The Definitive Guide to the Best Men’s Wetsuit for Surfing
Looking for the “best wetsuit for surfing”? The huge range of them available can at times make the search a daunting one, full of questions and not a whole lot of answers. What thickness do I need? Which are the best brands? Should I feel comfortable in my wetsuit? All of these are important questions, and if you want to find the best men’s wetsuit for surfing you’ll need to answer them before you make your purchase. This article will help to clear all that up for you by discussing some of the most important things you should consider when buying a wetsuit, as well as listing some of the best options available to you.
Things you should consider when buying a wetsuit
The material used – The modern-day wetsuit is generally made of a material called neoprene. Basically, this is a synthetic rubber and is extremely popular in the manufacturing of wetsuits as a result of its buoyancy and flexibility. Other materials used include thermoplastic, which is a stronger material that is very popular in colder water, and jersey, a soft material often used in the construction of the interior section of a wetsuit.
Size – This is a relatively obvious thing to consider, but it’s one which many people get wrong when purchasing wetsuits. A wetsuit which is too big will likely leak water, and result in you feeling extremely cold, while a small wetsuit will be almost impossible to put on. When trying on wetsuits, it’s important to remember that they’ll stretch a little as you wear them, so buying something which feels a little tight initially isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Thickness – This will have a major impact on whether your wetsuit keeps you warm or not. The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer you’ll be. so before you buy, make sure you know what kind of water temperature you’re going to be surfing in most of the time.
Comfort level – A good wetsuit is something you’re probably going to spend a fair bit of time wearing, so it’s important that you feel comfortable while you’ve got it on. Wetsuits can feel particularly restrictive at first, but if they are made of high-quality materials and fits well, they will generally stretch and mold to your body, resulting in a very comfortable wetsuit.
Looks – Many people may pretend they don’t care what their wetsuit looks like, but the reality is that almost everyone would prefer one that they like the appearance of. A large majority of wetsuits are simply black with a couple of logos plastered on them, but for those who prefer a bit of a more eye-catching look, there are plenty of colorful options available as well.
Top 5 Men’s “surfing wetsuit reviews”
Blue Seventy Men’s Helix Wetsuit
Our impression: This is one of the most comfortable and high-performance wetsuits out there. It fits like a glove, meaning you’ll hardly feel like you’re wearing a thing while you’re surfing, and will keep you warm in all manner of conditions. I particularly liked the grip panels on the arms, which give you a little bit of extra propulsion while you’re paddling – a feature not present in many of its competitors. It’s also relatively easy to get on, something which isn’t always the case with thicker wetsuits. On top of that, it looks great. The blue around the shoulders and orange patches on the arms and legs give it a great style and help you to feel confident out in the water.
- Comfort – this is probably the best feature of this wetsuit.
- Grip panels – great use of technology which really sets this apart from competitors.
- Warmth – This is essentially the main purpose of a wetsuit, and this one will keep you very warm.
- Style – The Blue Seventy Men’s Helix looks as good as any other wetsuit you’ll find.
- Price – It’s a terrific wetsuit, but you will pay a relatively hefty price for it.
Final Verdict: If you’ve got the money for it, you can’t really go wrong with this wetsuit. It kept me extremely comfortable and warm, and will no doubt do the same for you. Overall, one of the best wetsuits available.
O’Neill Psychofreak Men’s Wetsuit
Our impression: This was a little bit tough to get on initially, but once it was on it was extremely comfortable and kept me very warm. The stretchy neoprene ensures you won’t feel restricted while paddling with this on, and the lack of stitches also adds to the comfort. Often, the seams of lower quality wetsuits can start to come apart, and this can cause a lot of discomforts when surfing. With no stitches present at all on this wetsuit, that certainly isn’t a problem. It also feels much more lightweight than most other wetsuits, which is another great feature. This version is only 3/2mm, which won’t keep you warm in the coldest of cold waters, so if you’re going to be surfing a lot in the winter then a thicker wetsuit is worth considering.
- Lightweight – Extremely light once it’s on, which makes it much easier to move around in.
- Stretchy neoprene material – This material stretches a lot, which means you won’t be restricted in your paddling.
- Zip Closure System – Zips coming undone during the middle of a duck-dive can be extremely unpleasant, so it’s nice to know that that’s not a problem with this wetsuit.
- One of the best wetsuit brands for surfing – O’Neill is a highly regarded brand, so you can be sure the quality is high.
- Difficult to get on – This is often the price you pay for a high-quality wetsuit, but this one is particularly difficult to get on
Final Verdict: This is another great wetsuit. Aside from the little bit of extra time, you’ll need to get it on, there are very few flaws with the O’Neill Psychofreak. If you’ll be surfing in very cold water then perhaps consider something thicker than a 3/2mm, but other than that, this is a great wetsuit and is well worth purchasing.
Bare 7mm Elastek Full Men’s Wetsuit
Our impression: At 7mm this is much thicker than most wetsuits used for surfing, and should only be used in extremely cold conditions. The wetsuit itself is very high quality, and considering the thickness it still offers relatively good flexibility. My immediate concern upon seeing it was 7mm would be that it would be impossible to properly paddle and stand up wearing this, but it wasn’t anywhere near as big an issue as I thought it would be. This is because of the Elastek Super-Stretch feature, which stretches twice as much as normal neoprene. The wetsuit feels soft and comfortable against your skin, and you’ll retain a full range of motion with this one. Overall, your ability to move is slightly more compromised with this wetsuit compared to significantly thinner ones, but if you’ll be surfing in icy conditions then it will be a fantastic companion in the water.
