An In-Depth guide into finding the best wetsuit for surfing

Best wetsuit for surfing

If you’ve decided to take up surfing then a wetsuit is essential. However, finding the best wetsuit for surfing can become a little bit intimidating. The biggest question that comes into mind while looking for the best wetsuit for surfing is what should I look for? There is a huge amount of variety available in the market which makes it hard to select the best one for yourself.
In this article we are going to take a closer look at all the benefits and features of wetsuits which will help you narrow down your search. We will answer all your questions regarding their fitting, sizes, types and temperature control. By the end of this article you will have a clear idea about a wetsuit that would be perfect match for yourself.


When Do You Need A Wetsuit?

If you think that wetsuits are just for scuba divers then you are wrong. They can be used by anyone who wants to hit cold waters. Check out our inflatable paddle board guide as well, a surf wetsuit is ideal for it.

Wetsuits help you to keep your body warm and protect your skin from the sun. By wearing a wetsuit, you can keep yourself completely dry in the water. A wetsuit is an amazing tool which enables water lovers to feel the same in the water in all seasons

Surfers in Wetsuits

Temperature Control:

One of the major uses of a wetsuit is controlling temperature. People wear it in the cold Waters to keep their body warm and comfortable. When the temperature is above 70 degrees even a spring suit can work. But when the temperature drops below 60 degrees a full wetsuit becomes a necessity. You will also need to wear wetsuit boots along with gloves for colder waters.

Types of Wetsuits:

There are a few different types of wetsuit available. Different wetsuits are suitable for different water temperatures. Use our size and temperature guides in this article to help you choose which wetsuit you will need.


Full Wetsuits:

Full wetsuits, depending on there thickness can be used in both cold and mild temperatures. LIsted below are various thickness full body wetsuits. Use our temperature to choose the wetsuit that best suits where you are likely to surf.

Wetsuit thicknessMens Winter WetsuitsWomens Winter WetsuitsChildrens Winter Wetsuits


Long John / Jane wetsuits:

These wetsuits are made exactly like full wetsuits are made. However thinner neoprene is used and the arms are not covered by the suit.

Mens Long John WetsuitsWomens Long John Wetsuits


 Spring Suits/Shorty:

Wetsuits which are ideal for when the waters are warmer

SizeMens Spring/Shorty WetsuitsWomens Spring/Shorty WetsuitsChildrens Spring/Shorty Wetsuits


Thickness of Wetsuit:

When looking for the best wetsuit for surfing it essential to learn about wetsuit thickness’s

There are different types of thicknesses to suit different conditions. The thickness of a neoprene wetsuit is measured in millimeters. The thicker the wetsuit the more efficient it will be for cold waters. For example, suits with a 2 mm thickness are more suitable for warmer water. Whereas, a suit with a 5mm thickness is suitable for colder waters.
As far as sizing is concerned, there is a very common misinterpretation. You will see numbers such as “4/3” stamped on the wetsuits. These numbers tell you the thickness of wet suit on different parts of the body. The first number, i.e “4”, is going to give you the thickness of the wetsuit around the torso. This is basically where you want to keep your body warmer. The second number tells you the thickness of extremities i.e. your arms and your legs. It will keep your extremities a bit colder but less thickness means more mobility and faster speed in water.


Wetsuit Temperature Guide:


There are different wetsuits with different thicknesses available in the market. Here is a complete wetsuit temperature guide for you which will help you choose the best wetsuit for surfing for a specific water temperature.

