It’s time to unlock your surfing potential this summer, and the best way to start is by upgrading your rubber quiver. To help you out, this issue SurfGirl has a selection of the coolest and most functional rubber wear ever. The water is warming up, so take a look and let it help you make an educated decision on this summer’s essential neoprene purchase.
Looking at what’s on offer, you’ll see your performance soar over the summer season dressed in one of these little beauties, as the brands have really stepped it up. There are more incredible design features for your money than ever before. The pattern designers, R&D monkeys, and material developers have gone into overdrive this season to create suits that not only keep you warm, but they last, stretch in every direction, and totally abolish the age old flushing problem.
We’re deep in recession but surfing continues to be incredible value for money: it’s free! And the right kit continues to be fantastically well priced. The amount of research, team rider feedback, testing and manufacturing that goes into your outer surfing layer is incredible, and the fact that the price for a wetsuit has stayed below the £400 mark is pretty amazing. Couple this with the fact that using the beach as much as you want and for as long as you want costs nothing and, as surfers, we’re onto a good thing: so don’t scrimp on your wetsuit purchase. Get the best suit for you, even if it costs an extra fifty quid. It’s going to last you a couple of years so will work out costing you about an extra 5p per session!
The SG5 is the flagship suit in the Billabong range. It sees them making use of the insanely high-tech ZG400 Superflex neoprene which is incredibly light, durable, and flexible. This is combined with a furnace lining which wicks away moisture and maximises heat retention. It really is a technological marvel more suited to the Science Museum which will see you through from April to October (and maybe beyond) with no complaints at all. £220
Billabong Skinny Jane
For rocking the retro look and putting some genuine soul into your surfing, Billabong’s Skinny Jane (part of their Surf Capsule collection) is surely the way to go. The long-john look is timeless, and with some awesome colours as well, it’s definitely back to the future with the Skinny Jane. £80
Billabong Synergy Short Sleeve
For tanning up those arms and for summertime trips and afternoon sessions, nothing beats the feeling of a short arm suit – perfect for sunny UK days when the water’s not warm enough for a full shortie. With all of the features of the Billabong Synergy as standard, it’s a high-tech bit of kit too. £80
The Synergy Girl sets a high benchmark for performance in an entry-level suit, year in, year out. It utilises several of the good bits from the SG suits, including some of the ZG400 neoprene and the furnace lining, and is also fully GBS. All in all a pretty remarkable achievement for a suit which comes in at just £115…
The revolution continues with the latest offering being 2mm throughout, yup: 2mm throughout. Not a 3mm piece of neoprene in sight. The entirely new approach to wetsuit design sees a recycled polyester jersey exterior coupled with a recycled polyester and spandex lining. This is all combined with the rest of the features that you would expect from a top end suit and the result is genuine 3/2 warmth from a 2mm suit. Environmentally friendly and affordable. £280
Patagonia W’s R1 Reversible spring Juanita
Grace and minimalism in the water ‑ the Juanita is perfect for those baking July and August days, or for any summer or autumn trips to Europe, or to tropical climes where the afternoon sees a chillier offshore kicks in! It covers all of your essential bits and keeps your core warm, and all of the Patagonia goodness ensures maximum flexibility, maximum warmth and, let’s be honest, an all round pretty cool look… £90
The 2012 Epic Series now has many of the same classy features as O’Neill’s high-end Psychos. We’re talking FluidFlexTM, Firewall chest, double seal neck closure, LSD (Lumbar Seamless design) and a re-engineered covert blackout zip. With a price tag just over the £100 mark: it’s a real steal. 3/2mm £105
The G-Bomb Pro features Fashdry lining (the same lining as the flashbomb!) and an E3+ action panel. Amazingly, the new E3+ has 30% more stretch than E3 and is twice as easy to stretch. Rip Curl reckon that it’s so stretchy that they couldn’t use it in legs, arms and neck areas because of the risk of blow out! So, keeping you warm throughout the Great British summer and feeling like you are only wearing a bikini! Nice. £230
Ripcurl DaWN Paptrol 3/2
The Dawn Patrol is an entry/mid-range classic that has truly stood the test of time… It’s got Elastomax 3 panels where you need them most for paddling, a fireskin lining which wicks water away from your body and the suit is fully GBS. A great example of a suit which brings all of those top-end features down to the non bank-balance-busting range of wetsuits. £125
Circle One FAze
