Winter wetsuit guide

Winter wetsuit guide

It seems like, we are continue surfing over winter time more and more.

When it is our most beloved sport and we stay in the country, we do not want to stop during winter time, just because it is getting too cold…And we don’t have to, because material now got so well fabricated that we don’t freeze anymore in the cold and windy winter days.

Here is a guide with the latest collection wetsuits, and neoprene accessories there is out at the moment. And most of all a guide to help you to choose the right gear. There is a lot coming extra in winter when you think about the accessories; boots, hoods and gloves. From our own personal experience, we describe and show you how to wear it for the most optimal experience and the less cold water flushing in.

 

Let's start with the basics.

How does a wetsuit work?

What a wetsuit basically does, is trapping a very thin layer of water inbetween your body and the suit. Your body generates warmth and heats this thin layer of water, the neoprene around this layer of water insulates this warmth and the thicker the neoprene you're wearing is, the more insulation it will provide.

The wetsuit will work at its best when the layer of water is thin and when this layer isn't flushed away by cold water trough holes or leaking points in your wetsuit. Cold water flushing into your wetsuit causes warmth & energy loss since your body needs to get to work to "re-heat" the thin layer of water. 

So what we need to stay warm during winter (basically), is a wetsuit with enough neoprene, a tight fit and a proper sealing to keep the flush of cold water out of your suit.

Neoprene thickness

Winter wetsuits come mostly in 5mm and 6mm. On and under the arms the neoprene is often thinner; the thickness of this neoprene is found after the slash (/). Example: 5/4mm means 5mm of neoprene around the torso and 4mm on the arms. The thicker the neoprene, the more warmth but also the less flexibility.

 

Lining

It is not only important what is on the outside. It is also about what is on the inside, what makes a wetsuit warm. A wetsuit with a lining cost you more, but in winter time it is nice to have at least lining on the core parts of your body, to keep you warm. Besides, it also dries quicker. And you do not want to put on a wet wetsuit in winter. Every brand has there own type of lining. Rip Curl has its flash lining, Vissla has its thermal fiber lining, Manera its magma fleece etc.

Sealing

Seams are necessary to make your wetsuit fit well. But seams are also tricky because this is the first place where cold water wil flush into when the sealing of the seams isn't done properly. Proper sealing results is less waist of energy to keep the thin layer of water warm.

There are many ways to seal a wetsuit, we're going to explain you the most common ones:

- Glued and Blind Stitched: At first, the neoprene panels are being glued to each other. Afterwards the seams are getting stitched "blind" to each other. "Blind" means that the stitching is only halfway through the neoprene which results in a 95% waterproof seam. This way of sealing is also known as GBS. "Normal" stitching would result in many holes in your wetsuit. (we don't want this in winter)

- Glued Blind Stitched and fully taped: In addition to the GBS the seams are equipped with a flexible taping on the inside of all of the seams. This improves the sealing, makes the seams more durable and it also improves the insulation. 

- "Liquid seams and taped" : After blindstitching the neoprene panels to each other. A very strong "liquid seam" is used on the outside in combination with taping on the inside to make the wetsuit 100% waterproof. This is the most high-end way to seal a wetsuit.  

 

Fit

The fit is about the right size. A tight fit is very important. No matter how thick or high-end your wetsuit might be, if it is too big, water is flushing in and you are getting cold. A wetsuit should feel like a second skin. Neck, arm-ends and leg-ends need to be tight.

Brand use different sizing. For example MT which stands for Medium Tall. That would be for people with a medium waist, but that are a bit taller.

Usually the fit with a chestzip is a bit nicer then with a backzip, because it’s more stretchy on the back and you do not have a stiff zipper which divides the back panel in two parts. Another advantage is that a chestzip is a bit warmer, because there is no water coming in through the zipper.

 

Surf-orientated & kitesurf-orientated wetsuit designs.

We offer multiple renowned wetsuit brands in our shops, a part of them is designing wetsuits with "surf-orientated" minds. The other part is designing their wetsuits with "kite/windsurf-orientated" minds. The feature that is most worth mentioning in a kite/windsurf wetsuit is "Aqua flush" or "Water strainer". This is nothing more than a perforated neoprene panel around the ankle part of the wetsuit. The holes in the panel allow water to go outside but doesn’t let water go inside. With all the upcoming water from below with kitesurfing, this is really adding comfort during your kite/windsurf session.

