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Sheico Neoprene ?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Jonny250

Jonny250

Job 41:7 can you?
Sep 8, 2007
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Has anyone got experience of the Elios 'Sheico' neoprene?
i just wonder how it compares with their 'standard' rubbers i.e. yamamoto, heiwa, neoflex...
 
chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
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I have a Sheico superstretch lycra outer wetsuit for spearfishing. The suit is pretty good, but maybe a little less flexible than Heiwa MD and more prone to compression. It's hard to say as I'm comparing it against a smoothskin.

I believe that Sheico manufacture a huge quantity of the off-the-shelf wetsuits in the world. It's perhaps not quite up to the standard of Heiwa and definitely below Yamamoto & Daiwabo, but I'm happy with it as an everyday spearfishing suit. I would take a custom-fitted Sheico over an off-the-shelf anything else without hesitation.
 
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Jonny250

Jonny250

Job 41:7 can you?
Sep 8, 2007
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Thanks Chrismar. i guess it depends on which sheico nepoprene elios use. I'm looking at the lycra superstretch too, but with an inner superstretch lining to put on dry.
 
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behslayer

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2010
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I know quite a bit about Sheico Neoprene as well as others.. Too often I hear about how superior Yammamoto etc.. are, and I'll call BS on it.

Every major Neoprene company out there has several grades of Rubber, several grades of different lining materials, all of which can be combined in different ways to produce different effects.

Let's talk about the Rubber Core.

Sheico has a few different Rubber Cores available. Some are geared towards Depth Diving, ie Compression Resistance, some are geared towards ultimate flexibility and lightness, and are best suited for Surface use as they will compress more easily. Sheico also has some proprietary configurations such as Airprene, which involves a perforated layer of rubber sandwiched between two non perforated layers, allowing for lots of Air Space sealed into the Rubber panel. Yammamoto has their different grades, ie 38, 39, 45.. etc.. The thing is None of these are really designed for Spearfishing.. we are a sub market.. a little fish. Basically we try to combine what is needed for the Scuba Diving Market with what is needed for the Triathalon market..

Similar to the different materials for the rubber core, their are also many different grades of lining materials offering a mix of protection, flexibility, etc..

The bottom line is that every brand of Wetsuits has their own design team who take all of this info and decide how they are going to "build" their suit ranges. They balance Price, Flexibility, Weight, Compression Resistance, durability, etc.. and come up with their product.

Yammamoto is ofcourse a good rubber, but I used a 3mm Nylon/38/Cell suit the other day and I felt like a linked sausage in that thing. It was squeezing me so tight. The next day I took out my Sheico Neoprene 3mm Ultraspan/Flexfoam/Cell suit and it was like wearing a layer of Jello on my body. It was so nice..

To answer the original question about Sheico Rubber. I'm not sure which Sheico Rubber Elios is using. But those guys make great suits and I'm sure they'll give you a straight answer. Mr. Shei, is driven to always be the best. Every time I visit his R and D center he is showing me new machines which are used to test this and that.. very scientific approach to excellence, it looks like a state of the art research lab you'd expect to find at a major research university.. which is why Sheico is the world's largest Wetsuit and Neoprene manufacturer.. they didn't get that way producing crap, and they have more resources to put towards development than any other company.
 
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chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
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Yes, I thought they were the biggest. I had only heard from one source, so good to have it confirmed.

My experiences were with the Sheico neoprene that Elios uses and to a lesser extent the one that Rob Allen uses. I found it stiffer than Yamamoto 45, but that compresses more than my Sheico suit. Heiwa MD isn't as stiff and doesn't compress quite as much, but there I'm comparing the stiffness of a smoothie and a lined suit. The Daiwabo neoprene Elios uses has fantastic compression resistance and is not much more stiff than Heiwa MD, but it is expensive and again is a smoothskin.

As I said, I'm happy with my Sheico suit. I think that both Rob Allen & Elios are using L-Foam, but I'm not quite sure. Perhaps you could list the different types and what they're used for? I know that some cheap off-the-shelf suits save money and have very comfortable suits by using surface-rated Sheico neoprene, so I'm well aware that all manufacturers have different types. In Yamamoto, I have worn suits with 38, 39, 40 and 45. I do know of one manufacturer that uses Yamamoto 20 for spearfishing suits too!
 
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behslayer

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2010
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It's all a balance..

In addition to the Core Rubber, there's also the inner and outer lining..

Inner linings include:
None: Open Cell Ultimate Flex
Nylon: Different varieties.. some have 2.5times the stretch of others..
Skins: Examples Metalite or SCS

Outer Linings include:
Nylon: Different varieties.. some have 2.5times the stretch of others..
Skins: Examples Smoothskin, SharkSkin.

So, your most flexible options will have an Open Cell or a truly high stretch Nylon as the Inner and either a Smoothskin or a Truly High Stretch Nylon as the Outer. Either a sinlge lined High Stretch Suit, or a Chicle Suit..