Circle One’s Entry level suit has some awesome features to keep you out for those extra-long sunshine sessions. There’s super-flex neoprene in the paddle zones to keep your arms pumping, soft lycra to stop neck chaffing, and the toastie Torso mesh chest to help maintain your core temp when the wind comes up. £70
Circle One Icon LQS
Continuing to fly the flag for top notch British suits, Circle One’s ICON has all the trimmings that you would expect from a quality mid range suit. You’ve got 75% ultrastretch, Torso mesh chest and back panels, and 100% LQS seams to keep that chillier early summer water at bay. £110
SYNCRO is the first entry level series of suits made exclusively with 100% HYPERSTRETCH II material, making it 18% more flexible than any other entry level suit on the market. It has Roxy’s HFT HEATING SYSTEM (Hollow Fibre Technology) in the chest panel and our HYDROSHIELD zip barrier.£125
Featuring Roxy’s new ultra flexible FIBER-LITE NEOPRENE, the IGNITE has 14% more stretch than the other guys’ high end suits. The IGNITE is built exclusively with GBS stitching or a combination of GBS stitching and LFS (Liquid Flex Seal) seam sealing. It has a SHORT CHEST ZIP for easy entry, and our new INTERLOC 2.0 SEALS to eliminate cold water flushing.£160
The CYPHER is available in two entry systems, chest zip or back zip. Both featuring FIBER LITE and BIOFLEECE THERMAL NEOPRENE and our FLEXMAX SEAL seam sealing. Add to that, our new and improved BEAD LOCK SEAL on all models, THERMAL SMOOTHIE and HYDROSHIELD in our back zip styles, and you have the warmest, most flexible and lightest weight cold water suit available.£220
As ever an impressive entry level suit from Alder. Making use of X Stretch in the paddle zones and with the warmer single lined torso, it’s a suit that is perfect for those mid summer months, and for any trips away that you may have planned for Europe or Morocco. And you’ll have a bit of cash left from your wetsuit budget to spend on trinkets to bring home. £75
From one of Devon’s finest, Alder’s Stealth is a mid range suit with all that you need to see you extend your sessions beyond the two hour mark this summer. It’s fully blindstiched, has a single lined Torso, and their ‘X Stretch’ on the sleeves and underarms to keep you pulling yourself onto wave after wave as the sun slips away… £100
C–SKINS Legend Series has a mind blowing list of high end features, including Ultra Stretch C-Flex neoprene on the upper body, a closeout back wing system, DuroFlx knee pads, and it also has all new style lines for 2012. The Legend emphasizes quality, durability, warmth and unbeatable value for money, and is the perfect option for spring right through to those first chilly autumn sessions. £110
3/2 Depending on the individual design, a 3/2 suit generally has three millimetres of neoprene on the torso (where warmth is paramount) and two millimetres elsewhere (for more flexibility). You’ll need a 3/2 for the summer months.
Glued and blindstitched edges are glued together then stitched – stitching pierces only the inside layer of the neoprene so the join is nearly watertight.
Flatlock stitching summer suits are often flatlocked. Two overlapping edges of material are stitched together and the finished seam lies flat inside and outside.
Overlock stitching the most basic form for budget suits. It leaves seams on the inside which is less watertight and less comfortable.
Liquid seal seams (LQS) a trail of latex-based glue put onto seams to create a waterproof and flexible seal. Stitching creates holes, so sealing is a good idea.
Critically taped tape glued to maximum stress seams like shoulders to keep them extra-strong. A suit can also be fully taped.
Smooth skin/glide skin slippy, thin neoprene generally used on neck seals. Doesn’t rub and goes on and off easily. Often used on barrier/back seals as well.
Simulated Mesh Skin, DuraSkin and similar outer covering on chest and back panels to repel water, prevent wind-chill and increase durability.
Barrier system, batwing systems of flaps inside the back which arrange to give you the least amount of drip and flush possible. A good idea.
3/4 zip the most common form of zip which does up the back.
Chest zip a panel pulls over your head from your back and you zip it up across the chest. A more flexible construction which leaves your back and shoulders free to move and prevents water from getting in through the zip.
Thermospan / Firewall / Core / Polypro panels fancy names for a lovely layer of insulating material which draws water away from the body. Usually on chest and maybe back panels where your vital organs need the protection.
Wrist and ankle seals liquid seam sealant is often put around the inside of wrists and ankles so that they will seal tight onto the smooth neoprene of your gloves and boots.
Hydrophobic literally: water phobic. Repels water
Single lined single lined neoprene has only one layer of fabric, double has one on each side. Single is more flexible, double is more durable and warmer.
