O'Neill Hyperfreak Fire vs. Psycho Tech TB4
It's time for a new suit, and whether you get in the water every day or once a month, you want to maximize your fun. A wetsuit adds to your surf stoke by keeping you as warm and feeling as comfortable and loose as possible.
Two of the best at doing that are the O'Neill Hyperfreak and Psycho Tech. Yes, these are very high-end wetsuits, and you don't have to spend this much money to enjoy surfing, but it's safe to say you'll enjoy it more with better equipment.
Both of these best-selling O'Neill models have been reworked for 2023, with each getting the upgrade to O'Neill's Technobutter 4 and Technobutter 4X neoprene. At first glance, they seem very similar, but there are reasons for the $90 price difference. Which one is right for you? Let's take a look and find out.
The big development from O'Neill this year is the integration of Graphene fiber. Graphene is a lattice of carbon that is only one atom thick, and 200-times stronger than steel. While its strength is impressive, what's exciting for surfers is Graphene's ability to conduct heat.
Technobutter 4X, now the stretchiest, softest, neoprene O'Neill makes, has graphene infused into its jersey liner, which increases heat retention and boosts resiliency to wear. Technobutter 4 is only a slight bit less stretchy than TB4X, but is more durable, and also has a Graphene-infused liner. TB4 Firewall piles on the graphene, creating thicker yarn to boost heat generation and retention in key areas. Both the 2023 Psycho Tech and Hyperfreak Fire are two of the warmest suits O'Neill has ever produced.
The quick answer to "What's the difference?" is this: both suits are made to be very warm and very flexible, with each having an advantage in one of those areas. That way you can choose the suit that's optimized for your surfing. Psycho Tech = warmer and more durable. Hyperfreak = the warmest a suit that maximizes flexibility can be.
O'Neill's Psycho Tech gets the added warmth of more TB4 Firewall andTB4 Air Firewall neoprene in the chest and back panels. TB4 Air Firewall uses the TB4 Firewall jersey on an aerated neoprene core to trap warm air and use it as efficiently as possible.
The Hyperfreak Fire has more ultra-gooey TB4X neoprene, fewer panels, and less restrictions on the seams. With loads of Graphene-infused TB4 and TB4X, the Hyperfreak Fire is designed for maximum freedom of movement in a warm suit.
|Psycho Tech||Hyperfreak Fire|
|TB4X||Entry||Entry, arms, upper side torso|
|TB4||Shoulders, arms, torso, legs||Shoulders, torso (except upper sides), legs|
|TB Firewall||Full front torso, back panel, butt, full legs||Full front torso, back panel, butt, upper legs|
|TB Air Firewall||Chest and back panels||None|
Hyperfreak Fire: Triple-glued and blind-stitched seams, full external silicone fluid seal, glide skin collar, internal segmented cuff grippers, F.U.Z.E. entry
Psycho Tech: Stitchless seam weld, external fluid silicone seam seal except chest and back panels (blind-stitched), full internal TBX seam tape, Welded cuff ends, glide skin collar, Plasma internal cuff seals, F.U.Z.E. entry
Hyperfreak Fire is lighter and has fewer panels because of not having the Air Firewall chest.
Psycho Tech has advanced seam construction and seam sealing, with luxury finishing details.
Basically, the Hyperfreak Fire is more free-feeling, the Psycho Tech is warmer and has finer finishing details. There is a noticeable difference between each suit's strengths but they both exhibit enough of their "lesser" value to make the choice almost a toss-up. Obviously, when paying this much for a suit you want to get both warmth and flexibility, and you will in each of them. You'll be hot in the Psycho Tech, but be less restricted paddling, twisting, getting up, etc. in the Hyperfreak Fire.