As a Surfer, you will need to have a wet suit as a part of your must-have equipment as well as the surf board. It will allow you to go surf whenever you wish, even if the water’s temperature is not the warmest. But, before choosing the best wet suit for you, do have in mind that there are some things you should know before making the choice. There isn’t a universal suit, because it has to be adapted to your needs and to the conditions in the water. So, the following information should come to your assistance when picking the right suit in your case.
What are the main factors that should influence choosing a wet suit? First of all, the water’s temperature should be the primary factor. Surfing in colder waters can be dangerous, as it can get you sick or subject you to risks like hypothermia. There are several thicknesses of wet suits, each category being suitable for certain water temperatures, although you should also have in mind how sensitive you are. If you feel coldness rather fast, being sensitive to low temperatures, perhaps a thicker than usual wet suit that covers your body right, would be a better choice.
For instance, if the temperature in the water is 22° Celsius and above, you usually don’t need a wet suit, a bathing equipment being more suitable. For temperatures between 18° and 23°, you will need a wet suit with a thickness ranging between 2 and 2/1mm, the shorty type for example. For temperatures between 16°and 20°, the suit should have 2 to 3/2mm, which can be a springsuit or full suit. For temperatures between 14° and 17°, the suit should have 3/2 to 4/3mm, being composed out of a full suit and boots. For temperatures between 11° to 14°F, the thickness should be between 4/3 and 5/4/3 mm. If the temperatures range between 6° and 11°, the thickness should be between 5/4 and 5/4/3 mm. And if it drops below 5°, the thickness should be between 6/5 and 6/5/4 mm. For the last three temperature ranges, the suit should be full, accompanied by boots, gloves and hood.
The colder the water is, the more protection you will need. So if starting with 18° and above you don’t need a sealed suit, you will need a flatlock for 16° to 20°, a sealed suit for 14° to 17°, and a sealed and taped suit for temperatures below 14°. Also, the air temperature and wind speed should also contribute to choosing your wet suit, because a windy weather will make the temperature feel lower than it may actually be. And, you should have in mind the activity you will unroll while diving, if you are going to be more static or if you move around, and how much you will be underwater, because this will tell you how much you will be exposed to the cold water.
Do have in mind that the wet suit should be a perfect fit. If you want it to properly protect you, it should fit you like a glove, while still allowing you to move. A wet suit that fits will be hard to take on when dry, leaving no room in the torso, shoulders, knees and crutch areas. After the suit is on you, stretch your shoulders. You should feel only a slight pressure. If you feel the suit restraining you, putting a lot of pressure on your shoulders, it means that the size of the suit is small for you. Also, it should allow you to do squats and move your hands with ease.