MYSTIC VOLTT HOODED 6/4/3 WETSUIT REVIEW

Mystic Voltt winter wetsuit review

THIS MYSTIC VOLTT 6/4/3 WINTER WETSUIT & SUPREME 5mm GLOVES REVIEW CAN BE READ IN FULL IN KITEWORLD #108 ON OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM, FIRST PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2020. 

Kite Tests in Kiteworld Magazine issue #108


Mystic Voltt 6/4/3/ Winter Wetsuit & Supreme 5mm Gloves Review

“Super supple, soft, stretchy and yet strong on the outside, fluffy, warm, cuddly and quick-drying on the inside, I’ve been amazed at how dry my skin feels when I peel the suit off after a session.”

TESTED BY: JIM GAUNT


TEST TEAM NOTES:

I also wingsurf. This isn’t a confessional, but as the early grip of winter took hold I transitioned to riding a smaller board, which comes with considerable challenges, resulting in lots of time spent flapping about in the water. Since New Year temperatures have dropped. My kiter friends cruise past me while I pull my core tight, knees down on a board lying just below the surface, trying to hold things steady before I reach for the handles under the wing for the fifth time in as many minutes.

 

Mystic Voltt

 

“Corr, bit cold for all that isn’t it?” They chortle cheerily while zipping past.

“Actually no!” I spit back, but by the time I clear my nose to talk properly they are but a trail of wake.

This is the deepest I’ve remained in the UK in winter for well over a decade (testing in Cape Town was sadly off the menu this year) and I’ve already been wearing a hooded wetsuit (Mystic Legend 5/3) since October. My friends have been belittling me, warning me that by January I’d have nowhere to go; no extra benefit to feel having already gone all-in on the rubber (or so they thought…).

As is often the case I could rely on my wife for guidance. “Why would you not wear a thick wetsuit when it’s cold? Don’t worry about your manliness, dear. It makes no sense to keep wearing a thin wetsuit so you can wear a thicker one down the line. It’s not like you’re a reptile and you store heat.”

And so it came to being that I’ve been in a full winter suit since October. Loving life.

However, I couldn’t really have imagined what an added dimension of joy the Voltt would bring just before Christmas. I was still apprehensive about breaking through into the early new year sessions. Super supple, soft, stretchy and yet strong on the outside, fluffy, warm, cuddly and quick-drying on the inside, I’ve been amazed at how dry my skin feels when I peel the suit off after a session. I hang the suit up for the rest of the afternoon inside out, then turn it the right way round over night and it’s dry by the morning, ready to session again.

I can’t stress enough how comfortable this suit is. I thought that a 6mm suit would be cumbersome and feel heavy, especially across the chest and shoulders, but that’s not the case at all, and by dropping down to 4/3 in certain areas the manoeuvrability remains excellent. I’ve had some energetic SUP sessions in waves and have as much movement as I require, whether when hauling myself back onto the board and onto my feet, or twisting and paddling.

I’ve kite foiled, wave kited, twin-tipped in strong winds, light winds and certainly given this suit a multitude of wipeout tests. For foiling the wind chill factor remains low. On a twin-tip the strong winds slip straight beyond the suit and in waves I hold nothing back, unafraid of rinsing after rinsing as I keep trying to push my level.

In the back of my mind I know that the worst of winter may yet come in February and March, but I feel ready.

Hands-down for me, and this applies to whatever brand of suit you choose for winter, a suit with a built-in hood is a total game changer for your warmth. Zero washing down the back of your neck can literally add an hour or two to your session. It’s a contributing reason as to why I feel so dry underneath. If you’re not a helmet wearer, a hood also adds a vital extra few millimetres of protection for your skull against surfboards trying to attack you in the whitewater, too (speaking from recent experience!).

Wetsuits are a really personal thing, but I’ve honestly noticed that I can far more comfortably outlast any other rider in a standard 5/3 (and whatever extra accessories they’re adorned with) before they come in complaining that it’s become too cold. Modern neoprene design makes a huge difference, and I have confidence that this is a well lasting suit. The Legend 5/3 I mentioned earlier has seen me through two busy half winter and early spring seasons, hauled on and off again and again and has barely a mark. I’ll wear it again as we transition through the season in late March.

I’m wearing a medium Voltt. For your reference, I’m 5’10 / 70 kilos / 31 inch waist. It’s like the suit was made for me.

 

Mystic Voltt

 

SUMMARY:

I am a winter warrior in the Voltt. That’s it.

Actually – I should add that I also get into the suit in the house and don’t get out of it until I’m back in the house, so I can’t comment if you have to get your bits out in the car park first. Maybe take a flask of warm water and flush yourself before getting in the water? Start warm: stay warm… that’s my motto, and this suit helps.

 

ACCESSORIES:

Okay, okay, so on the really cold days I wear an extra neoprene vest underneath, but the Voltt is stretchy enough that it doesn’t then feel overly tight. I just like to be sizzling the whole session, I’m skinny and don’t have much personal insulation!

 

Mystic Supreme 5mm gloves

 

I also have the Mystic Supreme 5mm gloves. Once again, an absolute treat. I’ve never managed to find a set of gloves that I can wear for kiting that don’t end up making my arms ache because of the extra work your hands do in gloves to manage the same level of grip on the bar. The Supremes are very stiffly pre-bent and if you don’t ride like a beginner with a vice like grip, the bend is ideal for getting all your steering work done. Crucially, there’s also enough dexterity to easy grip and grab your trimming system and the coarse grip on the palm and fingers help for all aspects when you’re kiting.

Cold hands can kill a session. Once again, it’s just not an issue. I wear the glove cuffs over the top of my wetsuit and use the Velcro belt to tighten the seal. Barely any water makes its way in during a session, and the moisture that does come in warms up quickly (because it’s probably sweat! Yum).

I haven’t yet found a set of full gloves that I can wear for a long session wingsurfing, though. The smaller handles and lack of support from a harness mean that a much stronger grip is needed and even the pre-bend on these Mystic Supremes don’t help too much. Sure, my hands stay nice and warm, but my forearms burn like hell after 20 or 30 minutes because I have to force my fingers to grip beyond the angle the gloves are pre-bent at.

Open palm neoprene gloves are much better for gripping the small wing handles. While they keep the wind chill off the top of your hands, eventually the relentless bite of cold water against your skin when you crash will bring about an end to your session sooner or later, though. Kiting is by far the more accessible winter activity, if you ask me, and the Supremes are a reliable partnership!

The stiff pre-bend in the gloves makes it pretty much impossible to turn the gloves completely inside out for drying though, so I turn them palms inside out and then squeeze as much water out of the crunched up fingers as I can. I hang them inside out to stop them developing a smell and by the next day they’re pretty much dry throughout (and not smelly).

 

THIS MYSTIC VOLTT 6/4/3 & SUPREME 5mm GLOVES REVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED HERE IN ISSUE #108


Kite Tests in Kiteworld Magazine issue #108


MYSTIC STEALTH HARNESS REVIEW

Do you need a new harness? We tested the new Mystic Stealth Harness earlier this year – the flexagon drytech material leaves your harness feeling just about as light and dry when you finish a session as it did before you hit the water.

Read the full review here: MYSTIC STEALTH HARNESS REVIEW


Why not treat yourself to our special print issues?

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Print: £12
Digital: £5
Print and digital: £15

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