The Ultimate Guide to Winter Wetsuits: Staying Warm in Cold Water Surfing

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Heading into the water in winter can be a chilling experience! The solution? A reliable, top-quality cold water wetsuit. This article is your definitive resource on picking and using the perfect winter wetsuits for cold water surfing, ensuring you enjoy each surf session without catching a chill.

Let’s dive right in and discover how to stay warm while riding those frosty waves!

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding wetsuit thickness is crucial for staying warm in cold water surfing. Thicker wetsuits with more millimeters of neoprene provide better insulation and comfort against winter temperatures.
  • Taking care of your wetsuit is important for its longevity and performance. Rinse it with fresh water, dry it out of direct sunlight, avoid using harsh detergents, and check for any tears or damage before each use.
  • Choosing the right winter wetsuit involves considering factors like the types of suits available (full suit, spring suit, hooded suit), the need for extra warmth with a hooded wetsuit, and specific options designed for women and kids.
  • Essential accessories like wetsuit hoods, surf gloves, and surf booties are key to staying warm in cold water surfing by protecting your head, hands, and feet from low temperatures.

Understanding Wetsuits for Cold Water Surfing

The thickness of a wetsuit is crucial for staying warm in cold water, and understanding its importance is key to enjoying chilly surf sessions.

Wetsuit thickness and its importance

Wetsuit thickness is key to keeping warm in cold water. Wetsuits are made from neoprene, a foam that traps body heat. The thicker the wetsuit, the more warmth it locks in. You need this for surfing in chilly water! A thick wetsuit has more millimeters of neoprene and gives better comfort against winter temperatures than a thin one.

So, a good rule is: colder water needs a thicker wetsuit. Choose wisely using our temperature and thickness chart to get your perfect fit!

How to care for your wetsuit

Taking care of your wetsuit is important to ensure its longevity and performance. Here are some tips for caring for your wetsuit:

  • Rinse your wetsuit with fresh water after each use to remove any salt, sand, or dirt.
  • Hang your wetsuit up to dry in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight, as the sun can damage the neoprene material.
  • Avoid using hot water, bleach, or harsh detergents when cleaning your wetsuit. Use a mild soap or wetsuit cleaner instead.
  • Store your wetsuit flat or on a wide hanger to maintain its shape and prevent creasing.
  • Avoid folding or crumpling your wetsuit as this can cause permanent creases and affect its fit.
  • Check for any tears or damage before each use and repair them promptly using wetsuit repair glue or patches.
  • Avoid using sharp objects near your wetsuit that could puncture or damage the neoprene material.

Putting on and taking off your wetsuit

  • Start by unzipping or undoing the velcro on the wetsuit.
  • Slide your legs into the wetsuit, making sure it’s pulled up to your waist.
  • Put one arm through the sleeve and then the other, pulling the wetsuit up to your shoulders.
  • Use your hands to pull the wetsuit over your torso and zip it up or secure the velcro.
  • Make sure all parts of the wetsuit are snug but not too tight.
  • To take off the wetsuit, unzip it or undo the velcro and peel it off starting from one shoulder.
  • Use water or a wetsuit cleaner to rinse off any saltwater or sand before storing it.

Choosing the Right Winter Wetsuit

When it comes to choosing the right winter wetsuit for cold water surfing, there are a few factors to consider.

Different types of winter wetsuits

When it comes to winter wetsuits, there is a variety to choose from. Each type is designed with specific features and thicknesses to suit your cold-water surfing needs. Below is a quick guide to help you understand the different types of winter wetsuits available.

