15 BEST WETSUITS FOR SURFING IN 2022

best-westsuits-for-surfing

WHY TRUST OUR REVIEWS?

Surf Indonesia has tested these products in and out of the surf in different conditions around the world. The best products are handpicked, and the features are discussed (even argued) and analyzed from our experience. Then the best-of-the-best are selected with reviews written by actual surfers. We aren’t paid to talk about certain brands, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Best 4/3mm Wetsuits

BEST OF
THE BEST 🔥
BEST IN
COLDWATER
ECO-FRIENDLY NEOPRENE
VALUE FOR MONEY
PARTIALLY
RECYCLED

O’NEILL

Psycho Tech 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 4/3 Chest Zip Hooded Wetsuit

QUICKSILVER

Marathon Sessions 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit

RIPCURL

Dawn Patrol 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit

BILLABONG

Absolute 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit

THE GUTS
BEST PICK 🔥

O’Neill is known for high-quality and inventing the first-ever neoprene wetsuit. They’ve taken every consideration into account in this wetsuit and it shows!

DESIGNED FOR THE FREEZING COLD

A specially built O’Neill wetsuit for colder climates with an in-built double super seal neck for maximum water tightness.

ECO-FRIENDLY NEOPRENE

Good quality at an affordable price. Quicksilver has stepped up its game in the wetsuit manufacturing department.

GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY

Ripcurl is known for innovative wetsuits. And they’ve put a lot of past successes into this one to provide a great value-for-money wetsuit option.

PARTIALLY RECYCLED

Billabongs Absolute wetsuit is warm and provides an all-round good fit. An affordable and durable wetsuit that is well worth a try.

THE GOOD

Stitchless Seam technology with exterior Single Fluid Seam Weld makes this wetsuit super warm with great flexibility and stretch. The seams have been strategically placed to eliminate chaffing in areas like the neck and underarms while providing unrestricted movement.

The in-built hood provides the ultimate protection against the wind and surfers ear. The hood along with the fully sealed chest zip also eliminates water coming in through the neck when duck diving, keeping you nice and toasty. There is also a two-layer design featuring a smooth interior lining for added insulation.

Although it’s a cheaper wetsuit Quicksilver hasn’t compromised on quality. You’ll benefit from a thermal lining, which helps generate and maintain warmth. Expect a snug fit with stretchy neoprene providing great comfort without sacrificing flexibility. Internally taped seams provide minimal water entry.

Benefit from a full internal dry lining for added warmth. This newer design has 30% more stretch and lighter weight without compromising on warmth, strength, and durability. Watertight blindstitch seams are glued and taped for added strength. A good all-around wetsuit in cold water. Ripcurl’s most popular wetsuit.

The rubber in this suit is made entirely from a light foam core which offers a lot of stretch, enabling the wetsuit to move with you and improve the fit. An easy wetsuit to put on and take off, especially on those cold days when you want to get changed quick! The stretch is unrestricted thanks to the silicone stretch jersey applied to the outside of the wetsuit.

THE BAD

A fraction more expensive than the other wetsuits on this list. However, the value for money is great considering the quality of the wetsuit.

The Hood is built in and cannot be removed on warmer days. However, you can wear the hood off your head like a hooded top.

The fixed waistband fit can be a little restrictive for the bigger guy.

It’s hard to fault this wetsuit. If you do live in an extremely cold winter climate you’ll want to look for a more specialized wetsuit option.

The neck could be slightly better designed to seal more effectively and prevent any flushing/water from entering the wetsuit.

O’NEILL

Psycho Tech 4/3
Chest Zip Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Best of the Best 🔥 – O’NEILL PSYCHO TECH 4/3

O’Neill is known for high-quality and inventing the first-ever neoprene wetsuit. They’ve taken every consideration into account in this wetsuit and it shows!