  Aquaflush

Surf minded wetsuit brands: 
Rip curl | Quiksilver | Roxy | Hurley | Patagonia 

Kite- windsurf minded brands:

Mystic | Manera 


Vissla 7 seas

Vissla Seven seas 5/4 hooded  

This 5/4 wetsuit from Vissla is made to get you through the wintersurf. But how? 

This double blind stitched and fully taped wetsuit is ideal for cool water temperatures. The 5/4 refers to the thickness of the wetsuit. With new and improved fit for better range of motion. Anatomically correct engineered body lines with minimal seams for unrestricted warmth and performance. 

Click here  for more info about the 5/4 hooded Vissla wetsuit.

The Vissla 5/4 hooded key features: 

• Super stretch neoprene, which makes it lighter, warmer, softer and gives more freedom of movement.   
• Thermal hollow fiber lining, this lining insulates more heat and dries faster.  Which is great when you've got one wetsuit to use.
• Tripled glued, double blind stitched and fully taped seams that provide minimal water entry and offers more strength to the seams.  

 


A great wetsuit will definitely keep you warm during the colder surf days but to maintain the warmth or when its really cold you'll probably will need neoprene gloves or boots. 

Neoprene gloves come in different styles and sizes. There is no right or wrong answer to what gloves are best for you. Like every wetsuit, it should fit your needs and what you prefer in performance. There's also a big difference in surfing and kitesurfing gloves. Kitesurfing gloves are pre bent so when you're holding the bar you don't have to work your finger that much. When you do choose surfing gloves and go kiting, try to choose gloves which are smaller in MM so like up to 3mm.  

Click on any glove to see the full description or click here to see our stock in gloves!



Rip curl, Dawn patrol 5/4 hooded

Dawn Patrol is Rip Curl's ultimate all-round wetsuit. With the characteristics of a top wetsuit for an affordable price.  this suit has you covered with E5 neoprene and E4 Flash lining, which means lots of warmth, flexibility and performance. Adding to those specs the entire suit is glued and blind stitched + has all seams taped. This in turn gives more strength, freedom in body movement and warmth.

Click here  for more info about the Dawn Patrol 5/4 hooded 

 

The Dawn Patrol 5/4 hooded key features: 

  • E5 Neoprene which results in High stretchability and lightweight. 
  • 30% more stretch compared to E4 
  • comes with E4  flash lining on chest and back panels. Results in Warmth, comfortability and dries quickly.  
  • Strong and durable GBS + taped seams. No cold water will get into your suit with this seams.

A great wetsuit will definitely keep you warm during the colder surf days but to maintain the warmth or when its really cold you'll probably will need neoprene gloves or boots. 

To complete your Winter neoprene gear, good neoprene boots are a must. There are quite some different brands offering neoprene boots and they all have their own style, pro's and cons.  These neoprene boots come in different thickness, just like a wetsuit. obviously a 7mm boot is going to be warmer than a 2mm. But it depends on what you're looking for. Warmth, flexibility or feel?  Your Preference's is al that matters in all cases considering neoprene. There's also a difference in design, some shoes come as a round toe, where all your toe's are free and able to touch one another therefore generates more heat. Then you've got a split toe, in this boot your big toe is separated from the rest, which gives you a little more stability since your feet won't be able to slip as much.

Click on any boot to see the full description or click here to see our stock in boots!

Hurley Advantage plus 5/3 hooded 

The Hurley Advantage Plus 5/3mm hooded wetsuit ensures your comfortability when the temperature drops considerably. The insulated interior, the brand new and streamlined design make sure you'll be steady entering cold water temperatures. Comes in a radical colour way. 

Click here  for more info about the 5/4 hooded Hurley Advantage.

Hurley Advantage plus 5/3 hooded key features: 

  • GBS and fully taped seams.
  • Comfortable and warm lining around the torso for extra insulation.
  • The seams are strategically placed. For extra flexibility they placed the seams away from the shoulders, armpits and inner legs. The material Exoflex is light and elastic. The knee pad has a construction which absorbs water.
  • The chest is water resistant and follows the shape of your body, makes zipping much easier. just with one hand easier. Ready to go in just seconds.