Types of Winter Wetsuits Description Features
Full Suit A full suit covers the entire body from neck to ankles and wrists. It’s designed to provide maximum coverage and insulation in cold water. Full suits are made with closed-cell neoprene foam, which provides insulation and helps retain body heat. Their thickness varies, often between 3mm and 6mm, depending on water temperature.
Spring Suit Spring suits are typically short-sleeved and short-legged, designed for slightly warmer water temperatures where full coverage isn’t necessary. Because of their less coverage, they are typically thinner than full suits. They offer a good balance between warmth and flexibility.
Hooded Wetsuit Hooded wetsuits are full suits equipped with an attached hood. These are highly recommended for very cold water as the hood helps to keep most of the water out. The added hood provides extra warmth, especially necessary for colder water temperatures. Old school wetsuits without hoods absorb cold water, making the surfer colder faster.

Remember, the thickness of a wetsuit is crucial in winter surfing. A thicker wetsuit with more millimeters of neoprene will offer better insulation in colder water. Always refer to a temperature and thickness chart to choose the best suit for your surf conditions.

Hooded wetsuits for extra warmth

Hooded wetsuits are a great option if you want extra warmth when surfing in cold water. The hood helps to keep your head and neck protected from the chilly temperatures, preventing heat loss from these areas.

It also keeps most of the water out, so you stay drier and warmer for longer. When choosing a hooded wetsuit, make sure it has a snug fit around your face and doesn’t restrict your movement.

This way, you can enjoy the waves without feeling too cold. Hooded wetsuits are especially useful in extremely cold conditions or for people who get easily chilled. Remember, staying warm is essential for an enjoyable surf session!

Wetsuits for women and kids

For women and kids who want to enjoy cold water surfing, there are wetsuits specifically designed for their needs. These wetsuits have a more tailored fit to accommodate different body shapes and sizes.

They also come in vibrant colors and stylish designs, so you can look good while staying warm in the water. It’s important to choose a wetsuit that provides proper thermal insulation and flexibility for maximum comfort and performance.

Whether you’re a female surfer or have little ones who love the ocean, there are wetsuits available that will keep everyone warm and protected during chilly surf sessions.

Essential Accessories for Cold Water Surfing

Stay warm and comfortable in the water with essential accessories like wetsuit hoods, surf gloves, and surf booties. Don’t miss out on these must-have items for cold water surfing!

Wetsuit hoods

Wetsuit hoods are a great accessory for cold water surfing. They help keep your head and ears warm, which is important because heat escapes from these areas faster. Wetsuit hoods are designed to fit snugly around your head, keeping most of the water out and trapping warmth in.

This extra layer of insulation can make a big difference in how comfortable you feel while surfing in chilly conditions. So, when you’re gearing up for winter surfing, don’t forget to grab a wetsuit hood to stay warm and enjoy the waves!

Surf gloves

Surf gloves are an essential accessory for cold water surfing. They help keep your hands warm and protected from the chilly temperatures. Made from neoprene, surf gloves provide insulation and prevent heat loss in your fingers.

This ensures that you can have a comfortable grip on your surfboard while also protecting your hands from any potential injuries or abrasions in the water. Choose surf gloves that fit snugly but still allow for flexibility and dexterity, so you can easily maneuver your board.

It’s important to note that thicker gloves offer more warmth, so consider the water temperature when selecting the right pair of surf gloves for your cold water adventures.

Surf booties

Surf booties are an essential accessory for cold water surfing. They help keep your feet warm and protected from the chilly ocean temperatures. Made with thick neoprene material, surf booties provide insulation and prevent heat loss.

They also have a grippy sole to give you traction on your surfboard and protect your feet from rocks or sharp objects in the water. When choosing surf booties, make sure they fit snugly to prevent water entry.

Additionally, it’s important to rinse and dry them properly after each use to prevent odors and prolong their lifespan. With the right pair of surf booties, you can enjoy comfortable and warm surfing sessions even in colder waters.

Recommendations and Tips for Staying Warm

To stay warm while cold water surfing, consider investing in Buell wetsuits, known for their superior thermal insulation. Layering is key to maximizing warmth, so don’t hesitate to add an extra neoprene top or bottom if needed.

