Find your UK Wetsuit
The UK has some of Europe’s top surf spots, with all kinds of beaches, wild, stunning scenery, and waves that draw all types of surfers, from enthusiasts to pros.
Be prepared, though, as British waters can be cold. Whether you’re surfing on holiday in Cornwall or chasing extreme winter thrills in Scotland, Wetsuit Centre has the right gear and expertise to keep you warm on the waves. In this article, we will take a look at the perfect wetsuit for you.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wetsuit
If you’ve never purchased a wetsuit before, there are some key points you’ll want to consider:
- For what activity – Wetsuits for surfing are designed slightly differently from those for swimming, for example.
- Know when you’ll be in the water – The water temperature in summer is very different compared to winter, to the point where you’ll likely need a different wetsuit.
- Make sure it’s the right size – The most important thing for a wetsuit is how it fits, so take the time to ensure you have the right measurements.
- If in doubt, ask – Our team is always on hand if you have a question. Plus, we offer hassle-free returns if it’s not exactly what you need.
One of the most important aspects when choosing your wetsuit is deciding what thickness you need. Therefore, this guide will begin by looking at the recommended thickness for different UK waters, before providing advice on specific models.
Bear in mind that the wetsuit thicknesses below serve as a rough guide. If you particularly feel the cold, you may want to side with caution and opt for a slightly thicker wetsuit.
Wetsuit Thickness for England
Surfing in England can be a slightly different experience whether you’re in the south or the north. There are around 340 miles between Polzeath Beach in Cornwall and Long Sands Beach in Tyne and Wear, so it’s unsurprising that the temperatures can swing!
Generally, if you’re surfing during the summer, you’ll want to look at these kinds of thicknesses:
- North England: A 3mm or 3:2 wetsuit will usually be enough for the summer waters.
- South England: A 3mm or 3:2 wetsuit is recommended, although you might want a 2mm or a shorty for the peak of summer.
In the peak of winter, you’ll definitely want to consider a thicker wetsuit:
- North England: You might want to consider a 6mm or 6/5 wetsuit with hood, gloves, and boots.
- South England: You’ll want to consider a 5mm or 5/4 wetsuit with accessories.
If you just want to extend your summer surfing session, you might get away with choosing an autumnal 4mm or 4/3 wetsuit, which can get you through summer to early winter in southern waters.
If you’re just starting out, a great range to consider is the O’Neill Epic. It strikes a great balance between entry-level pricing and high-end performance and is available in both summer and winter thicknesses.
Wetsuit Thickness for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is a fantastic place for surfing, with great waves available all year round.
During the summer season, a 4mm or 4/3 wetsuit is often recommended. Although you can get away with a 3mm suit in the peak of summer, choosing a 4/3 will allow you to make the most of the waves throughout the whole of summer without having to worry about the cold.
For winter surfing, most people will look for a 5mm (5/4) wetsuit or above. If you want to go in the coldest waters, you might consider a 6 or 7mm, although you will start to feel your movement become more restricted the thicker your suit gets.
If you’re looking for an excellent winter wetsuit, you should definitely consider the range by Xcel. If you are after a high-performance model, we would highly recommend the Xcel Drylock, one of the best winter wetsuits on the market.
Wetsuit Thickness for Scotland
Scotland is quickly becoming one of the most popular surfing locations in the UK, with a whole range of beaches with excellent waves.
If you’re surfing during the summer, you might get away with a 3/2 wetsuit, but many will opt for a 4mm thickness. During the winter months, you’ll likely want at least a 5/4 and probably some accessories like wetsuit gloves, boots, and a hood.
Another wetsuit brand you’ll definitely want to consider is Rip Curl, one of the most popular brands on the market. If you’re looking for an entry-level summer suit, the Rip Curl Freelite range is a great choice. Alternatively, the Rip Curl Omega is a great winter wetsuit range.
Wetsuit Thickness for Wales
The water temperatures in Wales, like in England, can vary depending on whether you’re on the south or north coast. Generally, wetsuit recommendations follow a similar pattern here to those for England!
In the summer, a 3:2 wetsuit is often recommended, although you might be tempted to choose a shorty wetsuit to make the most of the warmest waves.
For the winter months, you’ll probably want a 5mm or 6mm wetsuit and some accessories, particularly if surfing in North Wales.
If you’re looking for an excellent wetsuit for surfing in Wales, you might want to consider the O’Neill Hyperfreak. One of the popular surf brand’s more advanced models, it comes with Technobutter neoprene which is so good, it almost doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a wetsuit!
We hope this guide will help you find the perfect wetsuit to get out on your local waters! Remember, if you want any more wetsuit advice, be sure to explore our blog or contact our friendly team, who are always happy to help fellow surfers!