Technobutter 3: What’s the hype about and is it worth it?
Technobutter neoprene has been the mainstay of high end O’Neill wetsuits for some time now. Now in its third iteration – Technobutter 3 - it is not an exaggeration to say that wetsuits made from this material have been a total game changer in terms of wetsuit comfort for both myself and the rest of the Surfdock team.
Between us we spend a lot of time on the water, wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paddle boarding and foiling and all of us have been wearing Technobutter 3 wetsuits since they were introduced last season. Between us we have tried and tested the Psycho Tech (5/4 and 6/4 hooded), Hyperfreak, Hyperfreak Comp and Psycho Freak and love them all.
We’ve looked at their stretch, warmth, durability, drying time and comfort.
Technobutter has incredible flex characteristics and feels super soft – hence the buttery name. There really is no comparison to other types of neoprene. For those of us living in cold climates such as here in Ireland – the opportunities to feel the total freedom that wearing board shorts gives you are thin on the ground. But O’Neill wetsuits made from Technobutter in whichever thickness you need will give you the closest possible sensation. Even the thickest 6/4 hooded Pyschotech will feel super light and stretchy and give you the range of movement you could only dream of 7 or 8 years ago.
The first time I tried on a wetsuit made from Technobutter I felt this very slight friction against my skin. At the time this friction felt like it was generating instant heat whilst not causing any unwanted rubbing or abrasion. Once I took to the water that sense of mild friction disappeared but the heat generating properties remained! Fast forward to the current range of suits made from Technobutter 3 and they feel buttery smooth going on but seem to generate more heat than ever. This extra heat - particularly through the core areas has meant that when I am wearing the Psychotech hooded 6/4 in deepest Winter I rarely feel the need to wear gloves.
When choosing a high end wetsuit that is extra stretchy, there is often a trade off in terms of durability. Thankfully O’Neill wetsuits made from Technobutter allow you to avoid that trade off . In fact O’Neill wetsuits have the lowest rate of returns and warranties in the wetsuit industry.
In saying that, you should always take good care of your high end wetsuit. Things to consider would be investing into a good hanger (Northcore Slide Hanger, The Dry Bag Pro/Elite) to dry it properly, don’t drag it across rocks/the floor/the boot of your car etc. A wetsuit bag will help to keep it clean and away from items that could damage it but don’t leave it stewing in the boot of the the car for a week and remember just before you head out for your next surf. Most importantly no matter how tempting - don’t pee in it!
The inner lining on Technobutter 3 means that your wetsuit dries a lot faster than conventional neoprene. In our experience, if you dry the wetsuit in your house/apartment/bathroom over night, it will be dry by the next morning. That in itself is a game changer for those of us lucky enough to surf more than once or twice a week but for the weekend warrior getting into a dry suit feels like a great way to kick off a Sunday morning surf.
If you feel restricted in a Technobutter 3 wetsuit, you are wearing the wrong size. This neoprene is so flexible and soft, it fits like a second skin. That is why you should always go to an official O’Neill stockist to be fitted properly by experts!
Verdict: It’s definitely worthwhile to invest into a Technobutter 3 wetsuit. You won’t regret it!