How to choose your surfing wetsuit
Water temperature, thickness of the neoprene: our advice on choosing the right neoprene wetsuit for surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing or even sea wading.
The three steps to choosing the right neoprene wetsuit for you
A full wetsuit or a shorty? 5/4 mm, 4/3 mm or 3/2 mm thick neoprene? A back zip or a front zip? When faced with such a diverse offer of neoprene wetsuits, it can be difficult to know which one to choose... Which criteria should you consider when choosing a neoprene wetsuit for surfing?
Choose your surfing wetsuit according to the water temperature
Before you get into the water, carefully choose the thickness of the neoprene of your wetsuit, because this is what will determine how warm it keeps you and therefore how long your session lasts.
Think of the neoprene as a second skin, which will act as a barrier against cold water. It is indicated by two or three numbers: 5/4 millimetres, 4/3 millimetres, 3/2 millimetres or 2/2 millimetres.
An excellent choice for anyone who feels the cold and is learning to surf or bodyboard, and for kids who enjoy playing in the waves in summer. Essential for warm-water surfing, shorties offer more freedom of movement and are more comfortable when making manoeuvres than a full-body wetsuit.
A 2/2 millimetre (mm) surfing wetsuit means that the neoprene is 2 mm thick on the legs and 2 mm thick on the arms.
The ideal wetsuit for spring or autumn
Below 17°C, choose a full-body wetsuit. These suits are thinner at the arms to make rotation and paddling easier. 3/2 millimetres (mm) means that the neoprene is 3 mm thick on the legs and 2 mm thick on the arms.
In the winter, the neoprene on the body is thicker and limits movements. Opt for a front zip (chest zip) for better watertightness and greater freedom of movement when paddling. Since your back is naturally arched when you paddle on your surf board or your bodyboard, the position of the front zip on the wetsuit is designed to offer greater freedom of movement.
Choose your surfing wetsuit according to your body shape
To make the most of the features of your wetsuit, it is necessary to choose the correct size.
A surfing wetsuit should be a very tight fit and there should be no visible folds, the goal being to provide the best possible thermal protection. When dry, it is perfectly normal to feel like it is too tight, this discomfort disappears as soon as the wetsuit gets wet.If you choose a wetsuit that is too big, folds will appear, you will experience irritation and thermal insulation will be reduced (letting in water).
Important: your three sizes do not exactly match those in the table? The chest size is most important, followed by the waistline, and then the hips.
Once you have bought your neoprene wetsuit, remember to take good care of it: rinse with clean water after every session and avoid leaving it to dry in the sun. Shade is neoprene’s best friend…
One last tip: as an experienced surfer, when you leave the water, always keep enough spare energy to take off your drenched wetsuit!
"“Unlike diving wetsuits, surfing wetsuits are not watertight. So, it is quite normal that some water flows through them, which then warms up when in contact with your skin and provides protection against the cold.”"