With all the goings on in the world it is no secret that even managing to get hold of a new wetsuit (or kite, or board or harness) can be pretty trying… So when we received a box with an actual wetsuit inside we were pretty stoked! Good start ION… We had the Amaze Amp to put through its paces. The Amp series has been a staple of ION’s catalogue for a few years now and strives to get the balance right for riders who want to stay warm, but not to compromise on flexibility. If you want the warmest wetsuit in their lineup then the Select is for you but, as wetsuit tech continues to improve, if you’re not cracking through ice to get to your local spot, for most riders you can have the luxury of maximum flexibility and warmth these days. And we are finding in northern Europe that – for kiting when you are not in the water too much – you rarely need to go thicker than a 4/3 for all but the most brutal of days. It’s a good time to be alive.
The first thing you note about the Amaze is of course the colorway – it’s pretty blue… But the pattern is super nice and easy on the eye. We would say to all kite wetsuit companies that it would be great to always have a black option too – particularly if you’re looking to hit the surf market where zany wetsuit colorways aren’t always what you’re looking for. Moving on to the important stuff and the materials, and at the core of the Amaze is the inside lining, the Hot Stuff 2.0 which is used throughout aside from the shoulders and arms, where you need that extra flex. The extra warmth is provided by the Plasma Plush back panel which keeps your back and your internal organs warm and keeps you going for longer.
Getting down to business and the Amaze Amp fits very well – wetsuit sizing can be notoriously fickle but generally we have found that ION have things pretty well worked out with good consistency year-on-year. The Amaze is definitely at the warmer end of the 4/3 scale and provided plenty of protection even in the northerly winds… The flexibility is also good with a nice amount of movement in the arms and with well molded knees to keep you comfortably popping well into your session.