A wetsuit is a piece of clothing specifically designed to keep surfers warm while they surf, made of neoprene material and available in both shorties and full suits styles.
Wearing a wetsuit allows surfers to stay in the water longer, exploring places not accessible without one, and avoid feeling cold and damp while surfing. This can be invaluable when trying to maximize enjoyment while minimising effort!
1. They Keep You Warm
A wetsuit is a piece of neoprene cut into a suit shape to keep you warm in the water, helping prevent hypothermia while also making movement easier. A well-fitting wetsuit should provide warmth while simultaneously floating higher and making movement simpler.
A wetsuit traps a thin layer of water inside its material and heats it from your body temperature, keeping you from losing body heat and risking hypothermia while also extending your swimming time in the water. Wetsuits also make swimming much less tiring!
Wetsuits come in various thicknesses to meet both cold and warm water conditions. A thicker wetsuit will keep you warmer; make sure your choice matches up with the temperature of the waters you plan to surf in.
Some wetsuits come equipped with an inbuilt hood for extra head protection in extremely cold waters. You may wish to detach it should you prefer not having it attached permanently.
Thick neoprene suits offer additional insulation, keeping you warmer.
Neoprene comes in various forms, from foamed versions that use nitrogen gas for improved stretch and insulation properties to more lightweight options that have less insulation properties. While foamed neoprene may be heavier overall, its insulation often outshines lighter versions in terms of performance.
Neoprene is an extremely durable material with excellent resistance against saltwater corrosion and UV light exposure as well as different water temperatures. Plus, its carbon footprint is much lower compared to traditional rubber made from petroleum-derived sources!
Wetsuits are an integral component of any surfer’s gear kit, so it is crucial that they know how to wear and store them appropriately. A proper wetsuit allows longer surf sessions as well as protection from hypothermia in cold waters; thus making your trip much more pleasurable!
2. They’re Comfortable
Wetsuits are known to be extremely comfortable, which explains their widespread appeal among surfers. Crafted with thin layers of neoprene that provides insulation and warmth while adhering snugly around your body and remaining tight-fitting, wetsuits make a comfortable surfing companion.
We love that they’re breathable – meaning they don’t keep heat trapped inside and create sweatiness that would be uncomfortable with thicker suits.
Beginners or those not quite ready to commit to full suit surfing may prefer shorties or split suits that provide greater flexibility, making these an excellent option for warmer destinations such as spring and autumn surfing.
A full suit with hood is ideal for colder water conditions. They come in various thicknesses to cover different seasons and climates; 5/4 hooded suits are a good choice for surfers hoping to paddle year-round in cold spots like Tofino on Canada’s west coast, Lawrencetown on the Atlantic coast, or during any but the harshest winter conditions on Lake Superior.
Opting for a one-millimeter spring suit designed specifically for women may also prove beneficial; its flexible material makes it suitable for shoulder seasons.
Wetsuits come equipped with features designed to make them more user-friendly and comfortable, such as back zippers that prevent flushing of water while chest zips allow easier movement without needing to pull on it over your head.
Those new to wetsuits should look for shops with professional fit guys who will measure your body accurately, because a suit that does not fit precisely will likely prove less comfortable and may not provide the benefits necessary for their session.
3. They Keep You Safe
Wetsuits are essential pieces of equipment for surfers who frequently venture into waters that are colder than tropical ones. Without a wetsuit, paddling out to breaks in temperatures under 65 degrees Fahrenheit could prove uncomfortable or even hazardous.
A wetsuit is made up of rubber-like material called neoprene that traps body heat while providing excellent insulation properties due to numerous tiny air bubbles found within its construction.
Neoprene material is designed to be buoyant, helping surfers stay afloat during their surfing session and avoid potential injuries caused by falling into the water. This is crucial in terms of staying safe in the water as well as avoiding injuries that might result from falls into it.
Additionally, a wetsuit can protect you from UV rays emitted by the sun’s UV rays – especially beneficial for surfers who spend considerable time exposed to its heat and may be at risk of skin damage or irritation due to sun exposure.
Wetsuits come in all styles and thicknesses to meet all weather and water temperature conditions. Additionally, some come equipped with hoods for added protection from the sun as well as to reduce heat loss while in the water.
Patagonia, one of the leading outdoor brands, recently adopted an environmental-friendly wetsuit solution by developing products using biodegradable rubber from hevea trees that produce 80 percent less CO2 emissions than conventional neoprene suits.
4. They’re Stylish
No matter your reason for needing a surf wetsuit – be it keeping warm in the water, looking good, or being sustainable and stylish – there are many great options out there that offer both. Companies such as Salt Gypsy, Mara Hoffman, WDLK and Title Nine all make stylish yet sustainable suits that may meet those requirements.
Wetsuits are intended to keep you warm, while providing UV protection, acting as an abrasion shield and increasing buoyancy in the water. As they’re such an integral component of any surfing outfit, investing in quality suits that will stand the test of time is worth every cent you spend.
There is an array of styles and thicknesses of wetsuits, from thin “shortie” suits covering only the torso to full 8-mm semi-dry suits with boots, gloves and hood. Each type is tailored towards specific temperatures ranges and made out of various thicknesses of neoprene; typically thicker material produces warmer results.
The highest-grade wetsuits are constructed from black dyed neoprene, which provides increased strength and UV resistance by absorbing sunrays instead of reflecting them off of its surface.
One useful feature is a chest-zip design, which makes getting in and out of your suit easier. However, make sure it features corrosion-resistant zippers rather than regular zippers to ensure proper functionality.
As you start out in surfing, a shorty or “spring suit” might not feel comfortable enough to wear all day, making a spring suit an excellent alternative to suit up for. These suits feature short leg-sleeves for greater style in the surf – giving you an edge while looking good.
5. They’re Versatile
An appropriate wetsuit can make all the difference when surfing. Though an investment, finding one with optimal fitting can prove challenging at first, but in time will surely pay off in spades.
There are various kinds of wetsuits, from steamers (full-body suits) and shorty suits to hooded suits and surf shirts, each offering different thickness, seams, wind resistance and lining features.
As with anything, thickness is key when it comes to thermal protection in colder waters; thus a 3/2 wetsuit may provide more thermal insulation than 5mm wetsuits; but this also depends on climate conditions in your location and how often you surf.
Wetsuits can be customized for various conditions with additional accessories like hoods, gloves and booties to provide extra warmth and protection from coral reefs; winter surfers might find a hood particularly helpful.
Finding the appropriate wetsuit is of utmost importance and should be tested multiple times prior to making a final decision. Doing this will ensure you find one with an ideal fit that hugs your body comfortably enough to remain on for extended use.
Wetsuits come in all sorts of shapes and styles, making it essential to find one that perfectly complements both your body shape and personal preferences. Some can be easier than others to slip on; others feature front-zip designs instead of back-zip options.
For optimal thermal protection and skin warmth, wetsuits should be constructed using neoprene material, while eco-friendly varieties using limestone instead of petroleum may also provide suitable options. Those allergic to standard neoprene may benefit from switching over to an eco-friendly option that reduces their carbon footprint as well as allergies associated with standard neoprene.