There’s nothing like a cold winter’s day to put you off surfing, especially if you don’t feel prepared because you don’t have the right wetsuit.
Missing out on all the good swell is no fun, so you’ll need a warm wetsuit throughout the winter months if you’re to cope with the cold temperatures.
In this article, I will provide you with some key information about wetsuits, including what is the warmest wetsuit and what is the best wetsuit for surfing.
Keep reading to find out more.
What is the warmest wetsuit?
When the days begin to draw in, and the temperatures drop, you want to ensure that you’re in the warmest wetsuit you can be.
One of the most important factors when considering wetsuit warmth is the thickness of the neoprene that it is made out of. Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters (mm).
The specification is made with two numbers. A 6/5 mm winter wetsuit means that the neoprene has a thickness of 6 mm on the torso and 5 mm on the legs and arms.
The thicker the neoprene is, the more warmth but less flexibility it provides. Bearing this in mind, then, the thicker neoprene is placed where you need less flexibility (your core) and the thinner neoprene is used where your body is constantly moving ( your arms and legs).
If you’re in search of the warmest wetsuit, then an ideal choice for you would be a 6 mm/ 7 mm wetsuit with a hood.
Depending on where you are surfing, you will also need to consider purchasing well-fitted boots and gloves to ensure that you are as warm as possible and can stay in the water for longer periods of time. Once your hands and feet are cold it’s game over, trust me on this one!
What is the best winter wetsuit for surfing?
Which winter wetsuit is best for you will depend on a few factors, but it mainly comes down to your budget and how long you intend to be in the water.
If you’re someone that likes to go out for long surf sessions, no matter the weather, then you’d benefit from a 6/5mm winter wetsuit. This kind of wetsuit is ideal if you’re going to be surfing regularly in the depths of winter, and alongside gloves and wetsuit boots, it’s sure to see you through the season.
However, the budget that you have to drop on a winter wetsuit will come into play here. Generally speaking, the thicker the wetsuit, the bigger the price tag.
While a winter wetsuit is an absolute necessity for surf enthusiasts, you may want to consider a 5/4mm winter wetsuit if your budget is smaller.
It’s also worth mentioning that which winter wetsuit you opt for will depend on where you’re going to be surfing in winter. The water temperature in Australia in winter, for example, is going to differ heavily from the water temperature in the UK and parts of Europe during the winter.
Bearing this in mind, then, make sure that you check the approximate water temperature and choose a wetsuit in accordance with that.
Can you wear a winter wetsuit in the summer?
Yes, you can theoretically wear a winter wetsuit in the summer. However, whether you’ll be comfortable doing so will depend on a few factors. These include how cold you tend to get when you’re out surfing and the water temperature where you’re surfing.
Spring is super cold in the water even when the sun’s shining. As a result, a winter wetsuit is worn by many surfers right up until June during a cold year. However, once summer arrives and the water temperature begins to warm up, you might find that a winter wetsuit is an overkill.
Surfing is a high-impact sport and you often warm up quickly, especially if the water temperature is pretty high already. As a result, you might find that you may want to invest in a summer suit.
Typically speaking, a summer wetsuit can last right through to the end of October depending on where you live, so you are likely to find that your summer wetsuit will be useful for much longer than you might think.
However, this depends on the individual, and if you tend to feel the cold more than others, a winter wetsuit might be the right choice for you year-round.
The thickness of your wetsuit will depend on a few factors, but it mainly comes down to what you can afford, the temperatures you can tolerate, and where you will be surfing in the winter.
Always take the water temperature into consideration when making your choice, and seriously consider buying gloves and wetsuit boots to ensure you are as warm as possible when surfing in the winter.