Henderson Magma vs Henderson Hyperstrech

Well, I finally got my scuba.com order with two hoods, the Henderson 5mm Magma winter hood and the Henderson 5/3mm hyperstretch titanium hood, both in size L. And let me start off by saying there’s no comparison in terms of stretchability and give and comfort: the hyperstretch wins hands down and far & away.

Now, unlike the Hyperstretch, the Magma in size L was too small for me and felt like it was going to strangle me. That aside, and with my old O’Neill hood by my side for comparison, it didn’t feel any more stretchy than the O’Neill and even if I had the right size I don’t think it’d be any more comfortable than the O’Neill.

The Hyperstretch, otoh, fit perfectly and it really is hard to believe it’s 5mm thick, that’s how comfortable it is. It’s got a 3mm cowling, but i’m going to cut that off. One thing that’ll be weird is that the chin part of the hood is designed to cover your mouth and the rubber there cuts down on air intake; i think this might be a problem when i’ve wiped out in the surf and am gasping for air. we’ll see. another small niggle: no Magma-like brim. but it’s more than a fair trade off for the level of comfort i get with it.

One note: I haven’t been in the water with it yet so these are just my dryland impressions. For instance, the jury’s still out on how badly, if at all, water flushes through the hood during a spill given that there’s no cinch string such as the Magma has.

Anyway, my major issue has always been comfort and the ability to turn my head from one side to the other without pain – and in these regards, the Hyperstretch is vastly superior to the Magma and well worth the extra money that it costs. at least that’s what i think so far …

Glad You Got Something

– Last Updated: Dec-23-05 4:33 PM EST –

that'll carry you through the winter. Tell us how it works with the hyperstretch. My fear is that first big wave in the face, while going out will flush right through the uncinch opening. But, if it doesn't, then it'll be great. If you're wearing a drysuit, leave enough of the cowl to tuck into the drysuit overflap. With the overflap cinched, that really minimizes flush through the neck area from underneath in a roll situation.

Constant flushing through in the face area by head on waves and when rolling is what led me to the surf hoods with the face cinch. When the face gasket is cinched, there is barely any seepage and it doesn't get too far into the hood when you're a fast roller. In terms of the sizing of the Magma and O'Neil, I tried to get a size L ONeil on in the surf store. No way. I couldn't even get my head past the collar. The L Henderson Magma fits me fine and has been my winter surf hood for two years. Go figure in terms of sizing...


hyperstretch hood rocks!
i took my new henderson hyperstretch hood out today for the first time, in chest-high waves, and wow, what a difference it makes compared to my old standard-issue O’Neill. In fact, there is no comparison: for the first time in my winter-hooded life, i can turn my neck, crane my neck, and stretch my neck with no pain or feel of restriction whatsoever.

that said, on the paddle out, I did take a couple of waves full on in the face and I did get some flushing. it wasn’t too bad in today’s water but when winter really hits it may be more painful than I’d hoped. otoh, i was wearing an NRS fleece cap under the hood and if it kept me from feeling too much cold flush today maybe it’ll be the same in a month or two.

also: i cut off the 3mm cowling around the neck area, leaving just the 5mm part. it fit perfectly into the neck area of my kokatat dry suit. suh-weet.

in summary, if you’re not happy with your current hood or if you find it even a little restricting, get the hyperstretch. maybe it won’t be the ticket all the time but for the times that it is, you’ll be comfortable like never before!

Glad you like it.
Tit for tat. The flushing ofcourse is the trade off for the better flexibility.

Maybe after some time, and the realization by Henderson there is a strong market, they’ll begin to add features like the draw string around the face for you guys. As a diver they work great. I do quite a bit more than recreational diving and the only times I have the flushing is either jumping into heavy swells from the boat, clearing a full-face mask while underwater, or in the wake of my DPVs (Diver Propulsion Vehicle)when I duck down behind it in a wreck, or a cave. There are many times when that draw string sure would’ve come in handy for me as well.

But even we suffer from the design being geared toward recreational diving to some extent. I’m sure you’ll find a suitable solution to the flushing problem.

It flushes so often with divers, and especially divers w/full-face masks when purging that the hood fills with air and stays there. We have to take a medium sized hot sewing needle and poke small holes into the top to get rid of the air. It doesn’t effect warmth enough to complain, and it’s still worth the trade off for comfort.

The hood is also designed to cover the mouth as you said because when diving extremely cold water they design in such a way to cover the only exposed skin most divers have. We put our regulators/masks on, and the hyperstretch material molds nicely around our full-face masks, or easily pushes aside to mold around just the regulator.

However, I would gladly trade a little water flushing for the advantage of comfort with this as well.

You might find a nylon cover with a drawstring around the face to use over your hood. I’ve seen some of the guys I dive with who’ve done this with the full face Scuba masks because they leak air more.


When the poop is really hitting the fan
then a rapidstyle survival hood under the hyperstretch5 should keep you really happy. You can really downsise the hyperstretch too.