Rip Curl Flash Bomb

Finally, a wetsuit that allows you to be even less manly

Note: The Product Blog is an independent review of new surf gear and solely reflects our opinions based on our own experience. This is not an advertisement.

Generally speaking, if you find yourself needing to wear a full wetsuit chances are it's cold enough to want it to be dry when you put it on. So when Rip Curl announced a new technology that supposedly "dries in a flash" we just about wet ourselves.

If you're like us, you abhor putting on a wet or damp wetsuit no matter what time of the day it is. So a wetsuit that dries itself "in a flash" sounds like a dream come true. And for the most part, the Flash Bomb is exactly that.

"But how long is a flash?" you might wonder. In order to find out we borrowed from one of those cheesy Bounty ads and used a paper towel to compare the drying rate of a Flash Bomb with that of Rip Curl's E-Bomb wetsuit. So we soaked both wetsuits and left them out to dry on a cool, overcast evening.

We didn't have to wait long. Within 10 minutes (yes, you read that right) the fibrous innards of the Flash Bomb were dry to the touch while the other suit was as you would expect it to be: still soaking wet. It's worth noting that the seams and arms of the Flash Bomb dry like a regular wetsuit, but the Flash lining that constitute the parts that matter (legs, crotch, torso) dry in a hurry.

So the Flash Bomb does what it says it does and for the dampness-averse among us, it's one less excuse to skip that second session of the day. But with the 3/2 retailing at around $130 more than Rip Curl's regular E-Bomb, it's a luxury that requires a certain degree of justification and more than a few moments questioning one's manliness before taking the leap.

One thing to be wary of: the first generation of Flash Bombs shipped with a quirky stash/key zipper on the leg: the zipper pops off if you're too rough with it. It happened twice to ours before we sent it back for repair. Rip Curl have since resolved the issue and all new Flash Bombs not only dry themselves, but they keep the car keys safe too.

Rip Curl Flash Bomb
3/2: $399.95
4/3: $419.99

The Soak. Photo: Ellis

Regular 3/2 after 10 minutes. Photo: Ellis

The "Bounty test" being applied to Rip Curl's 3/2 Flash Bomb. Photo: Ellis

As it turns out, "a flash" is about 10 minutes. Photo: Ellis