Choosing the right wetsuit for surfing is crucial to ensure a comfortable and safe experience in the water. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to go for. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of wetsuits and their features to help you make an informed decision.

What Makes a Wetsuit Suitable for Surfing?

The Importance of Flexibility and Comfort

As a surfer, you know that being comfortable in the water is key to having a good time. That’s why it’s important to choose a wetsuit that allows for maximum flexibility and range of motion. Look for wetsuits made with high-quality neoprene that are designed specifically for surfing. These suits will be more flexible and comfortable than general watersports wetsuits.

The Right Thickness for Your Climate

The thickness of your wetsuit will depend on the water temperature where you’ll be surfing. In colder water, you’ll want a thicker suit to keep you warm. However, if the water is warmer, you can get away with a thinner suit. It’s important to find the right balance between warmth and flexibility.

Proper Fit

A properly fitting wetsuit is essential for comfort and functionality in the water. A suit that is too loose will let in cold water, while one that is too tight will restrict movement and cause discomfort. When trying on wetsuits, make sure to move around in them to ensure they fit well in all areas.


  • Look for suits specifically designed for surfing
  • Choose the right thickness based on your climate
  • Make sure the suit fits properly
  • Don’t sacrifice comfort for warmth or vice versa

How Thick Should a Wetsuit Be for Surfing in Colder Water?

When surfing in colder water, it’s important to have a wetsuit that provides enough insulation to keep you warm. The thickness of your wetsuit will depend on the water temperature and your personal tolerance for cold. Here’s a general guide to wetsuit thickness based on water temperature:

Water Temperature: 50-60°F (10-15°C)

For water temperatures in this range, you’ll want a wetsuit that is 5/4mm thick. This means the torso and legs are 5mm thick, while the arms are 4mm thick.

Water Temperature: 45-55°F (7-12°C)

In colder water temperatures, you’ll need a thicker suit. A 6/5/4mm wetsuit will provide enough insulation to keep you warm. The torso and legs are 6mm thick, while the arms and chest are 5mm thick and the lower legs are 4mm thick.

Water Temperature: Below 45°F (Below 7°C)

For extremely cold water temperatures, you’ll need a very thick wetsuit or even a drysuit. A 7/6/5mm or thicker wetsuit should do the trick.


  • Choose a suit with appropriate thickness for your climate
  • If in doubt, go thicker rather than thinner
  • Consider adding accessories like gloves, booties, and hoods for additional warmth

Top Brands for High-Quality Surfing Wetsuits

When it comes to surfing wetsuits, there are many brands to choose from. Here are some of our favorites:

Rip Curl

Rip Curl is one of the most well-known surf brands in the world, and for good reason. They make high-quality wetsuits that are designed specifically for surfing. Their suits are known for their flexibility, warmth, and durability.


O’Neill is another top brand in the surfing world. They’ve been making wetsuits since the 1950s and have a reputation for innovation and quality. Their suits are designed with features like seamless paddle zones and fluid seam welds for maximum flexibility.


Xcel is a newer brand compared to Rip Curl and O’Neill, but they’ve quickly made a name for themselves in the surfing community. Their suits are known for their warmth and comfort, thanks to features like plush Thermo Lite lining.


  • Consider well-known brands with a proven track record
  • Read reviews from other surfers to get an idea of which brands are most popular
  • Try on different brands to see which fits your body type best

Full-Length vs. Shorty Wetsuits: Which is Best for Surfing?

When it comes to wetsuits, there are two main types: full-length and shorty. Full-length wetsuits cover your entire body, while shorty wetsuits only cover your torso and upper legs. So which one is best for surfing?

Full-Length Wetsuits

Full-length wetsuits provide more coverage and insulation than shorty wetsuits. This makes them ideal for colder water temperatures or longer sessions in the water. They also offer better protection against sunburn and chafing.

Shorty Wetsuits

Shorty wetsuits are great for warmer water temperatures or shorter sessions in the water. They allow for more freedom of movement since they don’t cover your arms or lower legs. They’re also easier to put on and take off than full-length wetsuits.