You lose around 60% of your warmth through your head. In this case a vest + hoodie is the perfect solution. this way you could turn your 5mm hoodless suit into a 6mm hooded wetsuit. 

Rip Curl Flashbomb 0,5 Hood vest

The Flashbomb 0.5 mm Hood Vest from Rip Curl is full of durable and comfortable materials. The Flashdry technology provides fast-drying material and the hood can be adjusted to your needs. With 0.5 mm E5 neoprene and Flash Lining.

Click here  for more info about the Rip Curl Flashbomb 0,5 Hood vest


Patagonia M'S R3 Yulex FZ full suit

Winter wetsuit to keep you warm from 13 to 16 degrees. 

Made in a fair trade certified facility, neoprene-free wetsuits from patagonia are made from 85% Yulex natural rubber and 15% synthetic rubber based on polymer content. Just as warm and performance oriented as neoprene wetsuits but much greener and better for our planet. 

Click here  for more info about the Patagonia M'S R3 Yulex

The Patagonia Yulex R3 Key features:

  • Inverted microgrid thermal lining. Minimizes weight, offers excellent flexibility and dries fast.
  • Fabric is made with 85% recycled polyester and15% elastane which is durable, stretchy and water-resistant
  • 100% external seam sealing; all seams are triple-glued and internally taped
  • Supratex kneepads for max durability and anatomic fit.
  • Floating front zip which is corrrosion-proof and replaceable!Easy-access key loop

Roxy 5/4/3 Synchro hooded chestzip

Roxy is a women specific brand and has been in the game for the past 25 years. Their wetsuits have been designed to fit the womens curve's perfectly. They'll keep you warm and light, so you can always surf with lots of confidence and style. The 5/4/3 is a perfect balanced wetsuit in price and performance for cold water surfing. It has been designed to to generate heat and keep you warm and cozy. The vapor stretch panel on the back will absorb the suns heat and keep it in the infrared lining. With an attached hoodie which is always a great idea in cold water surfing. 

Click here  for more info about the Roxy 5/4/3 Synchro hooded chestzip

Roxy 5/4/3 Synchro hooded chestzip key features:

  • F'N LITE neoprene with limestone that is rich in air cells for lightweight heat 
  • Back panel which generates heat, keeps you warm and stops the wind 
  • WarmFlight  Far-Infrared thermal liner that converts body heat into infrared energy to produce and retain heat
  • GBS (glued and semi-stitched) seams for optimum flexibility and minimizing water penetration 
  • Made for  water temperatures of 08 ° C - 12 ° C degrees.



MYSTIC DAZZLED  5/3MM DOUBLE FZIP WOMEN

The DAZZLED is a completely new women's suit. The've designed this suit to develop a perfect fit.  The Fox lining keeps your core and upper body nice and warm. With 100% M-flex 2.0 neoprene this renowned wetsuit offers excellent stretch. With blind stitched seams and critical tape added to the most vulnerable area's. 

Click here  for more info about the MYSTIC DAZZLED  5/3MM DOUBLE FZIP

The Mystic Dazzeld 5/3 Key features:

  • The Glide skin neck construction makes the neoprene feel like a second skin while it still has a great water seal.  
  • Glued Blind Stitched seams.
    Therefore making the suit watertight. 
  •  designed to protect the shin area. 
  • Aquaflush, no more water collecting in your legs 
  • M-Flex 100%, super strechty and prevents water from penetrating.
  • Fox fleece on the front and back - Soft, supple and incredibly warm.

Rip Curl G BOMB 5/3 zip free wetsuit

The Women's G Bomb Zip Free is made from E6 thermo lining. The E6 will make the suit lighter, easier to put on, gives it a great deal of stretch and makes it water resistant. With a super-feminine look. 

Click here  for more info about the 
Rip Curl G BOMB 5/3 zip free wetsuit

E6 NEOPRENE

Rip Curl's premium high stretch E6 neoprene. 

Lightweight, super stretch, very smooth and comfy towards the skin. A high quality neoprene to keep you going. 

STITCHLESS UNDERARMS

Maximise movement because of the seamless and stitchless shoulder and underarms. for maximum flexibility.


Hopefully this article has cleared up some questions  you might have had in buying a wetsuit which fits your needs. If not, you could always send us a mail with what you're looking for through this link and we'll get back at you with some fitting options. 

Get it? Fitting.

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