- Elastek Super-Stretch material – This feature compensates for the fact that the wetsuit is so thin to still allow you to move relatively comfortably.
- Extremely warm – The extreme thickness of this wetsuit makes it incredibly warm.
- Comfortable – Again, considering how thick the wetsuit is, I expected comfort to be a problem. It wasn’t.
- Thickness – It depends where you’ll be surfing, but in a majority of conditions this wetsuit will be too hot.
Final Verdict: Whether this wetsuit is suitable depends on the conditions in which you’ll be surfing. If you’ll be using it where the water is extremely cold, then this is one of the best options you’ll find. If, however, you’ll be surfing in more regular water temperatures, you’ll find it too hot, and it won’t be worth buying.
Hyperflex Wetsuit Men’s Voodo
Our impression: This is a very comfortable wetsuit. It has a Super Stretch Neoprene, which makes it particularly nice to wear despite its relatively thick material. It’s also very easy to get on thanks to the wider entry point. Initially, this concerned me as I thought it would allow water in, but it seals shut perfectly to ensure that isn’t a problem. The inside is very wet, making it very comfortable, while the lightweight nature of it also adds to the comfort. The addition of a hood will also be useful if you’re surfing in cold water, as it will help to avoid those horrible brain freezes you often get on your initial duck dive. Overall, this is a really high-quality wetsuit.
- Super Stretch Neoprene: Great for ensuring comfort despite the added thickness of the wetsuit.
- Cocoon entry and exit point: This makes it particularly easy to get in and out of the wetsuit, so you won’t have to stand around in the cold struggling to get it on.
- Warm: If you’re surfing in cold water, this wetsuit will enable you to stay in for a long time.
- Too thick for some locations: If you’ll be surfing in water that isn’t very cold, you’ll be too hot in this.
Final Verdict: Much like the bare 7mm Elastek Wetsuit, the suitability of the Hyperflex Men’s Voodoo will depend on where you’re surfing. For cold water conditions, it’s a great option; it will keep you warm and is extremely comfortable. If it’s a little warmer though, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
O’Neill Psycho 3/2 Wetsuit
Our impression: This is an excellent wetsuit for a wide range of surfing conditions. At 3/2mm, it’s suitable for any water temperature that isn’t very cold or very warm and is advertised as being a good choice in water from 60-71 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a fairly wide range and will get you through much of the year at many locations. It is made of Technobutter 2 Neoprene, and while I was unfamiliar with this exact type of material, the name certainly makes sense. It feels as soft as butter against your skin and is extremely comfortable to wear while you surf. It has a back zip, which I’m typically not a fan of, but it seems to stay closed relatively well. The benefits of a back zip are that it makes it easier to get on and off, so if this is often a problem for you, then this wetsuit might be a good choice.
- Good thickness – The 3/2mm thickness makes this a suitable option for a wide range of water temperatures.
- Comfort – This is an exceptionally comfortable wetsuit, and feels great against your skin.
- Cost – Despite being high quality and from a well-known brand, it comes in a little cheaper than many competitors.
- Back zip – Often, this isn’t the best place to have a zip, and as the wetsuit ages can become prone to coming undone during your session.
Final Verdict: Cost, comfort, looks, and thickness everything is quite great. If you are looking for a wetsuit to be used in a wide range of temperature this one will be the best buy. But keep in mind that your water temperature shouldn’t be too much cool
- What thickness should my wetsuit be? This will obviously depend on the water temperature, but a 3/2mm (3mm refers to the body of the wetsuit, and 2mm to the thickness of the arms) or a 4/3mm wetsuit is generally suitable for the widest range of conditions. If you’ll be surfing in particularly cold waters, then thicker is the way to go. In contrast, if you live in more tropical conditions then you’ll get away with much less material.
- What are the best wetsuit brands for surfing? Fortunately, there are a number of high-quality wetsuit manufacturers. Of those we’ve listed above, O’Neill is very well regarded, and Blue Seventy makes some high-quality products. Other great brands include Ripcurl, Quiksilver, and Billabong.
- Does my surfing ability influence what kind of wetsuit I should buy? Not a great deal. There is no such thing as a surfing wetsuit for beginners as such, but if you are starting out, then anything that will keep you comfortable is a good choice. Surfing gear for beginners is generally very different than for advanced surfers, but wetsuits are one piece of equipment which stay the same regardless of ability.
- What is the best wetsuit for men’s surfing? – There is no single best wetsuit for men’s surfing, but there is a number which is better than the rest. The five that we’ve listed above are all very high quality, and depending on where you’ll be surfing, any of them could be the best option for you.
- Where can I buy wetsuits? – There are two main options. The most common is at a surf shop, where there’ll be plenty of options as well as a salesperson to help you make your decision. You can also have a look online. Many manufacturers have their own websites to sell their products online. Many eCommerce websites also sell the same. Also, There are plenty of websites available where you can see reviews and go for a purchase.
Buying a wetsuit isn’t always easy. There are a lot of things to consider, and heaps of different brands and styles to look at. If you use the guide above, however, you’ll likely find that you have a much easier time reducing your search to just a few great wetsuits. Select one of the five we’ve reviewed and you’ll no doubt be satisfied, but there are plenty of other good options out there if you do the research.