The most elaborate piece of watersport apparel out there is undeniably the wetsuit. A high-quality wetsuit is essential to invest in as not only will it keep you warm, but it can be performance-enhancing. Wetsuits made from ultra-stretchy neoprene provide you with a full range of movement and motion underwater. Ideally, you want a wetsuit to feel like a second skin, with no sagginess or excessive bunching dragging you down.
There are vital features these suits should possess, and you also need to consider wetsuit thickness, style, and the kind of waters you’ll be swimming in. If it’s winter and you’re swimming in icy water, definitely opt for a thick full suit with an easy back entry so that you can slip it on and off effortlessly.
However, if you’re dabbling in warm water, you may want to choose a spring suit as it provides less coverage on the arms and legs. Fortunately, many wetsuits brands are also becoming eco-friendly, as they’re using safe and sustainable practices to manufacture their products. Considering a brand that’s getting behind this literal wave is something to note as we should support companies helping preserve the environments we love to explore.
Does a wetsuit keep you dry?
A wetsuit will not keep you dry, but it will keep you warm as they’re made from neoprene - a waterproof, foam rubber material. Additionally, wetsuits that are tightly sealed and thick, are your best bet for staying warm in cold water.
What do I wear under a wetsuit?
Wetsuits keep you warm, so you don’t have you wear anything else underneath. However, most surfers and drivers will wear a swimsuit, board shorts, or undies underneath for an extra layer. For the best results, wear a pair of neoprene shorts that are lightweight to add extra warmth.
Is a 2mm wetsuit warm enough?
The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer it’ll keep you. 2mm wetsuits are best for warm water temperatures, but you can always opt for a ¾ suit or a spring suit for less coverage for water that's not too cold. If you're thinking of swimming or surfing in winter or cold water, go for a thicker wetsuit!
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To help you choose the right wetsuit for you, we’ve uncovered brands creating award-winning wetsuits that not only make style a priority but safety too. Below we have listed a variety of different wetsuits that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials, you’ll want to dive in headfirst.
RipCurl has a selection of long sleeve wetsuits offering full coverage and spring suits that come with varied thicknesses. These wet suits offer everything from e-stitch high stretch seams; back zips, mesh skin chest zips and back panels to help absorb solar heat. Also, if you're after a wetsuit with minimal leakage, RipCurl's designs feature a Hydro Loc collar.
Xcel offers various wetsuits, spring suits, dive suits and full suits in multiple colours and prints. Xcel's designs are also made for warmth, performance and provide incredible limestone neoprene fabric that is exceptionally lightweight and stretchy.
The O' Neill wetsuits offer ultimate flexibility, warmth and performance. Their high-quality wetsuits are some of the best out there, especially ones that feature their TechnoButter 3 neoprene fabric as they provide the best feel without adding extra bulk, made to feel like a second skin. Additionally, these wetsuits come with a chest zipper and an easy entry system so that you can slip in the wetsuit on with great ease.
The O'Neill Psycho wetsuit series is one of their best selling collections as it combines TechnoButter 3 neoprene with heat-generating TechnoButter Air-Firewall, guaranteed for you to stay warm and toasty no matter the water condition.
Billabong manufactures some of the best men's wetsuits in the industry with impressive technologies guaranteed to boost warmth and performance. Wetsuits are ultra-lightweight and provide a high level of heat retention, protecting you from cold water while being made from 100% recyclable materials. These wetsuits have blind stitched seams that are soft, flexible and durable.
You'll feel safe when repping Patagonia's wetsuits as they'll keep you warm in the coldest water temperatures. These wetsuits are FSC certified rubber blended with chlorine-free synthetic rubber for increased UV protection. Their Yulex wetsuits feature lining that minimises weight and dries extremely fast.
Matuse's wetsuits are never too tight and allow for ultimate freedom of movement while you tackle the ocean. These wetsuits come in a range of short sleeve and long sleeve designs that feature knee pads and foam density for extra durability. These wetsuits are incredibly reliable as they keep you protected in even some of the most aggressive waters.
Hurley offers a massive selection of men's wetsuits available in all different kinds of styles, colours and sizes. They feature wetsuits with a 2 mm and 3 mm thickness, adding a secure layer of defence in the deepest waters. These wetsuits have Exoflex built into them as well, providing you with a full range of motion without you feeling weighed down.
Quiksilver provides well-constructed neoprene wetsuits that come with Ecto-Flex knee pads that offer protection for you & your board. Quiksilver also features 3/2 mm chest zip wetsuits made from StretchLight limestone neoprene and blind stitched seams, ensuring minimal water entry. Quiksilver is delivering the best wetsuits for affordable prices, perfect if you're on a budget.
For over 30 years, Rusty has created the highest quality wetsuits that are both technical and sleek. After being sick of seeing brands use harmful chemical-based neoprene, Rusty developed their Ecoprene foam - a limestone-based foam that's incredibly comfy and durable. Their wetsuit range is made from eco-friendly yarns and water-based glues and laminates, ensuring we protect the oceans we love to explore.
They debuted Roxy in the late Summer of 199, and it was an instant success. Since then, Roxy has grown to be one of the biggest companies for women's sportswear and apparel, capturing the brand's spirit to be "Daring, confident, naturally beautiful, fun, alive". 1994 was a massive milestone for the brand as world champion surfer Lisa Anderson became a part of the team, helping Roxy achieve mainstream success and enter global markets.
Roxy creates a range of full suits, 3/4 suits and spring suits in a range of different sizes and styles. If you're looking for a fashionable wetsuit offering lots of playful and vibrant prints, Roxy has you covered. However, not only do these suits look good, they're incredibly functional and protective due to their StretchFlight x3 limestone-derived neoprene, that's super warm and light. Also, their collection offers wetsuits that have WarmFlight thermal fleece lining, guaranteed to keep heat trapped in and water out.
Body Glove has extremely thick wetsuits available, geared to keep you warm in the coldest water temperatures. They have every type of wetsuit too, whether you're after a full wetsuit, long john or even a men's pullover, Body Glove has you covered - literally. These wetsuits also come with extended back zip, easy for you to get on and off.
Adelio wetsuits are guaranteed to keep you warm as they are Japanese limestone available in 3 mm and 4 mm thickness. These designs offer stretch knee pads and inner taping at the stress points. Also, its relaxed fit will suit a range of different body types.
These wetsuits come with lightweight X-Stretch Neoprene material, adding an extra range of movement and buoyancy. Peak Wetsuits have installed knee pads, blind stitched seams, chest zips and back zips into their designs for ultimate functionality. These wetsuits are available in varied thicknesses, sizes, colours and styles, ensuring you'll find what you're looking for with this versatile collection.
These wetsuits feature a closed-cell foam entirely made from biodegradable natural rubber. Project Blank have an impeccable range of winter wetsuits as their fast-drying thermal fabric and foam will keep you super warm, while its lightweight outer jersey has high heat retention. These wetsuits are available in 2 mm, 3/2 mm and 4/3 mm thickness.
Vissla wetsuits come in all different styles and colours, suitable for every driver or surfer aesthetic. These designs feature a Thermal Brain Fuzz lining that insulates heat and dries fast. Also, these wetsuits are highly durable as they have triple glued, double-blind stitched seams, ensuring to last a lifetime.