Wetsuit Buying FAQs
How Wetsuits Should Fit
When buying a wetsuit, you need to make sure the fit is snug to prevent pockets of water building when you are in the surf. Most brands have their sizing that matches the fit of how someone would where their clothes. For example, if you wear a mens medium in clothes you will most likely be a medium wetsuit size.
Before purchasing there is always a wetsuit size guide you should check out as there are different lengths too depending on your height. Women’s wetsuit sizing can be even more tricky as they are mostly based on US sizing and start from size 2, so don’t go for an 8 if you are a UK 8!
When you try on a wetsuit for the first time, don’t worry, it should always be hard to get on and feel super tight. The neoprene material stretches slightly over time.
Which Wetsuit To Buy
With more brands continuously improving their wetsuit technologies and materials it can get pretty daunting when choosing what wetsuit to buy. Firstly you want to be thinking about the temperature of the water you will be surfing in to give you an idea of what wetsuit thickness you need. Our temperature guide above will help with that.
Front zip, back zip or zipperless? There is an ongoing debate in the surfing world of what wetsuit is best but mostly it is due to preference.
Back zip wetsuits are easiest to get on, although has a drawstring that can sometimes get in the way if it decides to hang over your shoulder. Some people also believe that it is stiffer flexing along the back. Back zip wetsuits are mostly the cheapest so if you are not bothered about these things then go for this!
Front zip aka chest zip wetsuits are becoming more and more popular for surfers. It isn’t as easy to get in as a back zip wetsuit but still relatively easy. Some believe the front zip wetsuits provide an extra form of warmth on the chest.
Zipperless wetsuits are the newest style of wetsuit which usually have a more stretchy neoprene so you are able to get into the suit comfortably. With no zip that means there will be no stuck zips from dried salt water. Although, some believe the constant stretching over your head when getting on and off makes the wetsuit quality deteriorate quicker than other suits.
What we wear you ask? Front zip wetsuits.
Next is the brand of wetsuit. All wetsuit brands how have developed to produce top quality suits, and here at Sameway we have hand selected the best brands for your choice. Double check the sizing before buying as it differs slightly by brand.
How To Choose Wetsuit Thickness For UK
We have provided a pretty easy breakdown of what wetsuits to wear for each temperature range. Although we know everyone is different when it comes to withstanding cold water, so if you are a wimp get a thicker wetsuit!
Typically, if you are surfing in Cornwall or Devon, the wetsuit thickness we wear during each season are:
Summer/Autumn: 3/2mm wetsuit. The water is the warmest at the end of summer as the sun has been on it the longest.
Autumn/Winter: 4/3mm wetsuit. Temperature begins to drop at the end of September/October. Wetsuit boots and gloves will be a go to as you head towards the end of the year.
Winter/Spring: 5/4mm wetsuit or 4/3mm wetsuit. The coldest water temperatures are between February and May so make sure you have a thicker wetsuit. These months you would generally have a wetsuit hood, boots and gloves too.
Spring/Summer: 4/3mm or 3/2mm wetsuit. As the weather improves you will be able to step back into your thinner wetsuit.
Remember, the thicker the wetsuit, the less manoeuvrability you will have in the water. On the other hand, the thinner the wetsuit, the quicker you will get cold and want to finish your surf session. A tough decision!