  • Choose a full-length wetsuit for colder water temperatures or longer sessions in the water
  • Consider a shorty wetsuit for warmer water temperatures or shorter sessions in the water
  • Think about your personal preferences and comfort level when choosing between the two

The Benefits of Sealed Seams on Surfing Wetsuits

Seams are an important part of any wetsuit, as they can affect both comfort and warmth. Sealed seams are a type of seam that is designed to prevent water from entering the suit. Here are some benefits of sealed seams on surfing wetsuits:

Improved Warmth

When water enters your wetsuit through unsealed seams, it can quickly cool down your body temperature. Sealed seams help to keep cold water out, which means you’ll stay warmer in the water.

Increased Durability

Sealed seams are less likely to tear or come apart over time compared to unsealed seams. This means your wetsuit will last longer and provide better value for your money.

Better Comfort

Unsealed seams can cause chafing and irritation against your skin, especially during long sessions in the water. Sealed seams provide a smoother surface against your skin, which means less discomfort.


  • Look for suits with sealed seams for improved warmth and durability
  • Consider glued and blind-stitched (GBS) seams for even more protection against water entry
  • Avoid suits with unsealed flatlock seams if you’re looking for maximum warmth and comfort

Front Zip vs. Back Zip Entry: Which is Better for Surfing Wetsuits?

When it comes to wetsuit entry, there are two main types: front zip and back zip. Front zip wetsuits have a zipper on the chest, while back zip wetsuits have a zipper on the back. So which one is better for surfing?

Front Zip Wetsuits

Front zip wetsuits are becoming more popular among surfers because they provide a better seal against water entry. They also allow for more freedom of movement since there is no zipper on your back.

Back Zip Wetsuits

Back zip wetsuits are still the most common type of wetsuit entry among surfers. They’re easy to put on and take off, and they tend to be less expensive than front zip suits.


  • Consider a front zip suit if you’re looking for maximum protection against water entry
  • Think about your personal preferences and comfort level when choosing between front and back zips
  • Try on different types of suits to see which fits your body type best

Can You Wear a Swimming Wetsuit When Surfing?

Swimming wetsuits are designed for general watersports like swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Can you wear them when surfing? The short answer is yes, but it’s not recommended.

Different Design Features

Swimming wetsuits are designed differently than surfing wetsuits. They’re typically thinner and less flexible, which means they won’t provide as much warmth or range of motion in the water.

Potential Safety Risks

Wearing a swimming wetsuit when surfing can also pose safety risks. The lack of insulation and flexibility can make it harder to swim if you get caught in a rip current or other dangerous situation.


  • Choose a wetsuit specifically designed for surfing
  • Avoid wearing swimming wetsuits when surfing for maximum warmth and safety
  • If you must wear a swimming wetsuit, make sure to take appropriate safety precautions and be aware of the risks

When to Replace Your Surfing Wetsuit

Wetsuits are an investment, but they don’t last forever. Here are some signs that it’s time to replace your surfing wetsuit:

Tears or Holes

If your wetsuit has any tears or holes, it’s time to replace it. These areas will let in water and compromise the warmth and functionality of the suit.

Loss of Stretch

Over time, neoprene can lose its stretchiness. If your suit feels stiff or restrictive, it may be time for a new one.

Odor or Discoloration

If your wetsuit smells bad even after washing, or if it has significant discoloration, it may be time for a replacement.


  • Inspect your wetsuit regularly for signs of wear and tear
  • Don’t wait until your suit is completely unusable before replacing it – plan ahead so you have a new suit ready when you need it
  • Consider donating old suits to programs that recycle them into things like yoga mats and laptop sleeves

Neoprene vs. Non-Neoprene Materials for Surfing Wetsuits

Traditionally, wetsuits have been made with neoprene, a synthetic rubber material. However, in recent years, non-neoprene materials like limestone-based neoprene and recycled polyester have become more popular. So which is better for surfing wetsuits?


Neoprene is still the most common material used for wetsuits. It’s durable, flexible, and provides good insulation against cold water.

Non-Neoprene Materials

Non-neoprene materials like limestone-based neoprene and recycled polyester are becoming more popular because they’re more sustainable than traditional neoprene. They also tend to be lighter and less bulky than neoprene suits.


