reviews

Rip Curl Flash Bomb

Finally, a wetsuit that allows you to be even less manly

| posted on January 31, 2012

Note: The Product Blog is an independent review of new surf gear and solely reflects our opinions based on our own experience. This is not an advertisement.

Generally speaking, if you find yourself needing to wear a full wetsuit chances are it’s cold enough to want it to be dry when you put it on. So when Rip Curl announced a new technology that supposedly “dries in a flash” we just about wet ourselves.

If you’re like us, you abhor putting on a wet or damp wetsuit no matter what time of the day it is. So a wetsuit that dries itself “in a flash” sounds like a dream come true. And for the most part, the Flash Bomb is exactly that.

“But how long is a flash?” you might wonder. In order to find out we borrowed from one of those cheesy Bounty ads and used a paper towel to compare the drying rate of a Flash Bomb with that of Rip Curl’s E-Bomb wetsuit. So we soaked both wetsuits and left them out to dry on a cool, overcast evening.

We didn’t have to wait long. Within 10 minutes (yes, you read that right) the fibrous innards of the Flash Bomb were dry to the touch while the other suit was as you would expect it to be: still soaking wet. It’s worth noting that the seams and arms of the Flash Bomb dry like a regular wetsuit, but the Flash lining that constitute the parts that matter (legs, crotch, torso) dry in a hurry.

So the Flash Bomb does what it says it does and for the dampness-averse among us, it’s one less excuse to skip that second session of the day. But with the 3/2 retailing at around $130 more than Rip Curl’s regular E-Bomb, it’s a luxury that requires a certain degree of justification and more than a few moments questioning one’s manliness before taking the leap.

One thing to be wary of: the first generation of Flash Bombs shipped with a quirky stash/key zipper on the leg: the zipper pops off if you’re too rough with it. It happened twice to ours before we sent it back for repair. Rip Curl have since resolved the issue and all new Flash Bombs not only dry themselves, but they keep the car keys safe too.

Rip Curl Flash Bomb
3/2: $399.95
4/3: $419.99
RipCurl.com

The Soak. Photo: Ellis

Regular 3/2 after 10 minutes. Photo: Ellis

The "Bounty test" being applied to Rip Curl's 3/2 Flash Bomb. Photo: Ellis

As it turns out, "a flash" is about 10 minutes. Photo: Ellis

  • aaron moats

    seriously the best wetsuit ive ever had! durable, warm, flexible, and overall the new color ways are sick!

  • Noah C.

    See those wet spots on the towel where his fingers were? That means it’s actually still wet underneath the so-called “fibrous innards” – He just didn’t push hard enough with his palm. Sorry, but when it’s on your body, it feels wet even after a couple hours. And to get completely dry, I have to hang my suit all day. So I guess a “flash” is about 8 hours.

  • Max

    My last 3 wetsuits have been RC, the 3rd last one being a full replacement from RC as the one I had was breaking in all the places it shouldn’t; the key elastic and zipper tag, the chest pull tag and some key seam area’s wearing out within the first 12 months. The RC service has been awesome in response and that has kept me happy and appreciative but I am loyal to the quality and I don’t think the product issues should be happening so frequently in the first place. Waiting 3 weeks to get broken gear back wears a bit thin the 3rd and 4th time (also had the same with my RC oceanmaster watch. Had to go back 3 times). So props to RC for looking after me but please don’t cut corners with the quality. I don’t reckon it will pay for you in the future as there are so many other choices out there and now I’m keen to check them out…

  • Jon

    inside is dry within 20-25 minutes, outside is still wet but who cares, that ain’t the part your putting on for your early morning grueler sesh. Solid suit.