I wasn’t looking forward to my first test sesh in the Manera Seafarer 3/2 wetsuit - the French brand’s latest wicked rubbery offering - with customary zeal, truth be told.
Not because of any misgivings about the suit’s appearance, mind. The colour, anthracite, looks great; an earthy, neutral-toned dark grey. The logos are minimal; small and white at chest and sleeve, with a suit-coloured, and thus very discrete, Stay Salty between shoulder blades.
Not because the surf forecast wasn’t great, either. It wasn’t, but that’s never bothered me too much in the past.
Not because of any threat from predatory marine wildlife, quite the opposite. With the spring equinox upon us, it’s peak birding around here. Just this morning, a lone razorbill was frolicking yards from the shorey, sanderlings were doing a courtship dance over the A-frame peak that dominates the beach. A km or so out back, keen eyes might've just made out splashes of dive bombing raids, probably gannets. Exciting times for the amateur birder.
No, my chief concern was the cold. Again, not something I usually worry about, but this being a 3/2, and this also being March, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was donning a summer wetsuit prematurely, a season or two early.
For my last surf two days’ previous, when air temps were some ten degrees warmer, I was wearing a hooded 5/4/3mm (a Manera, obvs).
To further compound my fears, an admittedly small but nevertheless fully grown man reviewed the suit on Stab claiming he’d tested it in 24 deg C water. Twenty. Four. Surely, that’s boardshorts? Just me?