Tips for choosing your surf suit
Summer is coming in the northern hemisphere and that means what so many people expect: the surfing season starts. And with the arrival of the new season, a high percentage of surfers renew their material for the occasion. Can't you make up your mind and still doesn't know what wetsuit buy? Don't worry, we are going to give you some tips and recommendations to keep in mind different factors, context, quality and your budget.
Choosing the correct neoprene suit for surfing is very important and you shouldn't take it as a joke because with the right choice you will be more comfortable and warm and therefore you can spend more time catching waves.
The neoprene allowed Jack O'Neill to invent the surf suit, an essential equipment that allows surfing throughout the year and in places where the water temperature didn't permit it before. Its composition is the mix of rubber with bubbles of nitrogen, which manage to maintain body temperature. The more bubbles in the neoprene, the greater insulation capacity. Neoprene quality is very important, since less dense suits tend to deteriorate more quickly. But not everything is neoprene, seams or lining with fibers also influence the quality of the product.
The percentage of Super Stretch neoprene or Super Stretch water repellent will determine the quality of the suit, being more resistant and more flexible. The thickness of surf suits generally varies between 2 millimeters and 7 millimeters. In addition to the thickness, the density of each material will also influence. For example, a suit with a higher proportion of Super Stretch neoprene will last longer than one that has less. It should be noted that neoprene helps maintain body temperature but, with the exception of repellent, does not prevent the entry of water into the body.
As we have said, in a few days the summer will begin for part of the population, so another factor to consider when buying a suit to surf is the season of year and the water temperature. If you already have your surf trip planned or you know the beach or spot you are going to frequent, you already have a big step taken when buying the neoprene. It is best to use short-sleeved suits in summer and full-body suits in winter.
Based on the water temperature, there are rules to follow. For temperatures from 17º, the wetsuits used are 2 millimeters thick, being 4 millimeters or more, when the water is less than 12º. But not everything is thick. Sometimes we can be warmer in the water by adding a neoprene accessory such as booties, hat or gloves. If the temperatures are from 20 º C we can consider other types of options such as short sleeves, long johns, short suits or the combination of neoprene with swimsuit.
One of the most frequent questions when buying a wetsuit for surfing is what size suits me? It's easy, you should never stay wide. The suit must always be as close as possible, but do not pass or you will end up uncomfortable in some movements and you may break some seam when paddling.
Another factor to study when buying a neoprene suit is the construction of it. Currently the number of panels in the suits is being reduced, thanks to the new sealing techniques, which allow to gain in flexibility and comfort and avoid water leaks. The smaller the number of panels, the better the quality of the suit since there are fewer seams.
The zip is an indispensable factor to consider. There are different possibilities, which depend in principle on the number of parts of the suit and that will prevent to a greater or lesser extent the entry of water, but really here, you must choose the one that best suits your body. There are three basic types:
Back Zip: probably the most used system for its comfort, since it is easier to put it on. On the contrary, it is the system that can allow more water to enter by the type of seam.
Front Zip: a shorter zipper, which makes neoprene tighter in the neck, which reduces water ingress.
Zipless: the most modern system, which usually include the most expensive and high-end suits lighter and elastic.
We hope that with this series of tips we have been able to guide you for your next purchase of a surfing suit, and that at least you do not take it lightly. Of course, we warn you that if you are a bit noob, however much you wear a high-end suit skills are acquired over time and training. Sky is the limit!