When you really get into the surf game and put an immense amount of time and dedication into the sport, you will find yourself rotating through a lot of different pieces of equipment. Throughout my surf career I’ve acquired a sizable wardrobe of surf apparel, consisting of various surf tops that all function and work great, but in some way, shape or form, they don’t perform in every scenario the way I’d like them to or at least feel comfortable in. Either some are too light, some are too heavy weight, some too stiff for casting or some just lack one feature that would make them the best “universal” surf top. But fortunately, Simms has made a new product that has hit all those bullet points.
The new Splash Cast Surf top by Simms seems to be one of those new pieces of gear that has filled a void in the selection of surf tops available today. It will perform in various environments and seasonal elements that, with some obvious wardrobe modification, can keep you quite comfortable in the surf. At first inspection, I liked how it was lightweight and made with quality components. I also noticed that it had well-thought-out features that not many other truly dedicated surf tops have. For one, there are no metal parts that could potentially corrode from saltwater — which I thought was a smart choice for longevity and durability. The zippers are made from a high-grade plastic which won’t corrode and the front chest zipper is a high quality waterproof zipper that you would normally see on state-of-the-art dry bags, which so far I haven’t seen on any other surf top. The wrist and neck closers are neoprene which isn’t always my first choice for keeping water out, but the Velcro straps do a much better job than I would have thought. The Simms Splash Top offers optimal mobility and it’s breathable, which dramatically limits sweat. I’ve used the top wearing waders or in a wetsuit and it has passed the functionality test for me. It’s also a good all-season top. Now I wouldn’t say I’d be wearing it in the winter or below 40 degrees but it’s perfectly fine if you layer up for those early season outings in April or your last trips in the surf during late-November or even December.
This new top from Simms, in many ways, reminds me of the old Lamiglas tops many surf guys had ‘back in the day’, but the issue with the Lami was, it had no hood! One of my favorite features of the Simms Splash Cast is the hood with drawstring adjustments on both sides of the collar and at the top of the hood. This gives the added benefit of protection from the rain and driving surf during inclement weather, which are times when the surf fishing is often at its best—especially in the fall.
I’d also note that I would probably find myself wearing this top if I ever needed a splash top for the boat or even for kayak fishing. Simms has hit all the marks with their new Splash Cast surf top and I’m quite sure this top will be my workhorse this fall run.