Just by glancing outside the office window, it’s easy to tell that Summer has been over for a while now. Northern states and our friends in Canada are reporting snowfall already (making the prospect of having to rake leaves this weekend seem not so daunting). What that also means is that many are quickly prepping their personal watercraft for a long hibernation as temperatures continue to plummet. But what about those who choose to brave the winter’s chill and continue riding? What about them? We at The Watercraft Journal typically find ourselves with little choice, as we publish new articles every day, Monday through Friday, all year long. We have to ride. It’s our job. So cold weather gear is just part of the package.
Unless you’re an avid gym rat or naturally blessed with stellar metabolism, wetsuits are not everybody’s cup of tea. They’re form-fitting, uncomfortable and often leave little to the imagination. We’ve had readers say, “I’d rather wear a pair of jeans and a down jacket before squeezing myself into a wetsuit.” Normally, we’d feel the same were it not for Slippery Wetsuits, one of the sport’s longest-running developers and manufacturers of PWC-focused wetsuits. We recently got our hands on their Breaker Wetsuit & Jacket combo and were surprised to find it both uniquely comfortable and even a little complimentary. Sure, we were quickly reminded to drop desserts from our diet, but the Breaker didn’t have us feeling naked as a jaybird.
In the realm of wetsuits, 2mm-thick neoprene isn’t what would be deemed a cold weather suit; but for most, a wetsuit is the last line of defense before wrestling into a rubberized dry suit. The Slippery Breaker is designed to retain body heat while not raising your core temp while active. Slippery has always kept its more active and athletic riders in mind, and the rest of us simply reap the benefit of large arm and neck openings for maximum range of motion without chaffing or itchy patches. That’s accomplished through flat-stitched seams that don’t rub and also protect those high-friction areas. Rather than other manufacturers who try to focus on gimmicky features, Slippery puts all of its focus into excellent molding and superior materials.
The heavy silk-screening or busy patterns is gracefully absent on the Breaker, giving a nice, vertical design to the wetsuit, which also helps us more self-conscious types. (Believe us, modeling a wetsuit to a worldwide audience is embarrassing enough.) While the wetsuit itself is cut into a john pattern, entry is made easy by a large “hook and loop” shoulder closure. The neoprene jacket fits snug and a little like a compression garment, drawing everything in (again, that’s likely not the intent but it helps). A single, large zipper runs up the center and is backed by a flap to keep from snagging chest hair (for you fuzzier riders). The collar is low and open at the throat. Although deceptively simple in its appearance, the attention to detail is noticeable.
The rubberized traction padding on the knees don’t necessarily provide any cushion, but do give some added grip, which we liked while riding our Ergolock-equipped 2018 Sea-Doo RXT-X 300. Standup ski riders will be all-too-familiar with the necessity of this added traction while climbing into the tray, particularly in deep water. Comfortable, confidence-inducing and protective, we’re frankly surprised at how much we enjoyed the Slippery Breaker Wetsuit & Jacket. Priced at $124.95, it’s an investment worth having particularly if you’re like us and planning on riding all season long. For the racer, range of motion is key and Slippery has it in spades.