  • Consider both neoprene and non-neoprene options when shopping for a new suit
  • Think about your personal values and priorities when choosing between the two materials
  • Try on different types of suits to see which fits your body type best regardless of material

Differences Between Flatlock and Glued and Blind-Stitched Seams on Surfing Wetsuits

When it comes to wetsuit seams, there are two main types: flatlock and glued and blind-stitched (GBS). Here are some differences between the two:

Flatlock Seams

Flatlock seams are created by overlapping two pieces of neoprene and stitching them together with a flat stitch. These seams are not waterproof, so they can let in some water.

Glued and Blind-Stitched Seams (GBS)

GBS seams are created by gluing two pieces of neoprene together and then stitching them with a blind stitch that doesn’t go all the way through the neoprene. This creates a waterproof seal that prevents water from entering the suit.


  • Consider GBS seams if you’re looking for maximum protection against water entry
  • Avoid flatlock seams if you’re looking for warmth and comfort in colder water temperatures
  • Think about your personal preferences and comfort level when choosing between the two types of seams

Buoyancy-Enhancing Features on Surfing Wetsuits

In addition to providing warmth and protection, some surfing wetsuits also have features that enhance buoyancy. Here are some examples:

Batwing Panels

Batwing panels are extra pieces of neoprene located under the arms of the wetsuit. They create additional buoyancy by trapping air in this area.

Chest and Back Panels

Some suits have thicker neoprene on the chest and back areas, which provides additional buoyancy in these areas.

Floatation Devices

Some wetsuits come with built-in floatation devices like inflatable bladders or foam inserts. These can help keep you afloat in the water, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer.


  • Consider buoyancy-enhancing

    Layering Under Your Wetsuit for Extra Warmth When Surfing in Cold Temperatures

    Why Layering is Important

    When surfing in cold temperatures, it’s important to stay warm and comfortable. This can be achieved by layering under your wetsuit. Layering provides extra insulation and helps trap heat close to your body. It also allows you to adjust the amount of warmth you need depending on the conditions.

    What to Wear Under Your Wetsuit

    When layering under your wetsuit, it’s important to choose clothing that is made from materials that are quick-drying and moisture-wicking. Avoid cotton as it will absorb water and make you feel colder. Instead, opt for synthetic fabrics or wool. Here are some options:

    Thermal Tops and Bottoms:

    These are designed specifically for cold water activities like surfing. They are made from materials that provide extra insulation without adding bulk.

    Rash Guards:

    Rash guards are great for layering under your wetsuit because they are lightweight, quick-drying, and provide a barrier between your skin and the wetsuit.

    Fleece Jackets:

    Fleece jackets are a good option if you need extra warmth. They are soft, comfortable, and provide excellent insulation.

    Tips for Layering Under Your Wetsuit

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind when layering under your wetsuit:

    – Don’t wear too many layers as this can restrict movement.
    – Make sure all layers fit snugly against your skin to prevent chafing.
    – Avoid wearing anything with zippers or buttons as they can cause discomfort when wearing a wetsuit.
    – Always rinse out your layers after use to prevent odors from developing.

    Caring for and Maintaining Your Surf Wetsuit to Prolong Its Lifespan

    Why Proper Care is Important

    A surf wetsuit is a significant investment, so it’s important to take care of it properly to prolong its lifespan. Proper care will also ensure that your wetsuit performs at its best and keeps you warm and comfortable in the water.

    Cleaning Your Wetsuit

    After each use, rinse your wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water. This will remove any salt, sand or other debris that may have accumulated on the suit. Avoid using hot water as this can damage the neoprene material. Hang your wetsuit up to dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

    Storing Your Wetsuit

    When storing your wetsuit, make sure it is completely dry before folding or hanging it up. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Avoid leaving your wetsuit crumpled up in a ball as this can cause creases that are difficult to remove.

    Repairing Your Wetsuit

    If you notice any tears or holes in your wetsuit, they should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Most surf shops offer wetsuit repair services, or you can purchase a repair kit and do it yourself.

    Replacing Your Wetsuit

    Even with proper care, a surf wetsuit will eventually need to be replaced. Signs that it’s time for a new wetsuit include excessive wear and tear, loss of elasticity, and an unpleasant odor that won’t go away.

    Renting or Borrowing a Suitable Surf Wetsuit

    Why Renting or Borrowing is a Good Option

    If you’re new to surfing or don’t surf often, renting or borrowing a wetsuit can be a good option. It allows you to try out different types of wetsuits without committing to buying one. Renting or borrowing also saves you money and storage space.

