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Cold Water Surfing: Best Wetsuits For Surfing (2022)

Are you planning no doing some surfing in chilly water? A good wetsuit is what you need to stay warm out in the water.

Even if you’re surfing in warm water, a wetsuit can give you longer time in the water since it keeps your body heat in so you don’t tire or get cold.

If you’re ready to get one of these for your wave riding sessions, then let us help you find the right wetsuit.

Quick answer: What’s the best wetsuit for the money right now?

Last update on 2024-06-02 at 00:27 / Affiliate disclosure / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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How To Choose A Surfing Wetsuit

Wetsuits are an essential part of surfing. The sport requires you to have a suit that keeps you warm but does not restrict your movement.

But you also want to look good in your suit.

There are many options on the market and they get expensive quickly. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of a certain brand and miss important features you need in a wetsuit.

Listed below are features you should consider when you want to buy your next wetsuit.

What To Consider Before Buying

The most important thing to consider when buying a wetsuit is that it fits you. A wetsuit should hug your body and have a snug fit.

You want to make sure that you can crouch down in it and then stand back up. A wetsuit should fit around the neck, feet and wrists to prevent water from getting in.

You should know that when you try on a wetsuit, it is dry and fits more snugly than it will when it is wet. Neoprene loosens up when it gets wet so it feels less snug when you are in the water.

When you are considering a wetsuit, think about what you plan to do in that suit. This helps to guide what type of wetsuit you need.

You should consider the location and season you are going to use the wetsuit because that gives you a good idea of the water temperature. You want to stay warm while in the water.

There are three major styles of wetsuits.

There is the shorty which covers the upper arms, upper legs, and torso. There is a full suit which covers your arms down to your wrists and your legs down to your ankles.

Some full suits also have a hood.

There is also a spring suit which comes in two variations. One variation covers the upper arms and the legs while the other variation covers the whole arm and upper legs.

What is interesting about a wetsuit is how it keeps you warm.

It allows a thin layer of water between the body and the wetsuit. It holds that water there and it is warmed by your body heat and then in turn keeps you warm.

Wetsuits also have varying thicknesses which insulates you from the cold.

You will see the thickness written with two numbers, like 4/3. That means that the wetsuit is 4 millimeters thick on the body and 3 millimeters thick on the arms.

The top number also highlights the thickness on the legs in a winter suit and the bottom highlights the thickness on the legs in a spring suit.

Common Features

All wetsuits are made of neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber that provides excellent insulation which makes it the perfect material for a wetsuit. While all wetsuits provide some level of insulation and temperature control, it varies based on the suit.

There are some features that are common to all wetsuits and I will touch on the below.

Flushing is when the cold water fights to get into your suit. Remember that thin layer of water that your body warms and then it keeps you warm?

Well, the cold water on the outside of your suit constantly wants to flush out the warm water and let in the cold. This means you get cold quickly.

Any spot or seam or zipper is a place where cold water can flush into your suit. This is another reason why you want your suit to fit as snuggly as possible.

Almost all wetsuits have zippers to make it easier to get in and out of the wetsuit. The longer the zipper is, the easier it is to get in and out. However, keep in mind that a longer zipper means more opportunity for water to get in.

Almost all wetsuits have seams that were stitched. I am sure you know that to stitch something means you have put a hole in the material. Where there is a hole, water will try its best to get in.

Most wetsuits have flatlock stitching which is strong and durable. The thread is visible in a flatlock stitch and it may tear.

Some wetsuits fix the problems created by flatlock stitching with blind stitching. This process begins with the neoprene seams glued together.

Once it is glued, then it is blind stitched. This particular stitch type creates less holes because the curved needle threads a stitch and then comes out the same hole it created to close the stitch and the whole.

Some wetsuits then put tape in the areas where the seams may have more stress to provide more durability and strength.

Top Surfing Wetsuits Reviewed

Below we’ll share some of our favorite options for surfers. Our reviews showcase what we like about each of these wetsuits.

1. O’Neill Men’s Reactor 3/2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit

The O’Neill Men’s Reactor 3/2 mm is a full size wetsuit that zips in the back. The zipper has a tether to help you completely zip and unzip the suit without needing any help.

O'Neill Men's Reactor 3/2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit

This affordable wetsuit has FluidFlex which provides excellent movement in the shoulders and arms.

