southeast wetsuits

Are you looking to buy a new wetsuit?

A wetsuit allows you to stay in the water much, much longer than you would be able to without one. In extreme cold you wouldn’t be able to enter the water at all without one.

Wetsuits are made of a flexible material called neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber that contains thousands of tiny air pockets. Surfing wetsuits are different than the drysuits that divers sometimes wear. Wetsuits keep you warm by trapping a layer of water between the neoprene and your skin, which your body then heats up. Occasionally this water flushes out and is replaced by a new layer of water which your body must re-heat. This sometimes happens when you duckdive under a wave or wipe out. Please remember this when you feel some water coming down your back- this is not due to the fit of the wetsuit being wrong as some can assume! 

We have listed some useful information here to help you buy the perfect wetsuit for you. 

The Magic Numbers

The suit thickness is usually designated by two numbers which represent the neoprene thickness in millimeters. The first number is the thickest neoprene that is used around your torso and upper legs. The second is a thinner grade neoprene that is used around the arms and lower legs that allows you a bit more flexibility in paddling and riding.

2/1 and 1mm spring suits and neoprene shirts are very thin, offering mild protection from the wind and chilly water. 3/2 full suits are the thinnest you’re likely to find. These are great in the early spring and fall and aren’t too restrictive. 4/3 suits are a step up from that, offering more warmth. You’ll start to feel the effects of the added neoprene weighing you down. 5/4 and 6/4 suits are the thickest, and once you’re into these you’re probably going to be using a hood and booties.

How To Try On A Wetsuit For The First Time

When buying a wetsuit, it’s important that the suit be snug—not too tight, not too loose. If the suit is too tight, you won’t be able to move (which is an essential part of surfing!). If your arms aren’t free to move you’ll get tired very quickly when paddling. If it’s too loose, there will be a ton of water moving around in your suit and your body will have a tough time warming up all that water and the insulating effect would be lost.

Make sure that the suit doesn’t have any glaring rough spots that might give you a rash. You’re going to be doing a lot of repetitive movements when you’re surfing and something that seems like only a minor irritation in the shop can be magnified when you’ve been paddling for 3 hours and your skin is raw and cold.

Determining the right size when shopping a wetsuit can be a bit tricky, as the sizing does not correspond with the normal clothing sizes. So before you set off shopping for a wetsuit, we recommend you ask somebody to measure yourself. Two measurements are vital: your chest at it’s fullest point ( usually across the nipple line) and your full height head to toes ( without shoes). Please check out this article and videos on how to take correct measurement – click here.

It is very easy to damage a wetsuit if you are trying on a wrong size!

Whether you are trying the suit on for the first time in the shop, or have bought it online and you just opened it, please follow this few tips to ensure the fit is right and you don’t cause any damage to the wetsuit  (this will void your chances of returning the wetsuit to us and getting a refund/exchange for it).

  • If you bought online, open the envelope very carefully, do not pierce it with scissors or a knife.
  • Leave all tags on while trying for the first time
  • Insert your legs first. If feels too tight, do not attempt to pull with force- this might indicate that you are trying the wetsuit that is too small. Be very careful using your nails to pull up the suit- these can be a “lethal weapon” that can pierce the wetsuit, and this kind of damage is not refundable, as it occurred in your possession.
  • Make sure the legs and your bum are nice and snug in the suit before inserting your arms.
  • When you inserted your arms, but the suit feels too tight, do not attempt to close the zip – it can break under too much pressure or rip neoprene ( rubber-like material the wetsuits are made off). This can already mean you need a larger size. Damage to the zip caused by forcing it too close is also non refundable.
  • If at any stage of the first fitting you feel the wetsuit is too tight, do not continue with fitting, take it off immediately – you can post it to us and we will refund the cost, provided the wetsuit is in perfect condition. You can also order a replacement on our website.

Follow these tips and there shouldn’t be any issues getting your money back if the wetsuit does not fit. Click here to see our full returns policy.