THE GOOD

Solid outseam construction with 4-way stretch fabric gives you the best of both worlds. Secure side pocket with elastic band for securing a key. Extremely well-cut boardshort for a comfortable well-positioned fit. Great range or colors and unique patterns to choose from.

THE BAD

Some of the single-color options can show wet patches. If you prefer not to wear underwear go for a pair with a pattern.

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 4/3
Chest Zip Hooded Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Designed for the Cold – O’NEILL HYPERFREAK 4/3

A specially built O’Neill wetsuit for colder climates with an in-built double super seal neck for maximum water tightness.

THE GOOD

The in-built hood provides the ultimate protection against the wind and surfers ear. The hood along with the fully sealed chest zip also eliminates water coming in through the neck when duck diving, keeping you nice and toasty. There is also a two-layer design featuring a smooth interior lining for added insulation.

THE BAD

The Hood is built in and cannot be removed on warmer days. However, you can wear the hood off your head like a hooded top.

QUICKSILVER

Marathon Sessions
4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Eco-Friendly – QUICKSILVER MARATHON SESSIONS 4/3

Good quality at an affordable price. Quicksilver has stepped up its game in the wetsuit manufacturing department.

THE GOOD

Although it’s a cheaper wetsuit Quicksilver hasn’t compromised on quality. You’ll benefit from a thermal lining, which helps generate and maintain warmth. Expect a snug fit with stretchy neoprene providing great comfort without sacrificing flexibility. Internally taped seams provide minimal water entry.

THE BAD

The fixed waistband fit can be a little restrictive for the bigger guy.

RIPCURL

Dawn Patrol 4/3
Chest Zip Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Value for Money – RIPCURL DAWN PATROL 4/3

Ripcurl is known for innovative wetsuits. And they’ve put a lot of past successes into this one to provide a great value-for-money wetsuit option.

THE GOOD

Benefit from a full internal dry lining for added warmth. This newer design has 30% more stretch and lighter weight without compromising on warmth, strength, and durability. Watertight blindstitch seams are glued and taped for added strength. A good all-around wetsuit in cold water. Ripcurl’s most popular wetsuit.

THE BAD

It’s hard to fault this wetsuit. If you do live in an extremely cold winter climate you’ll want to look for a more specialized wetsuit option.

BILLABONG

Absolute 4/3
Chest Zip Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Partially Recycled – BILLABONG ABSOLUTE 4/3

Billabongs Absolute wetsuit is warm and provides an all-round good fit. An affordable and durable wetsuit that is well worth a try.

THE GOOD

The rubber in this suit is made entirely from a light foam core which offers a lot of stretch, enabling the wetsuit to move with you and improve the fit. An easy wetsuit to put on and take off, especially on those cold days when you want to get changed quick! The stretch is unrestricted thanks to the silicone stretch jersey applied to the outside of the wetsuit.

THE BAD

The neck could be slightly better designed to seal more effectively and prevent any flushing/water from entering the wetsuit.

Best 3/2mm Wetsuits

BEST OF
THE BEST 🔥
TOP END
PICK
PATENTED 
LINING
COLOR
OPTIONS
MOST
RATINGS

HURLEY

Fusion 3/2 Chest Zip Fullbody Wetsuit

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 3/2 Chest Zip Full Wetsuit

BILLABONG

Furnace 3/2 Comp Chest Zip Full Wetsuit

QUICKSILVER

Sessions 3/2 Chest Zip Wetsuit

O’NEILL

Reactor II 3/2 Back Zip Full Wetsuit

THE GUTS
BEST PICK 🔥

Designed with comfort, quality, and style. Light, warm, and durable the Hurley Fusion wetsuit is in our opinion the best value for money 3/2mm wetsuit option.

TOP END PICK

This wetsuit seriously impresses. The minimal seam design, lightweight, quality construction, and attention to detail make it levels above other 3/2s.

PATENTED LINING

Premium lightweight option with partially recycled fabric. Billabong has put a lot of thought into this high-performance wetsuit.

