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2013 Buyer’s Guide: ION

Photo courtesy ION

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ION features eight different wetsuits and 18 different harnesses to fit any budget, body type, and fit preference. Along with other accessories such as hoodies and booties, ION has got you covered from head to toe for all weather conditions any time of the year. North American Sales Manager Doug Hopkins from North Sports answered our questions on ION’s 2013 product line.

What are some of the highlights of the 2013 ION wetsuit line?

Sanitized is a new anti-smell treatment on several ION wetsuits that avoids the odors caused by bacteria and mildew. Bacteria can double its growth every 20 minutes in an untreated suit, so after a few sessions your suit can start to smell very smelly. Washing frequently can help, but the laundry cycle puts a lot of wear and tear on your wetsuit. Only the proven Sanitized technology treats each fiber, so it can stop odors before they get out of hand.

What are some of the features of the ION wetsuits that set them apart from other brands?

The designers at ION focus on making wetsuits for kiteboarders. They use the right mix of double-lined (nylon-2) and smooth skinned neoprene to keep you warm and flexible with reinforcement in the right areas that our sport requires. The high quality neoprene is very stretchy and light, for the most comfort and the best fit. Each suit has over a dozen features that address problems in fit and function with unique solutions. Try one on and you will see.

How do the new S Seal seams on the Strike Select differ from other seams offered by ION?

The S Seal seams use a highly elastic seam sealing glue over the top of a glued and blind-stitched seam. This makes the seam more waterproof and much more durable.

What are some of the standout features of the ION harnesses?

All ION harnesses feature the Contour Shape 2.0, which describes the segmented shaping areas that fit the upper and lower back. This is combined with the 3D Zone Shape, which keeps the harness firmly in place so it won’t slip up. The result is a great fit that you can feel right away, which is the most important feature to look for in a harness. The ION harness/bar interface is engineered to avoid bar slippage and bruised ribs.

ION Apex

What are the main differences between the different harnesses?

The several models in the ION line have varying amounts of support from soft to firm and varying amounts of friction with your body to either keep the harness in place or allow it to twist around your torso during maneuvers.

What’s the best way for a rider to find the harness model best suited to them?

We recommend that you go to your local dealer and try on as many harnesses as possible. Everyone’s body is shaped differently, which is why we have several choices. Pick the model that best fits your style. We even have a full line of women’s harnesses with sizes and shapes to fit their unique geometry.

Photo Paul Lang

Are Ion products only available through North retailers?

No, there are some ION dealers who do not sell North. Check the dealer finder at http://ion-products.com to find the dealer nearest you.

Are there any other special ION products you’d like to highlight?

The Fuse Drysuit is warm, because it uses 3mm and 4mm neoprene that offers insulation, so it requires less under garments. Even if a little water gets into the suit, it will still offer the insulating properties of the neoprene. The neoprene is more flexible than the rigid fabrics commonly found in other drysuits, and it is also more buoyant. When comparing drysuits, keep in mind that nylon suits require much thicker and heavier under layers, but the Fuse only needs thin polypro underwear.

Want 185 pages of 2013 kiteboarding gear info on 28 brands? Check out the TKB 2013 Buyer’s Guide.

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