Handle the Cold Water! 7 of the Best Wetsuits for Surfing

What do Adam Sandler and Kourtney Kardashian have in common?

Both of these celebrities love surfing, and who can blame them? Whether you’re new to the surfing scene, or you’ve been hitting the waves for years, you’ve probably already noticed how lifechanging surfing can be. Nevertheless, if you don’t have the right wetsuit, you’re destined to spend the day chilly, and uncomfortable.

If you want to hang loose and have amazing surfing experiences, you came to the right place. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the best wetsuits for surfing.

1. Fullsuit for Total Body Cover

When it comes to choosing the best wetsuits for surfing, it helps if you picture yourself wearing, and using the suit. This way, you’ll be able to think about any features you need but hadn’t thought of yet. For example, let's look at the features you can enjoy by getting a full wetsuit.

Full wetsuits are one of the best options for surfing because they cover your entire body, except for your hands and your head. A fullsuit is great for going in cold water, however depending on how cold the water is you might need to get gloves, booties, and a hood as well.

Luckily, you can usually buy the accessories you need at the same place you buy your wetsuit. Companies like xcel wetsuits allow customers to enjoy the convenience of a one-stop-shop.

When you start shopping for fullsuits you'll notice that there are some out there that don't have sleeves, or they have short sleeves. If you plan on being in intensely cold water, we suggest getting a full wetsuit that covers your arms completely.

2. Hooded Fullsuit

A hooded fullsuit comes with a built-in hood. If you plan on being somewhere with a cold climate, you'll be happy to have the hood to keep your head warm. Since your feet, face, and hands will still be out in the elements, we suggest that you buy booties and gloves for this suit as well.

By choosing a wetsuit that has the hood attached to it already, the suit will be more watertight. However, the downside to wearing a hooded wetsuit, is that if you don't need the hood, you have no way to take it off. However, it's easy to get used to letting the hood hang in place when you're not using it.

3. Wetsuit Surfer Jacket

A wetsuit jacket is one of the best wetsuits for surfing when you don’t need full-body coverage. By getting a wetsuit jacket, you’ll only be covering the top half of your body. It's common for wetsuit jackets to use a thin neoprene material, with a zipper running down the chest or back.

Jackets are ideal for when you'll be in water that's not cold, but you still need a little extra warmth to be comfortable. For instance, if your surfing on a windy day, a wetsuit jacket is a perfect way to keep the chill off your back.

You'll notice there's a wide variety of wet suit jacket styles available. You can choose your sleeve length, as well as whether or not you want the jacket to come with an attached hood.

If you think of wetsuit jacket is still too much coverage, consider getting a wetsuit vest. It is similar to wearing a tank top, and your arms will be able to enjoy a free range of motion.

4. Short John Wetsuit

A short john wetsuit doesn’t have any sleeves, and it stops just above you're knees. This means that your chest, torso, and thighs will have coverage. You'll be getting the ideal amount of warmth your core needs to keep you comfortable, without overdoing it.

We suggest getting a short john wetsuit for early-morning surf sessions. Even though the sun hasn’t had a chance to warm things up yet, you’ll still be able to surf comfortably. Plus, a lot of veteran surfers particularly love using short john wetsuits because they don't have to worry about wearing board shorts.

5. Long John Wetsuit

The long john wetsuit will give you more coverage than the short john can. This is because the long john wetsuit extends down below your knees, while still leaving your arms uncovered. As you paddle out, you'll enjoy being able to easily move your arms without any materials getting in your way.

We suggest using a long john wetsuit when the air is warm, but the water is slightly chilly. As you perfect your pop up, you won't have to worry about chaffing your knees since they'll be fully covered.

6. Spring Suit for Summer Surfing

A spring suit is ideal if you plan on surfing during the summer months. They're different variations of the spring suit, allowing you to choose between long arms or short arms. The legs of the spring suit will stop right above your knees.

You'll be able to keep the sun off your midsection, while still warming your core. Since spring suits are for use in warmer conditions, the material is usually thinner. The thinner material will give you a wider range of flexibility while you're surfing.

7. The Short-Arm Steamer

The short-arm steamer does a great job of keeping you warm by covering your core. The trunk of your body, as well as your legs, will be completely covered, as well as your upper arms. However, your forearms will be out in the open.

It's common for the seams on short-arm steamer’s to have glue, tape, and blind stitches, holding them together. However, even though these suits have a tight seal, they don't sacrifice any of their flexibility. You'll notice you're able to easily move around, as long as you choose a suit that has a high-grade, super-stretch material.

Best Wetsuits for Surfing

There you have it! Now, you know 7 of the best wetsuits for surfing. What wetsuit do you think is the right one for you?

Will you be going for the fullsuit, with a hood? Or are you just looking to get a wetsuit jacket, to stay warm on windy days? You may find that you need more than 1 wetsuit, to cover all of your surfing needs. 

Whatever wetsuit you choose, you're sure to enjoy being able to stay warm out in the water. For more insightful tips, read another one of our articles.


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