Wetsuits are one of the most important inventions in the history of surfing. Wearing a wetsuit is the best way to keep us more time in the water. Cold water surfers know that very well.
Buying a wetsuit is always an important moment. Wetsuits are an investment for, at least, two or three years, if you're an avid and regular wave rider. It is also possible to combine winter wetsuits and summer wetsuits, depending on your budget.
There are three main wetsuit decisions that you should make. First, select whether you need a short or spring wetsuit or a full suit. Then, it's time to pick the ideal thickness, depending on the temperature conditions of your most surfed spots.
The main neoprene thickness types in modern semi-dry wetsuits are 3/2mm (mild to warm temperatures), 4/3mm (mild to cold temperatures) and 5/4mm (cold to very cold temperatures). If you're surfing quite regularly in Alaska, a dry wetsuit, hood, booties and gloves are compulsory.
Finally, pick the stitching variables that suit your pocket. In the flatlock stitching models, each panel is stitched both on the outside and inside of the suit. Sealed panels are blind stitched and then glued to prevent water from entering through the seams.
If you're buying a sealed and taped wetsuit, you'll have panels that are blind stitched and glued, and then tape is applied over the glue on the inside of the suit.
For the high tech surfers who need to feel 100% comfortable, there's always the battery-heated wetsuit that will keep you as if you were in front of the fireplace.
Wetsuits have two more important variables. The stretch and flexibility of modern neoprene can range from 30% to 100%. The full super stretch wetsuits are great and can be more expensive.
Also, some surfers have special zipper preferences. The most common models are sold with full zipper, half zipper and zipperless options. The best wetsuits for your height and weight are the ones that stay close to your body, perfectly fit in the neck, torso, arms and legs.
The best surf wetsuits in the world are developed and produced by Billabong, Body Glove, Hurley, O'Neill, Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Roxy, Volcom and Xcel.
Check the wetsuit size chart to pick the right model for your body. Now, check the best wetsuits for 2013/2014 season:
The wetsuit review has been updated on the 11th March 2014.