Surfing Wetsuits – Choosing the Perfect Gear for Your Surfing Adventure

Surfing Wetsuits OnlineWhat are Surfing Wetsuits?

Surfing wetsuits are specially designed garments made from neoprene fabric that provide insulation and protection when engaging in water sports activities such as surfing. These wetsuits are essential gear for surfers who want to enjoy their time on the waves while keeping warm and comfortable.

What is a Surfing Wetsuit?

A surfing wetsuit is a type of wetsuit that is specifically designed for surfers. It is made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber that provides excellent insulation and flexibility. The main purpose of a surfing wetsuit is to keep your body protected from the cold water, while also providing buoyancy and freedom of movement.

Different types of surfing wetsuits are available, each suited for specific water temperatures and surfing conditions. These include fullsuits, springsuits, short johns, and rashguards. When choosing the right wetsuit for you, it’s important to consider factors such as water temperature, thickness and neoprene quality, fit and sizing, zipper placement, and your personal style and design preferences.

Benefits of Surfing Wetsuits

Surfing wetsuits offer several benefits that enhance the overall surfing experience:

  1. Protection from the cold: The primary function of a wetsuit is to keep you warm in cold water. The neoprene material traps a thin layer of water between the suit and your body, which gets warmed up by your body heat. This layer acts as insulation, keeping you comfortable even in chilly waters.
  2. Enhanced buoyancy and flexibility: The neoprene material used in wetsuits provides buoyancy, making it easier for you to float on the water’s surface. Additionally, wetsuits are designed to provide optimum freedom of movement, allowing surfers to paddle and perform maneuvers without any restrictions.
  3. Protection against rashes and abrasions: Wetsuits also serve as a protective barrier against rashes, irritations, and abrasions caused by direct contact with surfboards or rough ocean surfaces. The smooth neoprene material reduces friction, preventing discomfort and potential skin injuries.

Types of Surfing Wetsuits

There are different types of surfing wetsuits, each offering various levels of coverage and insulation. Here are some common types:

  1. Fullsuits: Fullsuits, also known as steamers, are the most common type of wetsuits. They cover the entire body, including the arms and legs, offering full insulation and protection. Fullsuits are ideal for colder water temperatures and extended surf sessions.
  2. Springsuits: Springsuits, also called shorties, are shorter wetsuits that typically cover the torso and upper thighs, leaving the arms and lower legs exposed. They are ideal for milder water temperatures and provide more freedom of movement.
  3. Short John: Short Johns are similar to springsuits but without sleeves. They cover the torso and upper thighs, offering moderate warmth and flexibility. Short Johns are suitable for warmer conditions and are often preferred by surfers who want more arm mobility.
  4. Rashguards: Rashguards are thin, lightweight tops that provide protection against rashes, sunburn, and minor abrasions. They are typically worn under wetsuits or on their own in warm water conditions.

The type of wetsuit you choose depends on the temperature of the water you’ll be surfing in and your personal preference regarding coverage and mobility.

How Does a Surfing Wetsuit Work?

Surfing wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water between your body and the suit. This layer gets warmed up by your body heat, creating insulation that helps to keep you warm in cold water. The neoprene material used in wetsuits provides excellent thermal insulation due to its closed-cell structure, which prevents water from seeping in and exchanging heat with the environment.

The thickness of the neoprene and its quality also play a crucial role in the wetsuit’s performance. Thicker wetsuits provide more insulation but may sacrifice flexibility, while thinner wetsuits offer greater mobility but provide less warmth. The design and construction of wetsuits, such as strategic seam placement and reinforced areas, further enhance their functionality and durability.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Surfing Wetsuit

When choosing a surfing wetsuit, consider the following factors to ensure the perfect fit and performance:

  1. Water temperature: The temperature of the water you’ll be surfing in is a crucial factor in determining the appropriate wetsuit thickness. Colder temperatures require thicker wetsuits to provide sufficient insulation, while warmer temperatures call for thinner wetsuits or rashguards.
  2. Thickness and neoprene: Wetsuits are available in different thicknesses, typically measured in millimeters. Thicker wetsuits offer more warmth but may restrict movement. Look for wetsuits with quality neoprene that balances insulation and flexibility.
  3. Fit and sizing: A properly fitting wetsuit is essential for comfort and performance. It should fit snugly but not too tight, allowing for a full range of motion. Consider your weight, height, and body shape when determining the correct size.
  4. Zipper placement: Wetsuits can have either back zippers or chest zippers. Back zip wetsuits are easier to put on but may restrict movement, while chest zip wetsuits offer better flexibility but can be slightly more challenging to put on.
  5. Style and design: Wetsuits come in various styles and designs, allowing you to express your personal taste. While style is subjective, prioritize functionality and fit over aesthetics when choosing a wetsuit.

