Review: O'Neill SL Gloves [Verdict: Wipeout]

gloves new.jpg
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...
gloves crop.jpg
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.
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7 Responses to Review: O'Neill SL Gloves [Verdict: Wipeout]

  1. infinity says:

    @steven will you need to change your name to like “Hal Leckart” now that you’re going with HotLine?

  2. Steven Leckart says:

    HA! :)

  3. Nate says:

    yeah, I had a pair of this brand I used for my first year of winter skydiving. The way they came apart at the seams like that under normal use really disappointed me.

  4. huh says:

    You’re obviously a kook so there is no reason to get into why you are wearing gloves in the SF area during the summer… This is what happens to neoprene wetsuits. They rip and tear due to normal use. If you surf 100 days a year you’ll get one to two seasons in your suit- max.

  5. ESQ says:

    The trick is to wear them on the opposite hands as they were intended. This way the more durable neoprene is on your palms and the softer rubbery stuff is on the back of your hand.

    I’ve ridden the waters from SF to SC since the 80s and I’ve sponged Mavericks at size, and this trick extended the life of my gloves a good five years.

  6. Michiel says:

    I like the BBG to-the-point reviews based on actual experience. I seem to detect some Cool Tools influence ;)

    Might be interesting to discuss some alternatives as well? Perhaps the gloves you are considering to replace these with?

  7. Steven Leckart says:


    Thanks… FYI, I’m due to get a newly-released pair of 3mm gloves from Hotline. Will keep you posted.

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