Water Temperature (℉)Wetsuit ThicknessWetsuit Type
42° and below6/5 mm - 6/5/4 mm
Full Suit
43°- 52°5/4 mm - 5/4/3 mmFull Suit
52°- 58°4/3 mm - 5/4/3 mmFull Suit
58°- 63°3/2 mm - 4/3 mmFull Suit
62°- 68°2 mm - 3/2 mmFull Suit/ Spring suit
65°- 75°0.5 mm - 2/1 mmTop/Shorty

Best wetsuit for surfing

Size and Fitting:


An important factor when looking for the best wetsuit for surfing, alongside the neoprene thickness is the fitting of the wetsuit. If the wetsuit doesn’t fit properly then it won’t work properly. No matter how thick your suit is itself, if it doesn’t fit, then you will definitely get cold. So, make sure you buy the wetsuit that fits perfectly on your body. The following points will help you know whether a wetsuit fits you perfectly or not:


  • When you are done with putting up your wetsuit, there should be no extra room in torso, shoulders, knees and crotch.
  • Lift your arms over your head and try to stretch your shoulders. If you feel a lot of pressure or friction, then the wetsuit is too small for you.
  • After putting on your wetsuit, you should be able to move and bend your legs and arms easily.


Men’s Wetsuit Size Guide:


Product SizeHeight (Inches)Weight (lbs)Chest (Inch)Waist (inch)
2SX5’6’’ - 5’8’’115 –13035.5 - 36.527.5 -28.5
XS5’7’’ - 5’9’'125 – 14536.5 - 37.528.5 -29.5
SS5’5.5’’ - 5’7.5’’130 – 15037.5 - 3929.5 - 31
S5’8’’ - 5’10’’135 – 15537.5 - 3929.5 - 31
ST6’0’’ - 6’2’’145 – 16537.5 - 3929.5 - 31
MS5’6.5’’ - 5’8.5’’145 –16539 – 4131 –33
M5’9’’ - 5’11’’150 – 17039 – 4131 –33
MT6’1’’ - 6’3’’160 –18041 – 43.533 - 35
LS5’7.5’’ - 5’9.5’’160 – 18041 – 43.533 - 35
L5’10’’ - 6’0’’170 – 19041 – 43.533 - 35
LT6’2’’ - 6’4180 - 20041 – 43.533 - 35
XLS5’8.5’’ - 5’10.5’’180 - 20043.5 - 4635 – 37
XL5’11’’ - 6’1’’190 – 21043.5 - 4635 – 37
XLT6’3’’ - 6’5’’200 – 22043.5 - 4635 – 37
2XL6’0’’ - 6’2’’210 – 23046 – 48.5
37 – 39
3XL6’0’’ - 6’3’’
230 – 25048.5 - 5139 – 44
4XL6’1’’ - 6.4250 - 27051 – 53.5
44 – 48


Women’s Wetsuit size Guide:

Product SizeHeight (inch) Weight (LB)Chest (inch)Waist (inch)
25’1 - 5’3’’90 – 10530 – 3224.5 - 36.5
45’3’’ - 5’5’110 – 11530.5 -32.525 – 27
6S5’2.5’’ - 5’4.5’’105 – 12031.5 - 33.526 – 28
65’44’’ - 5’6’’110 – 12531.5 - 33.526 – 28
6T5’5.5’’ - 5’7.5’’
115 – 13031.5 - 33.526 – 28
8S5’3.5’’ - 5’5.5’’115 – 13032.5 - 34.527 – 29
85’5’’ - 5’7’’120 –13532.5 - 34.527 – 29
8T5’6.5’’ - 5’8.5’’125 – 14032.5 - 34.527 – 29
10S5’4.5’’ - 5’6.5’’125 – 14534 – 3626 – 30.5
105’6’’ - 5’8’’130 – 15034 – 3629 – 30.5
10T5’7.5’' - 5’9.5’’135 – 15534 – 3629 – 30.5
S125’7’’ - 5’9’’140 – 16035.5 - 37.530.5 - 32
145’8’’ - 5’10’’150 – 17037 – 3931 – 33.5
165’9’’ - 5’11’’165 – 18538.5 - 40.533.5 - 35


Children’s Wetsuit Guide:

Product SizeHeight (inch)Weight (LB)Chest (inch)Waist (inch)
12'10 ½'’. - 3.2 1/2"25 - 3019 - 2118-20
23'2 1/2" - 3.6 1/2"30 - 3520 - 2219-21
33'6 1/2" -3'101/2"35 - 4021 - 2320-22
43'10 1/2" -4'1 1/2"40 - 5523 - 2520-22
64’1 1/2’’ - 4’ 4 ½'’
50 - 6524 - 2621-23
84’4 1/2" - 4'7 1/2"
60 - 7526 - 2823-25
104'7" - 4'10"
75 - 9028 - 3023-25
124’10’’ - 5’1’’90 - 10529 - 3125-27
145’1’' - 5’4’’105 - 12031 - 3327-29
165’4’’ - 5’7’’120 – 13533 - 3528-30

What Are Wetsuits Made Of?

