Which Wetsuit Is Best For Which Season?

In this blog we will be outlining for you the different types of wetsuit. The wetsuit itself is actually a complicated piece of kit and is an advanced piece of technology in its own right! To make the most out of your surf, your paddleboarding or your kite surfing it is important that you wear the right wetsuit. If you aren’t wearing the right wetsuit, then you can grow cold to quickly, and have to abandon your activity, or you will overheat which will make the activity unbearable and/or sweaty! To begin we will start with a very quick and brief introduction to what a wetsuit actually is and how it works.

What Is A Wetsuit?

A wetsuit is insulation. It is made out of neoprene and forms a protective layer between your skin and the sea. The suit itself traps a minuscule layer of water between your body and the suit which is then warmed by your body heat preventing heat loss. Wetsuits are not designed to keep you bone-dry, the closed cells that comprise neoprene fill with air that insulates you when in cold water. The thicker the neoprene on a wetsuit, the more insulating the suit will be.

Wetsuit Thickness

Wetsuits come in a range of different thicknesses and will be detailed as having a 5/3 type classification, or in some circumstances a 5/4/3. Regarding the first example, the ‘5’ refers to how thick the neoprene is around the torso. The ‘3’ refers to the thickness of the neoprene around the arms and the legs of the wetsuit. In the latter example, the first and the last number remain the same, the middle number, i.e. the ‘4’ refer to the thickness of the neoprene around the areas such as the thighs. The higher the number, the greater the thickness.

Wetsuit Categories

Generally speaking, there are three main types of wetsuit that are themselves designed specifically for different seasons.

  • Winter wetsuits
  • Summer wetsuits
  • Shorty wetsuits

The Winter Wetsuit

As the name suggests, the winter wetsuit is best for the winter months. We have broken down the specifics of this suit below.

Temperature Range: The recommended temperature range for this wetsuit is between 8°C and 12°C.

Worn From: October through to March. However, this type of wetsuit is recommended for wearing for longer throughout the year in Northern Britain or the Nordic countries where the sea temperature is consistently low.

Thickness: 5/3 – 6/4

Our Favourite:O'Neill Epic Mens 5/4mm Winter Wetsuit 2019

The Summer Wetsuit

Temperature Range: The recommended temperature range for this set of wetsuits would be around 12°C to 19°C.

Worn From: This group of suits will see you through the warmer months that we have here in the U.K, which typically begin in May all the way through to September.

Thickness: Around the 3/2 range

Our Favourite:O'Neill Hammer 3/2mm Chest Zip Wetsuit 2019

Shorty Wetsuits

Temperature Range: These wetsuits are perfect for the warmest of sea temperatures. Which are not all the commonplace in the U.K but they do occur at the height of summer and can linger for a few months at least. The recommended temperature range is anywhere from 15°C and above.

Worn From: June through to August

Thickness: These are the thinnest of all wetsuit categories. With short sleeve arms and legs. The thickness usually clocks in at around somewhere in the 2mm category.

Our Favourite:C Skins Element 3/2mm Mens Shortie Wetsuit 2019 - Lime