COLOR OPTIONS

The Sessions wetsuit is an improved wetsuit from Quiksilver with some nice new eco updates. Great for anyone on a budget or looking for their first wetsuit.

MOST RATINGS

O’Neills long-standing entry-level wetsuit at a very affordable price.

THE GOOD

You’ll find that this wetsuit provides an immaculate fit with high-quality fabric and thoughtful construction. Expect great flexibility from this wetsuit due to its 4 direction stretch. And due to the quality of the wetsuit, it does retain its original shape over long periods of time.

When you put this 3/2 wetsuit on it feels like it has the warmth of a 4/3mm wetsuit with the flexibility of a 2mm wetsuit. One of my personal favorite wetsuits. It’s seriously soft and literally feels like another layer of skin with zero restriction. It’s no surprise that it’s loaded with 5-star ratings.

Don’t be fooled by the lightweight of this competition wetsuit, it still provides plenty of warmth with a patented graphene lining which won a 2010 Nobel prize for the strongest, lightest, and warmest material available. Made from partially recycled materials it is more environmentally friendly too!

Great for those that are a little shorter in the leg which has its benefit. The legs and cuffs seal very effectively in this wetsuit minimizing water entry that can occur more commonly in 3/2 wetsuits. All-in-all a quality more eco-friendly suit at a great price point.

If you’re looking for a very cheap and effective wetsuit this is the one. O’Neill has continued to improve on this entry-level wetsuit and you’ll now find that there are no seams under the arm in this suit to eliminate any rubbing. Materials have also been upgraded so you get even more stretch and comfort at a cheap price.

THE BAD

If you are going to be in water temperatures of 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) or less you’ll definitely want a 4/3mm wetsuit instead.

A little more expensive than other 3/2mm wetsuits. However, in my opinion, the price is more than justified as this 3/2 is in a league of its own.

There is a little more than usual water entry up the bottom of the leg which is common in a 3/2 wetsuit. Otherwise, the wetsuit seals very well elsewhere.

Although it does fit really well, this wetsuit is a little stiffer compared to others with the chest zip feeling a bit bulky. It is also a fraction shorter in the leg.

The back zip is more difficult to do up than a chest zip and is far more prone to letting water in.

HURLEY

Fusion 3/2 Chest Zip
Fullbody Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Best of the Best 🔥 – HURLEY FUSION 3/2

Designed with comfort, quality, and style. Light, warm, and durable the Hurley Fusion wetsuit is in our opinion the best value for money 3/2mm wetsuit option.

THE GOOD

You’ll find that this wetsuit provides an immaculate fit with high-quality fabric and thoughtful construction. Expect great flexibility from this wetsuit due to its 4 direction stretch. And due to the quality of the wetsuit, it does retain its original shape over long periods of time.

THE BAD

If you are going to be in water temperatures of 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius) or less you’ll definitely want a 4/3mm wetsuit instead.

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 3/2
Chest Zip Full Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Top End Pick – O’NEILL HYPERFREAK 3/2

This wetsuit seriously impresses. The minimal seam design, lightweight, quality construction, and attention to detail make it levels above other 3/2s.

THE GOOD

When you put this 3/2 wetsuit on it feels like it has the warmth of a 4/3mm wetsuit with the flexibility of a 2mm wetsuit. One of my personal favorite wetsuits. It’s seriously soft and literally feels like another layer of skin with zero restriction. It’s no surprise that it’s loaded with 5-star ratings.

THE BAD

A little more expensive than other 3/2mm wetsuits. However, in my opinion, the price is more than justified as this 3/2 is in a league of its own.

BILLABONG

Furnace 3/2 Comp
Chest Zip Full Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Patented Lining – BILLABONG FURNACE 3/2

Premium lightweight option with partially recycled fabric. Billabong has put a lot of thought into this high-performance wetsuit.