For ladies who mean business! Viper Quadrate horizontal chest zip entry system with seam free shoulders to keep flush to a minimum and give maximum movement. X Flex 100% stretch, blind-stitched and external liquid seams. With our renowned Viper graphics, this suit is feminine without being girly. £200
Gul Vortex Womens 3/2mm Blindstitch Steamer
Just what you need to keep the chill out, whilst retaining maximum flexibility! X-Flex neoprene which stretches beyond 100% giving unsurpassed freedom of movement. Thermospan lining inside wicks moisture from your core, plus a PK Blackout water lock zip and liquid seaming gives the suit a watertight seal. £200
Gul Profile CZ Womens 3/2mm Blindstitch Steamer
A perfect ‘mid range’ suit with a Quadrate horizontal chest zip entry system for maximum flexibility. Fully GBS and X-Flex super stretch combined with liquid seams upper and neoprene taped seam lower, make this a great choice at a great price. £150
UK Wetsuit Retailers
Here’s a list of surf shops around the country who are there to help you.
King Of WaterSpOrtS
King Of Watersports offers an unrivalled choice of wetsuits
from every single premium surf brand; Quiksilver, Billabong,
O’Neill, Rip Curl, Xcel, Neil Pryde, just to name a few! King of Watersports also offer free delivery on wetsuits. Tel: 01202 763675 Email:email@example.com Web:www.kingofwatersports.com
The Wetsuit Centre
The Wetsuit Centre holds the largest range of biggest stocks of wetsuits in the country at unbeatable prices. The Wetsuit Centre also offers a Free NEXT DAY delivery service on all wetsuits ensuring you hit the water when the swell does. Tel: 01202 302943 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.wetsuitcentre.co.uk Address: 42 Sea Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset,
England BH5 1BW
Water sports specialists in Dorset. Stocking a great range of summer wetsuits and rashvests for guys, girls and kids from O’Neill, Gul and Rip Curl.
Tel: 01425 27511 Email:email@example.com Web:www.crazywater.co.uk Address: 402 Lymington Road, Highcliffe, Dorset BH23 5HE
Independent, family-run surf shop. Right next to the beach
on Gwithian Towans. Expert advice, in-store and online, from surfers for surfers. Wetsuits, boards and clothing from C-Skins, Quiksilver, Roxy, Rusty & FCS. Tel: 01736 755007 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web:www.sunset-surf.com Address: 10 Gwithian Towans, Gwithian, Cornwall TR27 5BT
shop on the beach
An outstanding range of summer and winter O’Neill and Patagonia wetsuits plus expert advice – buy in store or online. Tel: 01637 860051 Web: www.shoponthebeach.com Address: Shop on the Beach, On the Beach, Watergate Bay, Cornwall TR8 4AA
Sessions Surf Shop
Falmouth’s Independent Surf Shop, We offer a wide range of wetsuits from Alder, Billabong and O’neill, If you need a wetsuit then come and get fitted by one of our friendly and experienced staff. We also have surfboards from Spider, Rusty, JS, Cortez and a huge selection of bodyboards and all the surf accessories you could possibly need, all under one roof. Email: email@example.com Address: 26 church street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR113EG Tel: 01326 21115
dOWn the Line Surf cOmpany Ltd
The UK’s premier wetsuit stockist over 18 years as the UK’s number 1 hardware store. Expert advise from experienced staff. Free delivery – speak to the professionals. Rip Curl, Billabong, O’Neill, Xcel, Alder and Patagonia. Tel: 01736 757025 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web:www.downthelinesurf.co.uk Address: Market Square Arcade, Copperhouse, Hayle, Cornwall
Here at Zuma Jay all we do is surf. We only stock the best quality wetsuits and equipment for all abilities. We are also surfers so can give you the best and advice you get you in the water. Tel: 01288 354956 Email: email@example.com Web: www.zumajay.co.uk Address: Belle Vue Lane, Bude, North Cornwall EX23 8BR
granite reef Surf ShOp
Granite Reef, the UK’s original independent wetsuit, surfboard, snowboard and skateboard specialist store, we take pride in the products that we sell and only stock the best brands. Tried and tested by our team and staff. Tel: 01224 252752 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Web:www.granitereef.com Address: 45 The Green, Aberdeen, Scotland AB11 6NY
Massive range of wetsuits on display in our store and online with Europe largest O’Neill wetsuit showroom at our East Wittering store. Other brands include Billabong, Rip Curl, C-SKINS and Animal. Tel: 01243 674830 Email: email@example.com Web: www.shore.co.uk Address: 20 Shore Road, East Wittering, West Sussex
Tiki Surf Shops
Europe’s largest range of surf hardware, instore and online. Wetsuits by Tiki, Patagonia, O’Neill and Rip Curl. Surfboards by Tiki, McKee, Hydroflex, Southpoint, NSP and more. Plus factory outlet store for ex-demo and end of line bargains! Tel: +44 ( 0) 1271 815757 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Web:www.tikisurf.co.uk Address: Caen Street, Braunton, N.Devon, EX33 1AA