24 June, 2014 24 June, 2014

Reef Focus Z-Flex 3:2


Winter’s here, and with that magic season comes cranking waves and icy winds! Let’s face it, Durban ous can be a bunch of wimps when it comes to the winter chills, so you can imagine how stoked the salty bunch at the Zag were to test out the new Reef Focus Z-Flex 3:2 fullsuit.

We unleashed the new bat-suit as an ominous cold front rolled into Town. Down at the beach the sun was escaping too fast, an icy wind howled and some knife-like 4-footers were cracking across the bank. The perfect conditions to put our new rubber to the test.

The testing grounds looking chilly.

Climbing into the neck-entry of the Focus Z-Flex takes some getting used to if you’re accustomed to the good ol’ back-zip suits, but the bending and twisting required to climb in the hatch comes with definite advantages. For example, besides improving flexibility and warmth, by the time you’ve suited-up and trotted to the beach you’re as loose as a kung-fu master high on stoke. Ready for action!

But the real test comes when tossing yourself off the pier into the cool blue. When we flopped into the water, we were struck with a creepy sensation – WE COULDN’T FEEL IT! Seriously. The Focus Z-Flex really has some next-level, nut-crunching sealing powers and wasn’t letting a drop in. The seams are glued, blind-stitched and sealed with neoprene tape to stop water penetration. Combine the tight seal with the dura-mesh chest panel, which offers protection against wind chill, and you’re snug as a surf-rat in a rug!

Chad Du Toit puts his Focus Z-Flex through its paces on a cold Portuguese day.

SA waters can get crowded, so to ensure you catch your fair share of waves you need whatever advantage you can get. Paddling faster and more comfortably than the crew is one such advantage and push-ups will only get you so far. What you need is a suit that doesn’t restrict your paddling power and offers maximum flexibility for scratching into waves at the last minute and sticking floaters over groms’ heads in the bowl. The Focus Z-Flex is made from 100% S-Flex neoprene rubber lined with G-7 Flex in the arms, gussets and calf, which gives almost total freedom of movement. In layman’s terms – flexibility on this suit is top notch! Arms and legs rotate like well-oiled machines, so no flops there.

One of the few complaints about the Reef Focus Z-Flex was from one of the scrawnier members of the Zag crew, who found the chest zip uncomfortable. He claimed that it was digging into his collarbones. However, it’s argued that chest zips do make the suit more water-tight and less likely to rash the back of your neck like some of the classic back zips.

The entire east coast can be your playground if you’re wrapped up nice and snug in a 3:2.

The Focus is perfect for the mild to cool waters of the east coast of Mzansi. It fends off biting winter winds but doesn’t cause fatigue or slow you down like a 4:3. We would safely venture down into the chilly waters of the Transkei and J-Bay with this rubber friend to ward off the elements.

Best of all, it’s one of the more affordable fullsuits on the market (R2200.00 Incl. vat), which makes it more eco-friendly ‘cos you didn’t have to work so hard to buy it, thus saving on carbon emissions. Jokes. But seriously, don’t be a chilly willy this winter. Get a good suit. Go surfing!

Considering the price, the Reef Focus Z-Flex is an excellent buy for okes that are min on cash. You could fork out an extra grand or two on a higher-end suit and gain on some added comfort, but for warmth, flexibility and durability with a very affordable pricetag, this one ticks all the boxes.



The Zag Review is an independent editorial feature on surfing hard goods, ranging the full spectrum from boards and wetsuits to tide watches and travel bags. None of the reviews are paid for by advertisers or part of an advertising deal, and we retain the right to give honest, critical feedback that is in the interest of our readers. The product is reviewed by Zag staff and everyday surfers who rip, not pros who are paid to endorse the goods. We test the gear for a minimum period of two weeks (and a month for boards) to give you comprehensive feedback for the surfing layman. We know that surfboards are not a “one size fits all solution” and different surfers prefer different aspects on a board according to how they surf, even if they are the same weight and height. In the case of surfboard reviews, we’ve made sure to seek feedback from at least three different surfers to get well-rounded input.

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