:

1. Start with a light moisturizer- Garnier Skin Renew Moisturizer

2. Add a solid foundation: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer

3. Conceal: Apply Smashbox High Def Concealer under eyes

4. Color: Add Shiseido Gold Lights Eyeshadow to lids, followed by Mac Paradisco and a light shade like Smashbox Flirt at inner corners to widen the eyes.

5. Define: Line top and bottom with a dark copper liner, like CK Ultimate Edge in Cocoa Sheer. Add a coat of black mascara, Rene uses L’Oreal Voluminous mascara, for some added drama.

7. Illuminate: Light up your look with a highlighting liquid- Giorgio Armani Radiant Pigments.

8. Lips: Brush on a natural lip color and a little gloss.

9. Bronze: Add a final touch of color with a little bronzer- Laura Mercier Bronzer.

Don’t have time for full shebang?

We asked Rene to pick out one essential shouldn’t be left behind….a good foundation.

10. Smile!
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Party Tips from Taj and Stab Mag

January 19th, 2010 | By | 3,006 Comments

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Photo: thebrownbrothers.com

Recent reports from Taj Burrow and fellow aussie Stab Magazine have shown a sufficient amount of empirical evidence to prove that they have discovered the answer to the age-old question, “what makes a party off the hook?”
According to Taj, pro surfer / party aficionado, the answer has been right in front of us….a shitload of chicks:
“Well if I’m gonna have a party, and especially one that the whole south-west is talking about, I want it to be a good one and to have a good one you have to have the right dudes, which is all my mates, and a shitload of girls. It’s pretty obvious ingredients and that’s what we went for and that’s what we got. It’s pretty simple.”
And to think, all this time we’ve been concerned with the e-vite invite text. Thank you Taj and Stab Mag. You have once again brought light onto the dark secrets of yet another life mystery. 

Still baffled on the logistics? Read the riveting news at Stabmag.com