The Prolimit Mercury range makes up their selection of winter suits for cold water conditions. With their close proximity to the usually perishing North Sea, it’s fair to say the Dutch brand know exactly how to build a suit for cold water, and for 4/3mm it’s definitely on the warmer end of the spectrum. We managed to ride out a fairly bleak UK winter using it in all but the most extreme sub 10 degree days.
The front zip is an interesting design markedly different to the usual side entry system found on many suits, with the horizontal YKK zip separating the neck seal completely. This makes the suit exceptionally easy to get in and out of, and there’s no over-stressing the neoprene over time and bagging out of the shoulder areas, enhancing the suit’s longevity. It also makes the suit an ideal choice for the more V shaped human, with a Schwarzenegger like upper body. Flushing is avoided with a large gasket underneath the neck seal and some slick skin neoprene tightening the edges. The heel cuffs have three small drain holes to avoid any irritating elephant leg water retention, which is a key consideration for any high-speed wind sport enthusiast.
In the interior, there’s an extensive and luxurious panel of fleeced neoprene extending from chest to knee level, and a smaller section opposite covering your back. Key areas and panel junctions are seam taped with wide bands. Externally, liquid seams are present on every seam apart from the rear of the knee and armpit to avoid rub and enhance flexibility in these areas. The knee panels are hewn from a harder wearing abrasion resistant material, which wears well, particularly noticeable if you are learning to wingsurf and are spending some time kneeling. The neoprene is limestone based, exceptionally flexible and quicker to dry than average.
Prolimit have designed a very elegant and full-featured suit, with high-end materials and excellent thermal properties for the middle of the road neoprene thickness. In situations where you’d normally wear a 5/3, you can definitely get away with a 4/3 and enjoy the flexibility that comes with a thinner suit.