Best wetsuit for surfing

Stitching and Sealing:

The most important element of any suit is the stitch. There are different types of stitching that you can find out in the market:

  • Flatlock Stitching
  • Sealed/Glued and Blind Stitched
  • Sealed and Taped



The most common form of stitch available is the flatlock stitch. The Flatlock stitch is very durable and is perfect for water above 62 degrees. You can also recognize the seal stitches by their appearance. By this kind of seam seal, results in the wetsuit haivng millions of tiny little holes. This allows water into the wetsuit. That’s why wetsuits with flatlock stitching are not suitable for waters below 62 degrees.

Sealed/Glued and Blind Stitched:

This seam style lets very little water to get in. The neoprene panels are first glued and then blind stitched together. This means that stitching goes only halfway through the material, creating a more watertight seam. This prevents cold water entering the suit. Wetsuits with this kind of stitching are best for waters that are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sealed and Taped:

In this kind of stitching, panels are glued and blind stitched together. In addition to that, wetsuits also contain interior seam taping which makes it more durable. This mechanism prevents any water to seep through the suit making them the best for waters below 55-degrees Fahrenheit.

so when looking for the best wetsuit for surfing make sure to check which kind stitching is used.


How Do Wetsuits Work?


The suit has neoprene insulation which helps you stay warm and protect you in water. The suit works by trapping in a thin layer of water between the wetsuit and your body. The heat of your body heats this water and keeps you warm even in cold temperature. Water molecules conduct heat very fast and keep a person warm for a long period of time.

Neoprene is made up of tiny cells that are filled with air. This provides insulation against cold water. This is where the thickness of suit comes into play. The thicker the neoprene, the more insulation you get.

Learner surfers in wetsuits

How to Take Care and Prolong The Life of Your Wetsuit:


No matter how high-quality a wetsuit you use, you always need to take care of it in order to extend its life. Taking good care of your wetsuit will not only prolong its life but also save you money down the line. Here are some tips that will help you take care of your wetsuit.


  • Rinse your wetsuit (post surf): Rinse your wetsuit at the end of your surf. Make sure you wash it thoroughly with cold fresh water, taking out all the seawater from it. Wash it from the inside as well as outside.
  • Avoid Heat: Any kind of heat is bad for your wetsuit. Never wash it with hot water. Use fresh cold water instead. Avoid putting your wetsuit out in the sun. The fabric is very sensitive to heat. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will tear out the fabric fast. If you want to dry your wetsuit, try drying it under some shade.
  • Dry Inside Out: Always dry your wetsuit inside out. Don’t hang it on a standard hanger to dry as it will stretch out the suit. Placing it flat for storage is a good option. Don’t store your wetsuit on a hanger as it will cause the fabric to stretch. Don’t fold your wetsuit, or else the neoprene will crease out and recovering it is not possible.
  • Do Not Machine Wash: Never ever wash your wetsuit in a washing machine. Don’t dry it in a dryer either. Use of bleach, washing powder or softener is never an option. Also, don’t ever try to iron your wetsuit. Always wash it by hand using a mild shampoo. A lot of wetsuit care products are out in the market. Use them.
  • Getting Rid of Odor: If your wetsuit smells, you don’t need to worry. Just put it in a tub filled with fresh water. Then apply mild shampoo or wetsuit soap. Rinse it with fresh water. Dry it in fresh air on a suitable hanger.

We hope this article has helped you learn everything you need to know before buying the best wetsuit for surfing.

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