After having tested the excellent T5 G.Vasiliou fins, used by the World Champion in occasion of his success in 2016 in Greece, Syros, we have then tried the same exact wetsuit used by the Champion, the one already analyzed in the X Rays column.
It has been great testing it, but even more it has been special to discover that the wetsuit XT-Diving Heiwa is really a top of the line product. Taylor made for AP, it has offered comfort and, especially, an unexpected resistance.
Wearing and unwearing
The open cell smooth neoprene wetsuit must necessarily be soaked in water and soap to be worn, possibly using the correct technique, or it can be worn directly in the water, in the months when it is not too cold, without using soap (see video below with George Vasiliou). The perfect bondings guarantee optimal resistance during wearing and unwearing, even pulling hard the neoprene, evidently without cutting it with the nails or pointed/sharp elements. The lower part of the jacket is almost completely in open cell smooth neoprene, so one will need to be careful in pulling the jacket up or down without cutting it. Taking off the jacket lifting it and putting the elbow inside to make a lever will be perfectly possible and, in the many tests in the water done, the wetsuit has shown no evidence at all of weak points breaking.
Excellent comfort of a taylor made 5.5 mm wetsuit in soft open cell smooth Heiwa neoprene is expected of course. There are no unprecise points in the cuts and the cap, a very tecnical area, is perfect. A little too large are the trousers waist hight and some limited areas of the jacket, but that is due to the measures sent by AP and not directly taken by XT. Neoprene used is among the softest on the market, even though there can be even slightly softer ones, but those surely do not have the same resistance to wear and cuts.
Heiwa wetsuit by XT-Diving has resulted to be very warm, used all along Summer period and, especially, in Autumn, with water around 20-22°C. Certainly this wetsuit is hotter than most main stream products. In addition, the Heiwa XT-Diving wetsuit is perfect for transfers with the dinghy, as the smooth external surface of the neoprene dries extremely quickly.
Protections and resistance to shocks
Heiwa XT-Diving wetsuit is made without any additional protection on elbows and knees, so it is less adapt to spearfishing in shallow water among the rocks (even though pads can be added on request). That said, the neoprene has demonstrated an excellent resistance to shocks and cuts, not tearing apart even when small cuts are already present on the surface. This aspect is key and makes us give a very high evaluation of the neoprene used.
Very nice in the red-yellow colours, the camouflage covers only part of the wetsuit, and uses the theory of the image decomposition. On the sea floor of rocks and sand the camouflage used seems to hide well the spearo. A different comment is needed for the camouflage paint and logos of the wetsuit received, which has actually been used a lot and in very tough and hot conditions, even under the sun, that have though started wearing out a little bit too fast. XT-Diving points out that the wetsuit has been quickly prepared and sent (true!) to make it immediately available to AP, and so this has led to a quicker paiting process. In standard conditions XT-Diving confirms that camouflage and logos are resistant and long lasting.