    Where to Rent or Borrow a Wetsuit

    Most surf shops offer wetsuit rentals, so start by checking with your local shop. Some beaches also have rental stands where you can rent a wetsuit for the day. If you have friends who surf, ask if they have an extra wetsuit you can borrow.

    What to Look for in a Rental or Borrowed Wetsuit

    When renting or borrowing a wetsuit, make sure it fits properly and is appropriate for the conditions you’ll be surfing in. Check for any tears or holes before putting it on. If possible, try the wetsuit on before renting it to ensure a proper fit.

    Caring for a Rental or Borrowed Wetsuit

    Just because you’re not the owner of the wetsuit doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of it properly. Rinse the suit thoroughly with fresh water after each use and hang it up to dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

    Finding Reliable Reviews and Recommendations on Different Types of Surf Wetsuits

    Why Reviews and Recommendations are Important

    With so many different types of surf wetsuits on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Reading reviews and recommendations from other surfers can help narrow down your options and make an informed decision.

    Where to Find Reviews and Recommendations

    There are several websites and forums dedicated to surfing where you can find reviews and recommendations on different types of surf wetsuits. Some popular options include Surfline, Magicseaweed, and Reddit’s r/surfing community.

    What to Look for in Reviews

    When reading reviews, look for comments on fit, warmth, durability, and overall performance. Pay attention to any recurring issues or complaints that multiple reviewers mention.

    Asking for Recommendations

    If you have friends who surf, ask them for recommendations on wetsuits they’ve used and liked. You can also ask your local surf shop for their opinion on which wetsuits are best suited to the conditions in your area.

    Trying Before You Buy

    If possible, try on different types of wetsuits before making a purchase. This will give you a better idea of how they fit and feel in the water. Many surf shops offer demo programs where you can try out different wetsuits before buying one.

    In conclusion, choosing the right wetsuit for surfing is crucial to stay warm and comfortable in the water. At our store, we offer a wide variety of high-quality wetsuits that are perfect for every surfer’s needs. So if you’re looking for a reliable and durable wetsuit, be sure to check out our products! Feel free to get in touch with us anytime if you have any questions or need help selecting the right wetsuit for you. Happy surfing!

    How do I choose a surfing wetsuit?

    When selecting a wetsuit, it’s important to consider the water temperature in your area and the overall climate. In colder water, you will need a thicker suit with more millimeters of neoprene for better insulation. Wetsuits that have two or more numbers indicate varying thicknesses.

    Should I get a 4 3 or 3 2 wetsuit in Southern California?

    If you plan on surfing in the spring, summer, or fall, we suggest wearing a 3/2 wetsuit. However, if you’re surfing in the winter, you’ll need a 4/3 wetsuit. The 4/3 wetsuit is made with thicker material, allowing you to stay in the water for longer periods of time. The increased thickness also provides better insulation, so you’ll stay warm even in cold water.

    Is a 4 3 wetsuit too warm?

    A 4/3 mm wetsuit is typically considered an all-season wetsuit rather than a full winter wetsuit. It is suitable for water temperatures around 12-15°C and is commonly worn throughout the winter in southern Europe. The ideal winter wetsuit will vary depending on location and water temperatures.

    What wetsuit for 70 degree water?

    This guide provides recommendations for wetsuit thickness based on different water temperature ranges. For water temperatures above 72°F (22°C), a rashguard is recommended. For temperatures between 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C), a top or shorty wetsuit is recommended. For temperatures between 62°F-68°F (16°C-20°C), a springsuit or full suit is recommended. And for temperatures between 58°F-63°F (14°C-17°C), a full suit with boots is recommended.

    What is the difference between 4 3 and 3 2 wetsuits?

    The rule is quite straightforward: the thicker the wetsuit, the more warmth it provides. A wetsuit with a thickness of 5/4/3 will offer significantly more warmth compared to a wetsuit with a thickness of 3/2. The thickness of a wetsuit also has a minor impact on its durability. Wetsuits with greater thickness, due to having more material, are less likely to develop tears that penetrate all the way through the neoprene.

    What does a 5 4 3 wetsuit mean?

    A wetsuit with the thicknesses 5/4/3 combines three different neoprene thicknesses: 5mm for the torso, 4mm for the legs, and 3mm for the arms.