One of the greatest things about surfing is that you can still have a go at it regardless of the climate you may find yourself in. For protection, however, you might want to get yourself a wetsuit. Note that there is a difference between a surfing wetsuit and other wetsuits, so know what you need before you make your purchase.
“When picking out a suit, you’re going to want to get onethat is specifically designed for surfing. That means seeking out your local surf shop. Don’t go to a dive shop or swimming store. Surfing wetsuits are specially made to endure the specific repetitive motions that surfers make when they’re out in the ocean. For example, non-surfing suits can have seams in bad places that will cause major rashes when you’ve been paddling for a few hours.” Learn more here.
Update: Surfing Wetsuit and Other Wetsuits
Hi – Surfing News Daily (SND) editor here. I was reading through some of the most popular posts on the blog and I realize we didn’t tell you that you can buy your surfing wetsuit and other wetsuits online as well as in your local surf shop.
One of the leading brands in surfing wetsuits is Patagonia; the founding brand of 1% For The Planet. There’s too much to tell you about on this page but click on the underlined link and you can learn more about Patagonia Wetsuits . Or click on the picture below.
“There are lots of wetsuits that are sport specific, but quite often, they can be fairly generic. When I started surfing over 40 years ago, the wetsuits we wore were all designed for scuba diving. They had front zippers, and metal snaps, that damaged both the surfboard, and sometimes very delicate portions of our bodies.
The guys are right about thickness and flexibility. Another usual difference is that surf suits zip up the back, and don’t have any snaps or fasteners on the front., because you paddle on your belly. Dive suits zip up the front, because you wear your tank and back-pack on your back.” Read the original source of this information.
The type of neoprene used impacts flexibility, and there are 3 types of neoprene available for surfing wetsuits. Standard Neoprene, Super Stretch Neoprene, and Super Stretch Water Repellant Neoprene. For surfing, you need at least 30% Super Stretch Neoprene in your suit. Seasoned surfers prefer wetsuits with 60% or 100% Super Stretch Neoprene for the ultimate level of flexibility and that glove like fit.
30% equals the back, shoulders, and arms which is exactly where you need flexibility for paddling. The other 70% of the suit is made of Standard Neoprene.
60% extends down to the knees and covers all major flex points. These wetsuits are lighter and tend to fit better.
100% stretch wetsuits are ideal if they are within your price range. These wetsuits provide the ultimate combination of fit and flexibility while decreasing bulk.
Seam construction impacts warmth and comfort. Surfers in colder areas with water temps below 65 degrees need Sealed Seams to keep the warm water in and the cold water out. Below is a listing of the 3 types of seams available on surfing wetsuits:
Flatlock Stitching: Recommended for warm water above 62F. You can recognize this seam from the outside. It looks like railroad tracks. The interior and exterior seams look about the same. The interior seam construction is flat and comfortable against the body. Some water may seep in through these seams.
Sealed (Glued and Blindstitched): Recommended for cold water 55F and up. This construction is best for cold water because the seams are glued, then stitched. It looks similar to Flatlock stitching, but is narrower in width. Very little water will seep through these seams.
Sealed & Taped (Glued Blindstitched & 100% Taped): Recommended for very cold water 55F and below. Same construction as above plus interior seam taping. The tape reinforces seams for added durability, and prevents any water from seeping through.” Read more.
“Reinforced wetsuit knees
If you are just starting out or if you are going to use your wetsuit in sports that include lots of throwing yourself on the rocks (like canyoning or surfing shallow reefs ) then one more thing to check out are the reinforced wetsuit knees. If you are learning how to surf you will spend some time on the knees and some padding here helps. Some wetsuits only have anti-skid print on the knees, some have a patch of neoprene sewn onto the them, and some have knees reinforced with Kevlar. The efficiency of protection kind of rises in that order too.” Learn more like this from the Westuit Megastore
As a surfer, you need to have the ability to tell the difference between a surfing wetsuit and other wetsuits. Your suit is your primary form of defense against the elements that may batter you as soon as you get into the water. Take your time and consider the factors above when picking your wetsuit. Protection and comfort can indeed go hand in hand, so go for the suit that gives you the best of both worlds.