So, it’s the time to get yourself you’re first wetsuit, or upgrade from an old battered rag of a suit! With many wetsuit styles and thicknesses available it can get quite confusing, so let’s try and narrow it down for you to get the right suit.
First things first, what time of year are you going to be using the wetsuit? This will decide what thickness to use.
For Summer shredding in the UK you’re looking at a 3.2mm wetsuit, and on the odd blue moon a 2.2mm short arm suit with a lot of sun cream on. Also the 2mm suit would be great for stand up paddle boarding to take that chill off when you fall in.
When the temperature starts to drop on those Autumnal days and golden September sessions heading into winter, you’ll need something a little thicker. Those chilly mornings are starting to kick in and the water is going to start to slowly drop in temperature, we would recommend a 4.3mm wetsuit. Come back in the winter season when we will be fully stocked with thick wetsuits.
For Winter days full of storm surfing and all round coldness, you’ll need a 5 mm suit or thicker. If you want to add that extra warmth and less flushing (cold water entering your suit) when you duck dive, or get slapped in the face by a chilly one, grab a built in hooded wetsuit. 5mm wetsuits will be fully stocked next season.
So now you know what thickness to buy, onto what size to choose. If your wetsuit doesn’t fit correctly it will be useless, a wetsuit should fit like a second skin for it to do its job properly. Wetsuits create a thin layer of water around your body, which is heated by your body and NOT replaced by the cold water on the outside keeping you nice and toasty. So it needs to be tight, any loose gaps and you’ll be getting rather chilly.
A few tips when trying on your suit:
- When you put the suit on for the first time, make sure you go over your entire body pulling the suit up making sure you have the knee pads in the correct working position and keep pulling the suit up as you put it on.
- The wetsuit is going to be tight but if you put your arms in the air and it feels like there being pulled down then it’s probably too small for you.
- Make sure the seal around your neck is tight and not baggy.
- Most important area for the suit to fit correctly is the torso because keeping your core warm is key.
Does the lower back have a lot of space? You can test this by grabbing the suit at your lower back; if you can grab a fist full of excess suit easily then this fit or model isn’t the one for you.
What models do we recommend?
Dawn Patrol: best value for money, good all-rounder.
Ebomb: best for performance, lightness and its super stretchy ultimate paddling freedom.
Flash Bomb: ultimate warmth fleece lined and quick drying with best performance on the market for a fully lined suit.