Pick the right wetsuit for cold water surfing

When it comes to surf gear, the conditions you are about to surf, define the type of gear you need. The most important gear you will need is a wetsuit, your surfboard, some wax, and a good surf leash for the board. A wetsuit is an essential part of surfing and picking the right wetsuit type, is important for your performance as well as being commutable in the water. 

 When surfing in colder water types there are a few things you need to have in mind:

  • The type of wetsuit 

When surfing in colder waters, you will either need a full suit steamer or a full-suit hooded wetsuit as those are the ones with the most coverage. The last option is the best choice in really cold conditions, since the build-in hood, makes sure that there is no leakage around your neck area.

  • The thickness of your wetsuit

When surfing in colder climates, the water temperature defines the thickness of your wetsuit. The colder the water temperature, the thicker a wetsuit you will need to stay warm. In colder conditions like Europe during winter, you will typically need a 4mm neoprene wetsuit, while you might want a 5mm in very cold conditions or even a 6 to 7mm wetsuit if you plan to surf in the arctic waters. The thicker the wetsuit gets, the more flexibility you need, so it’s important to understand the conditions you are about to surf, to be able to pick the best wetsuit, that will both keep you warm and optimize your performance

  • Essential wetsuit add-ons

When surfing in colder conditions you often need some extra gear besides your wetsuit. The most common things to add to provide extra warmth are, surf boots, surf gloves and surf hoods. 

 As mentioned above the surf hood can be fixed in the wetsuit, but can also be purchased as an add-on essential. 

 When surfing/swimming in cold water, it is very important to keep your head, hands, and feet warm, since these parts of the body, will quickly lower your body temperature if getting too cold. Therefore most cold-water surfers, use neoprene gloves and boots. You can find these essentials at your favorite wetsuit brands like Rip Curl, Billabong, or Xcel. The skateboard brand Van’s has also developed a really innovative pair of surfboard boots, that is worth checking out. 

Now that you know what wetsuits and essentials to look for when surfing in colder conditions, all is left is to decide on the surf spot you are going to rip at. Then you will need to check out the water temperature and water conditions, time the next swell and pick the most suitable gear. See you out there!