THE GOOD

Don’t be fooled by the lightweight of this competition wetsuit, it still provides plenty of warmth with a patented graphene lining which won a 2010 Nobel prize for the strongest, lightest, and warmest material available. Made from partially recycled materials it is more environmentally friendly too!

THE BAD

There is a little more than usual water entry up the bottom of the leg which is common in a 3/2 wetsuit. Otherwise, the wetsuit seals very well elsewhere.

QUICKSILVER

Sessions 3/2 
Chest Zip Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Color Options – QUICKSILVER SESSIONS 3/2

The Sessions wetsuit is an improved wetsuit from Quiksilver with some nice new eco updates. Great for anyone on a budget or looking for their first wetsuit.

THE GOOD

Great for those that are a little shorter in the leg which has its benefit. The legs and cuffs seal very effectively in this wetsuit minimizing water entry that can occur more commonly in 3/2 wetsuits. All-in-all a quality more eco-friendly suit at a great price point.

THE BAD

Although it does fit really well, this wetsuit is a little stiffer compared to others with the chest zip feeling a bit bulky. It is also a fraction shorter in the leg.

O’NEILL

Reactor II 3/2
Back Zip Full Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Most Ratings – O’NEILL REACTOR II 3/2

O’Neills long-standing entry-level wetsuit at a very affordable price.

THE GOOD

If you’re looking for a very cheap and effective wetsuit this is the one. O’Neill has continued to improve on this entry-level wetsuit and you’ll now find that there are no seams under the arm in this suit to eliminate any rubbing. Materials have also been upgraded so you get even more stretch and comfort at a cheap price.

THE BAD

The back zip is more difficult to do up than a chest zip and is far more prone to letting water in.

Best Shorty Wetsuits

BEST OF
THE BEST 🔥
BUILT
TO LAST
MOST
RATINGS
SLEEVELESS FREEDOM
QUALITY AT
LOW PRICE

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 2mm Chest Zip Longsleeve Wetsuit

XCEL

Axis 2mm Back Zip Short Sleeve Wetsuit

O’NEILL

Reactor 2mm Back Zip Short Sleeve Wetsuit

O’NEILL

O’Riginal 2mm Back Zip Sleeveless Wetsuit

BODY GLOVE

Pro3 2.2mm Back Zip Shorty Wetsuit

THE GUTS
BEST PICK 🔥

Extremely high-quality construction not often seen in 2mm wetsuits.

BUILT TO LAST

Most commonly known for their Drylock wetsuits, Xcel makes a great 2mm springsuit as well.

MOST RATINGS

Designed for performance and great value for money. O’Neill has outdone themselves on this springy.

SLEEVELESS FREEDOM

Looking for less insulation or a step up from wearing boardies? This is a great option to consider.

QUALITY AT LOW PRICE

Body Glove has been around for decades. You’ll be hard-pressed to find matching quality in this low price range.

THE GOOD

Blindstitched, glued and fully taped seams give you the ultimate features in wetsuit design more commonly used in thicker wetsuits. As far as short wetsuits come this is the very best at keeping water out.

Durable flatlock seam construction that is not only designed to last but provides great comfort as well. These wetsuits are especially good for men of a solid build. Ticks all the boxes when it comes to performance and quality.

The O’Neill Reactor II benefits from upgraded features. Superseal collar with fully adjustable neck, non-chafing seams, quality materials, great stretch and holds its shape. Hidden key pocket for your scooter key in Indo too!

Even though this wetsuit has no arms the blindstitched and glued seams, and cut of the suit keep out a lot of water. An amazing suit for more freedom in the water. Next best thing to wearing boardies.

Good entry price wetsuit with a few great features. Front and back panels provide fresh wind resistance. Perfect for early summer mornings and a little more comfort. Lightweight 4-way stretch material for mobility.

THE BAD

There are zero negatives about the performance of this wetsuit. Slightly more expensive than the others but that is to be expected.