Stay hydrated throughout your session and remember to abide by cold water surfing safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Buell wetsuits for cold water surfing

Buell wetsuits are a top choice for cold water surfing. These wetsuits are designed with advanced technology to keep you warm and comfortable in chilly conditions. Made from high-quality Yamamoto rubber, Buell wetsuits provide excellent thermal insulation, allowing you to stay in the water longer.

They come in various thicknesses to suit different winter temperatures, ensuring that you stay protected from the cold. With their durable construction and thoughtful design, Buell wetsuits are a reliable option for any cold water surfer looking to stay warm and enjoy their time in the ocean.

Maximizing warmth with proper layering

To stay warm while cold water surfing, it’s important to layer your clothing properly. Here are some tips:

  1. Start with a thermal base layer made of moisture – wicking fabric to keep sweat away from your skin.
  2. Add a mid – layer made of fleece or wool for additional insulation.
  3. Wear a thick winter wetsuit as the outer layer to provide maximum warmth and protection from the cold water.
  4. Consider adding a neoprene vest or jacket on top of your wetsuit for added insulation in particularly chilly conditions.
  5. Don’t forget to wear thermal socks and gloves to keep your extremities warm.
  6. Use neoprene hoods and beanies to protect your head and ears from the cold wind and water.
  7. Layering allows you to adjust your clothing according to the temperature, so you can stay comfortable throughout your surf session.

Importance of staying hydrated

Staying hydrated is extremely important when it comes to cold water surfing. Even though you might not feel as thirsty in cooler temperatures, your body still needs water to function properly.

Cold water can actually make you lose fluids faster because your body has to work harder to stay warm. Dehydration can affect your performance and even be dangerous, so make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your surf session.

Bringing a thermos or flask filled with warm liquids like tea or hot chocolate can also help keep you hydrated and provide some extra warmth during breaks. Remember, staying hydrated helps keep you safe and comfortable while enjoying the waves!

Cold water surfing safety measures

Surfing in cold water can be exhilarating, but it’s important to stay safe. Here are some key safety measures to keep in mind:

  1. Always check the surf conditions and weather forecast before heading out.
  2. Surf with a buddy or let someone know your plans and when you expect to return.
  3. Wear a leash to keep your board attached to you at all times.
  4. Be aware of rip currents and how to escape them – swim parallel to the shore until free from the current, then swim toward the beach.
  5. Know your limits and don’t push yourself too hard – if you’re feeling fatigued or cold, it’s time to call it a day.
  6. Learn proper surfing etiquette and respect other surfers in the water.
  7. Use sunscreen and protect yourself from harmful UV rays, even on cloudy days.
  8. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your session.
  9. Pay attention to any signs of hypothermia, such as shivering, numbness, or confusion – if you experience these symptoms, get out of the water and warm up immediately.
  10. Have a plan for emergencies – know how to call for help and have essential safety equipment like a whistle and signaling devices.


In conclusion, this ultimate guide provides all the information you need to stay warm and comfortable while cold water surfing. From understanding wetsuits and their thickness to choosing the right gear and accessories, we’ve got you covered.

So grab your wetsuit, hit the waves, and have an epic winter surfing experience!


1. What is a winter wetsuit and why do I need one for cold water surfing?

A winter wetsuit is a thicker and more insulated wetsuit designed to keep you warm in cold water temperatures, allowing you to surf comfortably for longer periods.

2. How do I choose the right size of a winter wetsuit?

To choose the right size of a winter wetsuit, refer to the manufacturer’s sizing guide and consider your height, weight, and measurements. It should fit snugly but not restrict movement or cause discomfort.

3. Can I wear anything under my winter wetsuit?

Yes, you can wear thin layers like rash guards or thermal vests under your winter wetsuit for added warmth. Avoid wearing cotton as it absorbs water and may make you colder.

4. How often should I rinse my winter wetsuit after surfing in cold water?

After each session in cold water, it’s important to rinse your winter wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water to remove saltwater and dirt. Hang it up to dry away from direct sunlight before storing it properly to maintain its durability and longevity.

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