Best Surfing Wetsuits 2023
As with a surfboard, a wetsuit is a personal preference. But there are some brands that have solidified themselves as the go-to for keeping surfers warm no matter the weather. This could be a debate had worldwide, so we’ve decided to keep it moderately local and scoped out what the regulars are preaching down here in Kernow for both men and women, and what you can buy on a budget.
At the top end of our wetsuit budget, but about as local as it gets, is Finisterre. Their 5mm hooded suits come in at £395, with a 4mm and a 3mm in their catalogue too for a step-down in price. With a 2mm long sleeve shorty, and a sleeveless shorty also available for those balmy summer months. The beauty here is that you’ll be dressed in Yulex, not neoprene. A natural rubber that produces up to 80% less CO2 in production. Great quality, and not bad on the purse strings given what you get. The team at Finisterre are keen on reducing waste, so they will help you repair your wetsuit if and when it needs it. Reducing the need to buy another one. Whilst Yulex doesn’t provide the same kind of stretch that normal neoprene tends to, this rigidity contributes to its longevity. Giving you a suit that should last several seasons.
Less local but still standing at the top as a brilliant winter suit is O’neill, specifically their Hyperfreak Fire that is a new addition to their wardrobe. Using liquid sealed water-tight seam technology these suits are super comfy and super flexible and super warm. They do a good job at keeping you warm too. From their older 5/4’s for both men and women, hooded, coming in at £339.99, and their new Hyperfreak Fire 4/3’s in at £369.99, using latest heat recirculating TechnoButter 4 materials to keep you cosy in the cold. They have a range of spring and summer suits too so you’re sorted all year-round.
The suit on everyones mind this winter had to be the Ripcurl Flashbomb E7 Heatseeker, with no zip! That’s right, this 5/3 zip-free is starting at £519, and that’s without a hood. Definitely the most expensive suit in our list, and possibly on the market, but can you put a price on such a beautifully made steamer. With a full fleece lining, and heat-generating neoprene it will undoubtedly keep you toasty. They have a few other suits in the Flashbomb series that are suited to men and women, hooded and with chest zips if you’d prefer to stick to the old-school style, perfect for all seasons.
As we are no stranger to a cold-water surf, it seemed only apt that we include C-Skins on this list. A great supplier of warmth, style and cost that specialises in keeping you warm. At the top end their Rewired 6/5 chest zip hooded steamer is £360. A bargain for what you get, and that’s the same for the womens too. If you plan to surf the Arctic then perhaps their Wired+ 6/5 chest zip hooded suit will be more of your liking. Experts in cold-water surfing this suit comes in at £465. Top end budget but you’ll be blagging an extra few mm when you need it most. For your average surfing season down here in Cornwall, their Session 3/2 chest zip will keep you going for most of the year, and that’s a bargain at £185.
Another winner from experts in cold-water surfing comes from XCEL. Their 4/3 Infiniti LTD chest zip has good flex, rebound heat technology and a one-piece front and back panel to reduce seams. But where there are seams, they are fulled sealed with liquid tape. This one for men and women is £370 if you buy direct. They have a range of suits that go up to 6mm and hooded to really keep the chill off. Depending on where you’re surfing, this could be for you, or you could go for their 3/2’s and 4/3’s which are averaging at £230. Still high on the mark when it comes to keeping you warm, flex, and longevity.
As with any wetsuit it can be hard to find one that fits just right, which is paramount it prevent leaking, to retain body heat and to get as much natural flex as possible. Over at SNUGG, they make all their suits according to your sizing. This Cornwall-based, made to measure wetsuit company have been building suits for over 30 years, and aren’t stopping anytime soon. Their suits have great flex, are made specifically to your measurements and to your sport, ranging from surfing, to winfsufing to triathlons and Surf Life Saving. So if you struggle to find a suit that fits youre bodytype, check these guys out.
Finding the right suit can be a daunting task, especially if you have to order online, wait for them to arrive, and then try on a bunch. If you’re in Cornwall you’re lucky to have a handful of epic surf shops at your fingertips that stock a wide range of suits all waiting to be tried on, along with a helpful team that have usually tested the suits themselves! Over at 10oversurf, we also stock a range of surf accessories, and it’s not too late to pick up a Gift Voucher for an epic Christmas present, which ranges in denominations. So go check it out!