Depending on your personal preference, some prefer a chest zip over a back zip. However, in a short wetsuit the back zip is effective.

Depending on your personal preference, some prefer a chest zip over a back zip. However, in a short wetsuit the back zip is effective.

If there’s a strong offshore blowing, you might find this wetsuit a little cold, depending on your tolerance to the elements.

Not as well fitting as the other wetsuits on the list, but not much else compares in this price range.

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 2mm
Chest Zip Longsleeve Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Best of the Best 🔥 –   O’NEILL HYPERFREAK 2mm

Extremely high-quality construction not often seen in 2mm wetsuits.

THE GOOD

Blindstitched, glued and fully taped seams give you the ultimate features in wetsuit design more commonly used in thicker wetsuits. As far as short wetsuits come this is the very best at keeping water out.

THE BAD

There are zero negatives about the performance of this wetsuit. Slightly more expensive than the others but that is to be expected.

XCEL

Axis 2mm Back Zip
Short Sleeve Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Built to Last – XCEL AXIS 2mm

Most commonly known for their Drylock wetsuits, Xcel makes a great 2mm springsuit as well.

THE GOOD

Durable flatlock seam construction that is not only designed to last but provides great comfort as well. These wetsuits are especially good for men of a solid build. Ticks all the boxes when it comes to performance and quality.

THE BAD

Depending on your personal preference, some prefer a chest zip over a back zip. However, in a short wetsuit the back zip is effective.

O’NEILL

Reactor 2mm
Back Zip Short Sleeve Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Most Ratings – O’NEILL REACTOR 2mm

Designed for performance and great value for money. O’Neill has outdone themselves on this springy.

THE GOOD

The O’Neill Reactor II benefits from upgraded features. Superseal collar with fully adjustable neck, non-chafing seams, quality materials, great stretch and holds its shape. Hidden key pocket for your scooter key in Indo too!

THE BAD

Depending on your personal preference, some prefer a chest zip over a back zip. However, in a short wetsuit the back zip is effective.

O’NEILL

O’Riginal 2mm
Back Zip Sleeveless Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Sleeveless Freedom – O’NEILL O’RIGINAL 2mm

Looking for less insulation or a step up from wearing boardies? This is a great option to consider.

THE GOOD

Even though this wetsuit has no arms the blindstitched and glued seams, and cut of the suit keep out a lot of water. An amazing suit for more freedom in the water. Next best thing to wearing boardies.

THE BAD

If there’s a strong offshore blowing, you might find this wetsuit a little cold, depending on your tolerance to the elements.

BODY GLOVE

Pro3 2.2mm
Back Zip Shorty Wetsuit

THE GUTS
Quality at Low Price – BODY GLOVE PRO3 2.2mm

Body Glove has been around for decades. You’ll be hard-pressed to find matching quality in this low price range.

THE GOOD

Good entry price wetsuit with a few great features. Front and back panels provide fresh wind resistance. Perfect for early summer mornings and a little more comfort. Lightweight 4-way stretch material for mobility.

THE BAD

Not as well fitting as the other wetsuits on the list, but not much else compares in this price range.

HOW WE TEST PRODUCTS

We recommend these products based on many different surfers’ perspectives and real experiences using the products. Those expert perspectives are discussed and evaluated in depth to cut through the many products available online. Based on hours of intensive research and the consideration of many factors, we bring you only the best-of-the-best for consideration. Our recommended go-to’s.

15

Surfers consulted

20

Factors considered

90

Hours evaluation

best-wetsuit

OUR GO-TO’S

BEST 4/3 WETSUIT

O’NEILL

Psycho Tech 4/3mm with Chest Zip

THE GUTS OF IT…

O’Neill is known for their innovation and quality of wetsuits. They’ve taken every consideration into account in this wetsuit and it shows!

BEST 3/2 WETSUIT

HURLEY

Fusion 3/2mm with Chest Zip

THE GUTS OF IT…

Designed with comfort, quality, and style for long sessions in the water. Light, warm, and durable a great option for anyone.