Compression is probably also effected by linings.

Warmth.. one of the most difficult effects to be measured, is unfortunately best using the Surface Rated Foams.. these have a higher Air Content and Air is the best insulator. So, some companies do go the route of using a Surface rated foam and double lining it to protect against compression. These suits are flexible, light, warm, but yes, they will eventually compress.

It's a toss up with a lot of variables. The foam composition does make a difference, but also the specific build of the Neoprene, ie what other materials are used, as well as the shape of the pattern of the suit also contribute to what makes a good suit.

I don't have my Yammamoto, Heiwa, Daiwabo, books here.. so I can't give a full breakdown on the different grades of foam they offer, or the different grades of linings they offer.

Sheico offers a few different foams and they have added a few new ones in the past year. Also they offer some proprietary blends and builds such as the Airprene, or the Lycra Sandwich.. The basics are:

D-is ultra compression reisitant for Scuba Market..
L-is a mix between Compression Resitance and Flexibility. I think it's a good match for what we need as Freedive Spearfisherman. It is a bit heavy, and it might not be as warm as brand new Surface rated foam. But it will hold it's thickness and flex.
S-Surface Rated foam. Ultra Light, more Air, less dense. Most Surfsuits use this as their core.

I'm not sure what all the companies are using, but I'm quite certain that RA Suits are from the L-Foam.
 
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chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
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Thanks, that's great info. I'm a little confused when you say that linings will affect the compression of the neoprene though. I can't see how a nylon or lycra lining on a suit will change how much the airbubbles in a neoprene sheet compress at depth? Sure, the lining doesn't compress, but it also doesn't provide any insulation.

From the feel of my Elios & RA suit, they appear to be the same neoprene. Hard to be 100% sure as one is 3mm with nylon outer and the other 5mm with lycra superstretch.
 
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behslayer

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2010
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I just figure that the Skin or Fabric, plus the Glue Layer, do bolster the resistance to compression. I'd expect a piece of raw neoprene foam ie Open Cell/Open Cell to compress more at depth than the same piece of raw foam which has been lined with Smoothskin/Skin or Nylon/Nylon maybe I'm wrong, but I figure that the skin/glue/fabric, in the same way that it does Restrict the Flex/stretch of the raw foam, will also protect it slightly from compression.

Do you like those RA Suits?
 
chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
740
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Perhaps, but the effect would be slight I'm sure.

The RA is a 3mm with high waist pants, for summer spearfishing here. I don't use it often, but ended up getting some of the cut changed to fit me better. Too many years of custom-made suits has made me very picky! I would go with an Elios over the RA, but there was a big price difference (especially shipping) and I needed it in a hurry. It's pretty good though and will last a long time.
 
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behslayer

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2010
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The RA 3mm Tahiti. What did you do to the cut? What was the issue with the fit? Is it a Camo or Black Suit?
 
chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
740
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Blue camo. I was a medium for trousers and a small for top, but the neck & head was bigger than I wanted and the waist from the hips up was too wide so I had the last section (black outer) taken in. I'm 80kg and 183cm

I take it you were involved in the suit design?
 
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behslayer

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2010
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Yes, I drew the Camo. I also help with the design and manufacturing. Good to get some feedback. I'll speak with my side about having the waist of the high waist pant taken in a bit. The Neck and Head are tough because we make these suits with South African Testers... and they are built a bit differently than most.. As Rob says, South Africans have Big Feet, Big Hands, Big Heads, Big Necks and Shoulders, Big Arms, and Big Legs.. Also, some people want their suits fitting just a bit looser than others.. if you do a lot of swimming in your suit, ie currents, covering lots of area.. you'll want a suit that's a little looser than if you are doing strictly up down aspetto or Scuba.. My normal dives include a Freestyle swim against heavy currents, and some very tricky water entrances and exits that require hard swimming.. I like my suits very flexible and slightly loose fitting. We do send out all our suits for testing to a few areas before production. For example the 7mm UltraFlexible Open Cell Abalone Suits you'll find in NZ, we tested the prototypes for a year with abalone divers and collected their feedback before production.
 
chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
740
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If the hood was smaller, it wouldn't fit quite a few people. I have a fairly small head, but this is where custom vs off the shelf comes into it.

I take it you know Matt Lind from Wild Blue here in NZ? We're off to the Solomon's next weekend.
 
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behslayer

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2010
58
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Yep Matt's a buddy. He came over to visit. I imagine he'll be bringing a gun I made for him. www.ulusub.com Happy hunting over there.
 
chrismar

chrismar

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2007
740
73
68
Ah, I know who you are then! I've been diving comps with Matt this year and we'll be teaming up with your canon in the blue water. I've got one of your lycra suits for over there. It looks ideal.
 
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spearandfish

New Member
Dec 4, 2011
1
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0
Looking at getting my own suits made to sell in my shop any suggestions on companys to deal with best on price and quality ?
 
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