The wetsuit is 3/2 mm thick which gives you enough insulation to keep you warm in cold water.

This O’Neill wetsuit contains knee pads for extra support and protection. It contains enough room under the wetsuit to wear a bathing suit.

This wetsuit is easy to care for because it does not require washing or dry cleaning. You simply rinse the suit and let it hang to dry.

Why This Wetsuit Stands Out:

  • Affordable Price
  • Comes with hanger

2. Phantom Aquatics Men’s Marine Shorty Wetsuit

The Phantom Aquatics Men’s Marine Shorty Wetsuit has a full back zipper. This wetsuit has short sleeves and short bottoms.

Phantom Aquatics Men's Marine Shorty Wetsuit

It is a men’s wetsuit, but it cut for women. The suit is 2.5 mm thick to keep you warm in cold water.

The suit is made from neoprene to allow for comfortable movement. It has flat lock seams to provide even more comfort during wear.

The seat bottom of the suit provides a high amount of friction so you will not slip while sitting in a wet area. This suit protects you from abrasions with reinforcement in the shoulders.

The neck has a velcro tab closure with micro teeth so it remains comfortable and secure.

Why This Wetsuit Stands Out:

  • Sculpted wetsuit runs true to size
  • Seams are flat lock stitched for durability
  • Easy on and off, even when wet

3. Seavenger Navigator 3mm Neoprene Shorty Wetsuit

The Seavenger Navigator Shorty Wetsuit is made of premium neoprene that can stand up to all of your adventures.

Seavenger Navigator 3mm Neoprene Shorty Wetsuit

It does not matter if you scuba, surf, or swim, the Seavenger can withstand any wear and tear. The neoprene fits comfortably and snug and hugs your skin.

The short sleeves and material in the armpit stretches to give you movement that is not restricted.

The shoulders have pads that can sustain friction and abrasion so equipment and straps will not ruin your wetsuit.

The stitching in the suit is flat lock so it does not chafe or irritate your skin.

The zipper is extra durable and has an extra long leash to make it easy to take the suit on and off. The Seavenger is 3 mm thick to keep you warm in water that is around 65 degrees.

Why This Wetsuit Stands Out:

  • Excellent seal at neck so no water gets in
  • Easy to clean, rinse and dry
  • Velcro strap adjustment on sleeves

4. O’Neill Women’s Reactor 3/2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit

The O’Neill Women’s Reactor Full Wetsuit has a lighter and flexible material. Even though it is lighter, it still keeps you warm.

O'Neill Women's Reactor 3/2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit

This suit is 100 percent nylon, except the knee and right collar panels, which are 95 percent nylon and 5 percent spandex.

This suit should fit you tightly. It should feel like it is second skin.

It has Fluid Flex material that will not restrict your movement. The seams are flatlock so they will not irritate your skin.

The knees of the suit have Krypto Knee pads to protect the suit from abrasion so it will last a lifetime. The back has a sturdy full zipper with a long tether to allow for easy on and off.

The neck has a double seal so no water can get in. You must hand wash the suit and then hang it to dry.

Why This Wetsuit Stands Out:

  • Hidden pocket for your key
  • It does not bunch or crease
  • Affordable

5. Quiksilver Mens 3/2mm Syncro BZ Full Flatlock Wetsuit

The Quiksilver Mens Syncro BZ Full Wetsuit is incredibly lightweight. The neoprene of this suit is 16 percent lighter and you can feel the difference.

Quiksilver Mens 3/2mm Syncro BZ Full Flatlock Wetsuit

It has more air cells in the material to decrease the weight and increase the warmth it gives you. It is incredibly durable and well made.

The material has 100 percent stretch and moves with you for maximum flexibility and comfort. The material does not bulge or wrinkle.

The stitching is flatlock so it is durable and does not irritate your skin. It has a full zipper with tether for easy on and off.

The neck is adjustable to give you the proper fit and does not allow water in. It has an additional tab that is velcro to ensure the zipper stays in place.

This wetsuit has a tight fit and you may need to get a size up from your normal size.

Why This Wetsuit Stands Out:

  • This is a great value
  • Thermal jersey lining inside suit
  • Seams and glued and stitched

Summary: Top Wetsuits

Here’s a quick look at our favorite wetsuits for surfers like you.

Last update on 2024-06-02 at 00:27 / Affiliate disclosure / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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