Surfing Wetsuit Maintenance Tips

Proper care and maintenance are essential for prolonging the lifespan of your surfing wetsuit. Here are some tips to keep your wetsuit in good condition:

  1. Proper rinsing and drying: Rinse your wetsuit with freshwater after each use to remove salt, sand, and chlorine. Hang it upside down in a shaded area to dry and avoid direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage the neoprene material.
  2. Storage tips: Store your wetsuit flat or hanging on a wide hanger to avoid creasing. Avoid folding or compressing the suit for extended periods, as this can cause permanent damage.
  3. Repair and maintenance: Inspect your wetsuit regularly for any tears, holes, or loose seams. Use wetsuit glue or neoprene patches to repair minor damages promptly.
  4. How often to replace your wetsuit: The lifespan of a wetsuit depends on its usage, care, and the quality of the neoprene. On average, a well-maintained wetsuit can last around 2-5 years, but it may need to be replaced sooner if it shows signs of significant wear or reduced insulation.

Surfing Wetsuit Accessories

In addition to wetsuits, several accessories can enhance your surfing experience and provide added protection:

  1. Wetsuit boots: Wetsuit boots provide insulation and protection for your feet, preventing numbness and injuries caused by sharp objects in the water or on the ocean floor.
  2. Wetsuit gloves: Wetsuit gloves keep your hands warm and shielded from the cold water and wind. They offer grip and protection against blisters and abrasions caused by handling a surfboard.
  3. Wetsuit hood: A wetsuit hood protects your head, ears, and neck from the cold water and wind. It helps to retain heat and prevents the dreaded “ice cream headache” often experienced when diving into cold water.

How to Choose the Right Surfing Wetsuit Accessories

When selecting surfing wetsuit accessories, consider the following factors:

  1. Compatibility: Ensure that the accessories you choose are compatible with your wetsuit, both in terms of size and design.
  2. Water temperature: Choose accessories that are appropriate for the water temperature you’ll be surfing in. Thicker gloves and boots are necessary in colder conditions, while thinner options work for milder temperatures.
  3. Quality and durability: Opt for accessories made from high-quality materials to ensure durability and longevity. Look for features such as reinforced palm areas on gloves and sturdy soles on boots.

Surfing Wetsuit Care and Cleaning

To keep your surfing wetsuit in optimal condition, follow these care and cleaning tips:

  1. Rinse with fresh water: After every surf session, rinse your wetsuit with freshwater to remove salt, sand, and any other debris. Thoroughly rinse the inside and outside of the suit.
  2. Use mild soap: Occasionally, use a mild soap or wetsuit-specific cleaner to remove any remaining dirt or odor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
  3. Avoid excessive stretching: When putting on or taking off your wetsuit, avoid excessive stretching or pulling to prevent unnecessary strain on the fabric and seams.
  4. Hang to dry: Hang your wetsuit upside down in a shaded and well-ventilated area to dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can degrade the neoprene and fade the colors.

Essential Tips for Maximizing Your Surfing Experience

To make the most of your surfing experience with your wetsuit, consider these tips:

  1. Properly warm up: Before hitting the waves, warm up your body with light stretches and exercises. This helps reduce the risk of muscle strains and improves flexibility.
  2. Choose suitable surf spots: Select surf spots that match your skill level and experience. Be mindful of wave size, currents, and any potential hazards to ensure a safe and enjoyable surf.
  3. Take breaks and hydrate: Surfing can be physically demanding, so remember to take regular breaks and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water between surf sessions to prevent dehydration.
  4. Practice good surf etiquette: Respect other surfers in the water by following proper surf etiquette. Be aware of right-of-way rules, communicate in a friendly manner, and avoid excessive crowding.

Surfing Wetsuit FAQs

Here are some common questions about surfing wetsuits:

  1. Are surfing wetsuits only for cold water? Surfing wetsuits are primarily designed for cold water, but they can also provide some insulation and protection in milder water temperatures.
  2. Can I wear a wetsuit in warm water? While wearing a full wetsuit in warm water may cause overheating, you can opt for thinner wetsuits or rashguards that provide sun protection and minimal insulation.
  3. How tight should a wetsuit be? A wetsuit should fit snugly but not excessively tight. It should allow for full range of motion without restricting movement or causing discomfort.
  4. How do I clean my wetsuit? Rinse your wetsuit with freshwater after each use and occasionally use a mild soap or wetsuit cleaner to remove dirt and odor. Avoid machine washing or using harsh detergents.
  5. How often should I replace my wetsuit? The lifespan of a wetsuit depends on various factors such as usage, care, and quality. On average, a well-maintained wetsuit can last around 2-5 years.


Choosing the perfect surfing wetsuit is crucial to ensure comfort, warmth, and protection during your surfing adventures. Consider factors such as water temperature, neoprene thickness, fit, and style when selecting a wetsuit. Additionally, proper care and maintenance, along with the appropriate accessories, help prolong the lifespan of your wetsuit and enhance your overall surfing experience. With the right wetsuit and accessories, you’ll be ready to hit the waves and enjoy the thrill of surfing to the fullest.

Xcel Wetsuits