BEST SHORTY WETSUIT

O’NEILL

Hyperfreak 2mm Long Sleeve

THE GUTS OF IT…

Extremely high-quality construction not often seen in 2mm wetsuits. As far as short wetsuits come this is the very best at keeping water out.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WETSUITS

How do wetsuits work?

A wetsuit works similarly to layers of clothing which keeps you warm during cold weather. The outside layer of a wetsuit keeps the water away and off of your body. Once in the water, a wetsuit allows tiny amounts of water to form a thin layer on top of your skin. The tiny amount of water is quickly warmed up from your body heat, becoming an insulating layer. The body heat and the insulated neoprene then keep it at a comfortable temperature.

 

How do wetsuits keep you warm?

Having tried hundreds of suits over the course of my life, the way that your wetsuit fits is what is going to keep you warm, and the amount of mobility that you are going to have while you are in the water. 

Without the wetsuit, water molecules surrounding you will pull energy or heat out of your body faster than you can replace it, with no protection. In effect, your body is putting energy into heating up water, thus using precious energy you might have saved up to keep your own body warm. The design traps body heat within your suit, preventing the cold Water from drawing energy from your skin. A thin layer of water is quickly warmed up by your body, and the wetsuit is designed to be tight, preventing a lot of water in, so that your body stays warm, only being exposed to a tiny bit of cold water at a time.

 

How much does a wetsuit help?

Without a wetsuit, water molecules surrounding you will pull energy or heat out of your body faster than you can replace it with no protection.

In effect, your body is putting energy into heating up water, thus using precious energy you might have saved up to keep your own body warm.

The wetsuit design traps body heat within your suit, preventing the cold water from drawing energy from your skin. A thin layer of water is quickly warmed up by your body, and the wetsuit is designed to be tight, preventing a lot of water in, so that your body stays warm, only being exposed to a tiny bit of cold water at a time.

 

 

How much do wetsuits cost?

Wetsuit thickness for different water temperatures is one factor that impacts the cost of a wetsuit the most. The other range of factors includes the materials of the wetsuit, quality in the stitching and seams, and, of course, the wetsuit brand. 

 

When looking for a wetsuit for less than $300, you will want to look closely at seam construction and neoprene quality. Not all wetsuits are created equal, and although most are made from neoprene it is the seams and construction that make the difference. 

 

Basic stitches and seams can fail after just a few uses, bearing the stress of being squeezed in and out of the wetsuit. We have also noticed seams in really cheap wetsuits are nowhere near as durable as those of higher-end suits, and are often not uniformly aligned, or raised up at all (which causes chafing). Look for higher-quality stitching techniques in a wetsuit, such as, blindstitching and welded seams to stop water from coming into the suit and to last exponentially longer. 

 

While it may be tempting to skimp out on money for your first wetsuit, the super-low-cost wetsuits lack the build quality of wetsuits costing only $50 more, will not insulate nearly as well as better suits, or offer anywhere near as much range of motion in the water. At that price, you should expect the wetsuit to offer all of the range-of-motion features that mid-level suits offer, plus some. At this price, you can expect durable wetsuit materials and sturdy stitching, as well as a few sought-after features like a chest zip, added comfort in the pressure points of your neck, and paddling areas such as under the arm.

 

 

Are wetsuits supposed to be tight?

If a wetsuit is too big, it will not keep you warm, but if it is too small, it can restrict the motion of your arms and legs. When the wetsuit is loose, it allows water around you to continually touch your skin and remove heat. If wetsuits are too tight, your body will be restricted which will hinder your ability to be mobile enough to surf properly. A wetsuit for surfing should fit comfortably without feeling tight or loose in any area of the body.

 

How should a wetsuit fit?

A wetsuit for surfing should fit comfortably without feeling tight or loose in any area of the body. The best wetsuits for surfing feel like a second layer of skin, hugging the body without restricting movement.

