Surfing Wetsuits For Men, Women, Youth & Kids Jackssurfboards.com
Wetsuits Buyers Guide Wetsuits are super important no matter what watersport you’re diving into. They offer a form of protection in more ways than one and can help you fully enjoy a day spent in and on the water. Wetsuits can protect you from sun and wind, and of course, they help keep you warm by trapping water between the suit and your skin which then warms up by your body temperature.
When it comes to picking out the right surf wetsuit there are a lot of things to consider first. First things first, you should know the answers to questions such as :
What type of wetsuit do you need?
There are different wetsuits made for different climates and water temperatures. The major types of wetsuits are full suits, spring suits, and surf tops. Of course, these types can be found in various styles and names depending on the company you’re buying from. However, in general terms:
Full Suits can be comfortably worn in most climates all year long. They are great protection from the sun, wind, and sea. They range in flexibility and thickness, with some of the ticker wetsuits coming with an attached hood. They cover your entire arms and legs down to your wrists and ankles.
Spring Suits are generally worn in warmer climates and days where the water might just be a little bit colder than the air or vice versa. They can come in a variety of cuts but the most common are short arm with long leg, long arm with long leg and/or short arm with short leg.
Surf Tops help protect you from the sun and wind. They can come in different thicknesses but typically are pretty thin.
What climate are you surfing in?
Climate is a huge factor to consider when you’re picking out a wetsuit. Depending on where you live and/or if you plan to travel to different climates should all play into your reasoning. In some areas, a good quality full suit will keep you in the waves all year long. As mentioned earlier, a full suit is going to cover your arms, legs, and part of your neck. The wetsuit should feel nice and snug around your neck, wrists, and ankles, but not cutting off your circulation.
When looking for a wetsuit for cold-weather climates thickness is key. Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimeters and generally ranges from the thinnest being 1mm and the thickest being 6mm. When looking at the thickness of a wetsuit it is typically written 3/2 or 4/3 and what this means is the first number correlates to the thickness at the torso and the second number is the thickness at the arms and legs. Most wetsuits will be thicker at the torso because that’s where your vital organs are and they need to be kept extra warm, plus a little extra padding between your chest and the board never hurt anyone.
Generally speaking, for water below 50 degrees, you’re going to want a wetsuit, boots, gloves, and a hood that is at least a 4/3 or a 5/4. As the water gets warmer the thickness can and will lessen.
How should your wetsuit fit?
You want your wetsuits, no matter what style, to fit super snug, especially around the wrists, ankles, and neck. You should still be able to move around comfortably, even in the super thick ones. You don’t need “extra room” anywhere, so unfortunately, you can’t buy something to grow into. When suits are too loose, they will fill with water and never keep you warm. They will also just literally weigh you down and mess with your popup and balance.
When trying on a wetsuit you should be able to do a paddling movement and squat down easily, if not then your suit is too tight.
How much is your budget?
Good wetsuits cost good money. While each company is a little bit different, you’re not going to get around the fact that wetsuits can be expensive. Expensive can be good, as long as it is a quality brand and you make every effort to care for your wetsuit, it can last you many years. Surfing in a brand new wetsuit that fits perfectly is a feeling like no other. However, if you can’t afford that right away, there are plenty of alternatives.
Tips for Women:
For a long time, surf companies were slacking in the women’s department. These days the women’s wetsuits are flourishing, both in usability and style. Many companies cater to all women who surf, from super sexy to super conservative, basic and solid colors to vibrant and eccentric. All of this without lacking integrity in quality.
In many ways, women and girls have way more options than men when it comes to wetsuits. Suits that are specifically made for women have extra material built into the chest and torso area and are cut to fit curves that women naturally have. This makes them more comfortable and flexible in the water. For specific fits, refer to the companies fitting guide, but the best is to always try it on, especially for women.
Tips For Youth:
Fitting wetsuits for kids is simultaneously the hardest and easiest thing to do. Depending on how serious your child is about surfing will help you choose the right one.
If your kid is serious about surfing and spends hours in the water, it’s worth getting a good, new wetsuit and it should fit snug but not cutting off circulation. A child will almost always complain that a wetsuit is too tight, ask them to do a couple of pop-ups or jumping jacks and if they can do them fairly easily then you’re golden, just remind them it will loosen up in the water.
If they are actually struggling, then get a size up. If your kid refuses to try on a wetsuit, a quick but not always accurate, way to size up a kid is to hold a wetsuit up to their back and “eye” it up. As mentioned, this is not always accurate.