Do You Need a Wetsuit When Surfing?

by Liz H. February 06, 2019

Do You Need a Wetsuit When Surfing?

Surfing is one of the most exhilarating water activities. In order to really enjoy surfing, it is imperative that you wear the right gear for the activity. Whether you wear board shorts and a T- shirt or a full body wetsuit is a matter that is largely dependent on the surfing conditions. On the whole however, the most popular surfing gear includes board shorts, rash guards, a Neoprene vest or jacket and wetsuits. But do you really have to wear a surfing wetsuit? Read on to find out the pros and cons of wearing a wetsuit when surfing.         

 

Pros of Wearing a Wetsuit for Surfing       

One of the greatest advantages that come with wearing a wetsuit when surfing is that it insulates your body against the cold. Of course this is only an important consideration if you will be surfing in cold waters or where cold gusts of wind are a common occurrence. When the temperatures are low, the thick Neoprene material used to make wetsuits shields your body from the cold water. The wetsuit also allows a little water to seep in. The water is heated by the body and then circulates continuously thus ensuring that you remain warm while surfing.     

Another pro that comes with wearing a surfing wetsuit is that it absorbs some of the impact that is inevitable during surfing. Wetsuits that have kneepads and other protective features can be invaluable for this reason. Additionally, wetsuits are bound to stay on as you surf, which cannot be easily said of other surfing gear. With a wetsuit, you don’t have to worry about adjusting straps and hiking shorts up. Finally, a wetsuit also flatters just about any body shape. This is important for appearance and can help you feel more comfortable when surfing.           

 

Cons of Wearing a Wetsuit when Surfing   

If you are surfing in fairly warm temperatures, a wetsuit is quite unnecessary. For one thing, Neoprene is known to cause skin rashes and discomfort when worn for long hours. A wetsuit also often impedes movement, and this can make surfing that much less enjoyable for you. Moreover, a thick wetsuit in warm waters is likely to make you uncomfortably hot. A wetsuit is also rather difficult to don and remove, and this can be a problem if you need to change in a hurry. Finally, a wetsuit requires special care. You cannot simply throw it into the washing machine with the rest of your laundry: it has to be washed by hand.         

 

Conclusion     

So, should you wear a wetsuit for surfing? It really depends on the surfing conditions. If you will be surfing in icy waters where hypothermia is a real risk, then by all means go ahead and wear a wetsuit. If you also want some extra cushioning against impact as you surf, then a wetsuit is an excellent choice for you. However, a wetsuit is largely unnecessary when surfing. The cons of wearing one are many and varied. For instance, you will have to contend with restricted movement while you surf. Secondly, skin irritation is a common problem with Neoprene wetsuits. Getting in to and out of your wetsuit can also be a difficult task. Unless you really need insulation when surfing, pick other surfing gear but a wetsuit. You will not regret your choice.

 

Liz H.
Liz H.


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