 

How are wetsuits sized?

Wetsuit sizing is a combination of your overall height, chest circumference, and waist size. Almost all of the wetsuit sizes are available in a Short (S) and Tall (T) fit, which is designed to accommodate a variety of different body types. Almost all of the wetsuit brands provide a wide range of sizes to suit a wide range of body types. 

Remember, each wetsuit is different, so you might have to size up or down depending on brand and style. The wetsuit size that you need depends on your build and what activities you are going to be using your wetsuit for. Once you determine your body type and how cold you are going to get, it is time to figure out which wetsuit size you will need. To make sure that you get the right fit, you need to buy a proper-sized wetsuit. 

If you are between sizes, it is always best to get the smaller one, because a wetsuit that is too big will not work nearly as well as one that is too small. To figure out your proper sizing, you will have to know your measurements and compare it with a size chart provided by your wetsuit maker. When measuring up for a wetsuit, there is a simple way to see if it is the right fit. To use a wetsuit sizing chart correctly, you need to take measurements of your height, weight, and chest. 

Most wetsuit manufacturers offer sizing charts listing their respective measurements, as well as their respective sizes. If you check out the various wetsuit manufacturers, you will find that the wetsuits come in different sizes. Most wetsuit brands have their own sizing charts, so make sure to use the charts for the brand that you are buying from. 

Note that the sizes and fits of wetsuits vary for every brand, so always carefully look at the sizing chart to ensure that you will fit into a specific size before buying your wetsuit online. To ensure that you are choosing the correct wetsuit size, you will want to take careful measurements of your body. A wetsuit that is an average of your body measurements would be a good fit. That is, you should always buy a wetsuit close to the appropriate size for clothing, to avoid having one too tight around the body. 

 It is a minefield out there, there are so many brands, so many styles of wetsuits, and so many thicknesses… Lucky for you, we have tons of experience in all types of wetsuits, and we can help make sure that you are getting a perfect suit, with the correct fit through the information in this guide. 

Wetsuit companies do not vary their sizing regimens, so if you are a Medium, you are going to be a Medium for the entire line. The nice thing with some of the wetsuit retailers like O’Neill is they have sizes for normal, smaller, and taller folks, so you will not need to size up or down simply due to height.

 

How many wetsuits do I need?

Depending on the climate where you live and the change in ocean temperatures throughout the year the number of different wetsuits you need may vary from one to three or more!

 

What wetsuit thickness do I need for surfing?

This completely depends on the kind of waves and conditions that you’ll be surfing regularly. For example, a long point or beachie that requires a lot of paddling may require a thinner wetsuit considering you’ll be using a lot of energy compared to a perfect reef break that requires very little paddling.

You also need to factor in your body type and resistance to the cold. One surfer may be comfortable in a 3/2mm wetsuit while another requires a 4/3mm wetsuit.

Different seasons, varying ocean temperatures, and wind chill factors require different wetsuits as well.

As a rough guide, you can get a good indication of the required wetsuit thickness based on water temperature in the following sections.

 

What temperature is a 1mm wetsuit good for when surfing?

Approximately 71-79 degrees Fahrenheit (21-25 degrees Celcius).

 Please note that this range is for reference only. The actual wetsuit required for different water temperatures depends on different factors such as air temperature, wind chill, body type, and activity level.

 

What temperature is a 2mm wetsuit good for when surfing?

Approximately 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit  (18-22 degrees Celcius).

Please note that this range is for reference only. The actual wetsuit required for different water temperatures depends on different factors such as air temperature, wind chill, body type, and activity level.

 

What temperature is a 3/2mm wetsuit good for when surfing?

Approximately 59-70 degrees Fahrenheit  (15-20 degrees Celcius).

Please note that this range is for reference only. The actual wetsuit required for different water temperatures depends on different factors such as air temperature, wind chill, body type, and activity level.

