With winter upon us and the water getting colder, it’s time to start thinking about what neoprene we’ll be rocking in the surf this winter.
Stay toasty with the right kit
By Corinne Evans
Some of you may have already admitted defeat and gone into hibernation until it’s warm enough to surf in a summer suit again, but with wetsuit technology being so advanced, you don’t have to give up surfing just because it’s cold out there. Surviving winter isn’t so hard; you just have to invest in some good surf kit and dig a little deeper for motivation.
With wetsuit brands constantly stepping up their game, you can keep surfing and stay toasty through the chilly winter months. There are wetsuits for every budget, but with so many options and different styles, the choice can often be a little overwhelming. Before you buy it’s good to have a clearer idea of what wetsuit you really need this winter season.
1. You generally get what you pay for when it comes to wetsuits, so if you plan to surf as much as possible, you should invest in a high-end winter wetsuit. Look for a wetsuit that has sealed and liquid taped seams; these will keep you warmer in the water for longer. Chest-zip wetsuits may be a little harder to get into, but they tend to let less water in than the traditional back-zip wetsuits.
2. It might even be worth investing in two wetsuits. This may sound extravagant, but getting into a wet wetsuit on a freezing cold winter’s morning just isn’t fun – so having the option of a dry wetsuit if you plan to surf twice in one day will be very appealing.
3. Along with a winter wetsuit, you’re going to need to look at investing in some wetsuit accessories. You’re going to need boots, gloves and a wetsuit hood. You may resemble a seal when suited up, but who cares if you’re toasty in the surf. Hoods might feel quite constricting, but they’re much better than ice cream headaches every time you duck dive!
4. Know your water temperatures. If you’re surfing way up north you will need to invest in a 6mm wetsuit and thicker boots, gloves and hood. Keeping warm in the water is key to enjoying your winter surfs. Do a bit of research on where you’re surfing and find out how cold the water gets. It’s always better to be prepared for the winter.
Now you have a clearer idea of what kind of wetsuit you’re going to need this winter, take a look at the best neoprene insulation on offer this season in our SurfGirl Winter Wetsuit Guide.
Above: Peony Knights, Team O’Neill. Photo Rob Tibbles