out of 5 stars
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The Flash Bomb range from Rip Curl features a fury lining inside which provides added warmth, as well as claiming to dry within 15 minutes. Putting on cold and wet wetsuit gear, especially in the winter can be a horrible experience. It would be so nice to slip into a dry wetsuit, or put on dry boots, or gloves the next day after surfing. This is why i couldn’t wait to test these Flash Bomb wetsuit gloves to see if they kept my hands warm, and if Rip Curls claim about a 15 minute drying time was truth, or marketing bull poo.
The warmest gloves i have ever owned were Rip Curls F-Bomb range which have now been discontinued. I was seriously gutted when my dog chewed them and i couldn’t get another pair. I was hoping that the new Flash Bomb gloves were going to be just as good, or even better. One thing i really liked about the F Bomb gloves was the wrist seal, which created a joint between the seal and the westuits cuff to prevent excess water build. I was glad to see that Rip Curl have kept the same wrist seal in the Flash Bomb edition as this worked well in my tests. Also the palms of the gloves have the same kind of grip pattern as the F Bomb range, which seriously helps with grip.
The back of the hand is covered in a tacky rubber coating which helps wick away water and prevents water retention, this was also features on the F Bomb range. A conventional jersey coating can add weight to the glove because it soaks up water. This water then reduces the thermal qualities due to water cooling through wind chill.
In fact, it seems that Rip Curl haven’t changed much about the Flash Bomb gloves compared to their predecessor the F-Bomb. Why change something which already works well? The major modification is the Flash Bomb lining which is meant to dry within 15 minutes. This lining looks like it would be seriously warm and it was, my hands were toasty warm for a three hour surf in 9c water and a cold easterly wind. The big question is does this new Flash Dry lining really dry within 15 minutes? The short answer to this is no! The claim that these wetsuit gloves dry within 15 minutes is total marketing bull poo. I don’t understand why a company like Rip Curl would make such a bold claim when its not true? The only good marketing in my mind is truthful marketing.
When i first received the gloves the first thing i did was run the lining underneath the tap and found the lining was quite water repellent. The water beaded off and didn’t soak into the flash dry lining.
However, after use in the surf i hung the gloves up to dry out side on a dry sunny day, i then set the timer for 15 minutes! After 15 minutes i checked the gloves to see if they were dry, and they weren’t. Admittedly, they were drier, but still rather wet, you can see the moisture on my hands in the picture below. Even after 4 hours of drying the lining still wasn’t dry, at this point i gave up testing the quick dry properties of the lining.
The Flash Bomb wetsuit gloves perform very well indeed, but the quick drying properties were null. However, i wasn’t too bothered by this because the gloves kept my hands warmer than any other branded wetsuit glove i have ever tested. I would get yourself a pair if you want some seriously comfortable and warm wetsuit gloves.