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Posted by Jeb Brinkley | 12.07.2023 | Uncategorized

A Wetsuit Winter Wonderland: How to Select the Right Suit for You

With the winter months here, you have probably noticed that the water temperatures are dropping quickly. With this, it’s time to bring out the winter equipment: wetsuits. When searching for a wetsuit, it can be quite overwhelming at times. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or just starting out, this guide will help you navigate the sea of options and choose the perfect wetsuit for your surfing needs.

Understand Your Needs:

Before diving into the technical details, consider your surfing habits. How often will you surf in the winter here in North Carolina? Do you get cold easily? What are the average water temperatures each month? Knowing more about the primary surfing conditions will help you determine the thickness and style of the wetsuit that suits you best.


Thickness Matters:

Wetsuits come in various thicknesses, typically measured in millimeters. The thickness you need depends on the water temperature. For warmer waters, a 2mm or 3/2mm (3mm in the torso, 2mm in the limbs) wetsuit may suffice. Colder waters might require a 4/3mm or even a 5/4mm for maximum insulation. Here in Wrightsville, you can get by with either a 3/2mm or a 4/3mm for most days.


Consider the Style: Wetsuits come in different styles, each catering to specific conditions and preferences:

  • Fullsuits: Cover the entire body and are suitable for colder waters.
  • Springsuits: Short-sleeved and short-legged, ideal for mild temperatures.
  • Long John/Long Jane: Sleeveless with long legs, providing extra mobility.
  • Shortie: Sleeveless with short legs, perfect for warm climates.
  • Hot top: long or short-sleeved wetsuit shirt, great for the shoulder seasons.

Personally, a 3/2 fullsuit is perfect for me, but styles and preferences change per person!

Fit is Crucial:

A properly fitting wetsuit is essential for performance and comfort. Ensure a snug fit without restricting movement. Check the length of arms, legs, and torso. It’s normal for a wetsuit to feel tight initially, as it will stretch with use.

Brand, Budget, and Maintenance:

Established wetsuit brands often prioritize quality and innovation. While it’s tempting to cut costs, investing in a reputable brand ensures a durable and high-performing wetsuit. Consider your budget but prioritize quality over price. To prolong the life of your wetsuit, rinse it with fresh water after each use, hang it to dry away from direct sunlight, and store it properly. Avoid pulling or tugging on the material, and use wetsuit-specific detergents for cleaning.

Overall, choosing the right wetsuit is a crucial step toward unlocking the full potential of your surfing adventures, and opens up a whole new season of opportunities. Consider your local surf conditions, the style and thickness that best suit your needs, and invest in a quality wetsuit. With the right gear, you’ll be ready to ride the waves in comfort and style!


(*Sea Temperature data provided through: https://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/Wrightsville-Beach/seatemp*)