I bought O’Neill’s SL gloves for three reasons:
1) The water is frigid in San Francisco, so 3mm neoprene seemed like the way to go.
2) $40 seemed reasonable at the time.
3) The model name boasts my initials (SL = Steven Leckart).
I’ve worn these gloves while surfing, on average, twice a week since February. At first, I loved them: The fit is great and allow for reasonable dexterity; the gloves enhance paddling; and they really keep my hands warm… well, kept my hands warm.
After the jump, check out why I’m embarrassed to share initials with this product…
At left, a nice-sized chunk that’s worn out on the palm, which lets fresh cold water flow rather freely into the glove. My hand stays relatively warm-er than if I weren’t using a glove. However, every once in a while, a cool rush surges in.
At right, another large chunk on the sleeve. Not such a big deal. And I’m not surprised. I pull on the glove there regularly to tighten the fit. That stress, as I expected, would cause some wear and tear.
A bigger deal is what’s going on at the top right arrow…
At left, a tiny hole that’s sprouting between the pointer and middle fingers of my left-hand glove. Barely visible in the top pic, sure, but as soon as you get into surf, that cold seeping in is hard to ignore.
At right, O’Neill’s special “Shark Skin Palm” looks, rather ironically, as if a mini-great white bit the heck out my hand.
Final conclusion: Bummer.