What temperature is a 4/3mm wetsuit good for when surfing?

Approximately 54-64 degrees Fahrenheit  (11-17 degrees Celcius).

Please note that this range is for reference only. The actual wetsuit required for different water temperatures depends on different factors such as air temperature, wind chill, body type, and activity level.

What temperature is a 5/4mm wetsuit good for when surfing?

Approximately 54 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celcius) and below.

Please note that this range is for reference only. The actual wetsuit required for different water temperatures depends on different factors such as air temperature, wind chill, body type, and activity level.

Is a 5mm wetsuit to thick for surfing?

The thicker a wetsuit is the more it restricts your movement and ability to surf. A 5mm wetsuit does restrict your movement when surfing, however, in the coldest climates in water temperatures approximately 54 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celcius) and below a 5mm wetsuit is essential.

What is the best wetsuit for cold water?

Generally, you’ll want a hooded full body 4/3mm wetsuit for cold water temperatures between 54-64 degrees Fahrenheit (11-17 degrees Celcius). And a hooded full body 5/4mm wetsuit for water temperatures 54 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celcius) and below.

Do you wear anything under a wetsuit?

Generally no, you don’t wear anything under a wetsuit. Wearing something under your wetsuit can restrict your movement and cause rubbing which leads to surf rash very quickly. However, one common exception is when female surfers wear a bikini underneath their wetsuits.

When were wetsuits invented?

As with so many inventions, the debate is on who made the first wetsuit. The wetsuit we have today evolved during the middle of the 20th century, and that is when the argument began about who invented it. The story of the modern wetsuit — the one we know today — goes all the way back to the early 1950s when American physicist Hugh Bradner was looking for ways to improve equipment used by the US Navy. 

However, most people would point to Jack O’Neill as the originator of the wetsuit, having managed to start his own business, after being introduced to neoprene by a surfing enthusiast friend; Garry Hind. Jack O’Neill and his company made huge strides in perfecting the design and developing full-body wetsuits into the large industry that we see today.  

While Hugh Bradner, a physicist, was developing wetsuits for the U.S. Navy, he inspired Jack O’Neill in doing this by making his own for surf purposes. 

While The U.S. Navy may have rejected the wetsuit made by Bradner, surfers were quick to embrace it.

What are wetsuits made of?

Wetsuits are mostly made of Chloroprene. Chloroprene is a synthetic rubber that is used to make Neoprene through polymerization. This primary wetsuit component contains nitrogen bubbles, which help to decrease convection heat, similar to feathers in a down jacket or layers of clothes in cold weather. Wetsuits are mostly made up of layers of neoprene, as this is the component integral to keeping a wetsuit at a stable temperature under water. 

 

Neoprene contains thousands of tiny bubbles that serve as an insulator, trapping heat within the wetsuit instead of releasing it to the water. Wetsuits slow down heat loss because they have a thick layer of rubber (neoprene) filled with tiny bubbles. The insulate properties of the rubber/bubbles combination decrease the water temperature losses from the wetsuit.

Are wetsuits waterproof?

Neoprene wetsuits provide warmth when wet, but unlike drysuits, they are not waterproof.

What is the best wetsuit brand?

We get asked often about what is the best wetsuit brand, but the fact is that wetsuit manufacturing has changed so much over the years, with there being now so many price points, cuts, and types of neoprene, that buying your neoprene is a tricky affair.

There are some incredible brands and products, and all of the wetsuits in our guide are of top quality, but in order to get the best wetsuits for your surfing, you need to have it in your grubby little mitts, and you need to be paying attention. Add in the fact that each wetsuit manufacturer has varying sizes ranges and cuts, and you can understand why you need to try a few different wetsuits in order to do decent comparisons and find the best one that fits.

Generally, once you find a wetsuit brand that consistently fits you best, you’ll stick with it for quite a few years.

THE SURFERS FIRST AID KIT

The essential tools every surfer needs for first aid