The Definitive Guide to the Best Women’s Wetsuit for Surfing
Being a female surfer isn’t always easy. Not only are you often vastly outnumbered by men in the water, but the range of high-quality surfing products available to you is generally less than for your male counterparts. Wetsuits are a great example of this. Go to any surf shop, and you’ll likely see a large majority of the wetsuit section taken up by men’s products, with just a small area for women’s wetsuits. As a result, your search might be a little harder, but fortunately, there are still a number of great products available which you can find either in a shop or online. After reading this article, you’ll have no problem finding the best women’s wetsuit for surfing.
Things you should consider when buying a women’s wetsuit
- The material used: There might be a smaller range of women’s wetsuits available, but the best ones are still generally made of the same product; neoprene. Neoprene will allow you to easily move around in the water, while also keeping you warm – basically the two most important functions of a wetsuit!
- Size – Women’s wetsuit sizes can sometimes be a little difficult to get your head around. They generally come in generic sizes like small, medium and large, which doesn’t necessarily suit everybody. If you’re particularly tall and skinny, or a little stockier, you might have to look hard to avoid ending up with a wetsuit that’s a little too baggy, or too long or short.
- Thickness – As with men’s wetsuits, this is a hugely important factor in determining whether your wetsuit will fulfill its purpose. The thickness is easily the largest determinant of your warmth in the water, so make sure you choose a thickness which is appropriate for the water you’ll be surfing in. If it’s going to be very cold much of the year, look for something at least 4/3mm (4mm in the body, 3mm in the arms) thick, while you may be able to get away with a 2/2mm in warmer waters.
- Comfort level – This is directly related to size, with awkwardly fitting wetsuits one of the major reasons for discomfort in a women’s wetsuit. If you find a wetsuit which fits properly and is made of high-quality materials, it will no doubt keep you feeling nice and comfortable when you’re out in the water.
- Looks – This is where looking for women’s wetsuits can actually be beneficial. Where men’s wetsuits are almost exclusively plain black, women’s wetsuits generally come in a much wider range of colors. If you still want the classic black look then you’ll have no trouble finding it, but if you’re after something a little bit more colorful, there’ll be plenty of options for you.
Top 5 women’s “surfing wetsuit reviews”
Zone 3 Women’s Vanquish FS Wetsuit
Our impression: Zone 3 have incorporated a whole lot of innovative technology to ensure this is one of the best women’s wetsuits on the market. This wetsuit is really comfortable to wear. One feature I really liked, and which is not present on many other wetsuits, is the 1mm molded collar. This refers to the area around the neck, which is particularly thin and will fit perfectly around your neck so that you’ll hardly feel like you have a wetsuit on. It’s also tailored specifically to women’s body shapes, ensuring it will fit perfectly around your hips, waist, and chest. It moves easily through the water thanks to the SCS Nano coating, which reduces drag, while the Silk-Fit inner lining means you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a comfortable blanket while you’re surfing. Overall, this wetsuit is extremely comfortable, feels light in the water, and will keep you warm – what more could you want?
- Innovative use of technology: Zone 3 have clearly put plenty of thought and research into this wetsuit.
- Fit: Often a problem with women’s wetsuits, but not so with this one, which will fit like a glove.
- Easy to put on: This will reduce the amount of time you’re standing out in the cold struggling to get on your wetsuit.
- Expensive: You’ll pay the price for all the great features of this wetsuit.
Final verdict: A wetsuit which you’ll be very happy to own. Zone 3 has gone to great lengths to ensure this is a high-quality wetsuit. It fits perfectly, is very comfortable and will keep you warm, and though it costs a little more than some of its competitors, it’s well and truly worth it.
Blue Seventy Fusion Full Wetsuit – Women’s
Our impression: The first thing I noticed about this wetsuit was the thickness. Generally, wetsuits have a certain thickness in the body and a slightly lesser thickness in the arms, but this wetsuit is split into three areas. The upper body is 3mm, the lower body 5mm, and the arms 1.5mm. This does, however, make a little bit of sense. Your lower body is in the water and stationary much of the time, and a little bit of extra warmth there does help. The thinness of the arms isn’t too much to make you cold, but it does allow you to move around very easily. It also feels very comfortable and it has a female-specific cut to ensure a great fit. Blueseventy wetsuits also tend to last, so you’ll probably get a number of years to use out of this wetsuit.
- Unique thickness distribution: This works really well, and will keep you warm while allowing a great range of motion at the same time.
- Durable: You should get good use out of this wetsuit.
- Comfortable: This wetsuit feels great to wear.
- Back zips: Back zips tend to be a little less durable and cause more problems.
Final verdict: This is a great wetsuit for women and one which will keep you very warm and comfortable in the water. The three tiers of thickness work very well and will enable you to surf at your best. The back zip may be a cause of annoyance for some, but as far as problems with wetsuits go it’s a relatively minor one.
XTERRA Women’s Volt Triathlon Wetsuit 3/2mm
Our impression: Given this wetsuit is made with triathlon participants in mind, it’s not surprising to learn that it’s extremely comfortable and lightweight. It’s incredibly flexible, allowing you to move around with ease in the water. It also makes good use of technology, with one feature that I particularly liked being the X-Slice coating, which reduces drag to ensure you’ll be able to paddle as fast as anyone out in the water. The double-bind stitching means that it’s very durable, and won’t come apart easily. Often, I worry that stitching like that will feel uncomfortable in the water, but you won’t even know that it’s there with this wetsuit. There’s also a 30 days return policy and a 1-year warranty, so obviously XTERRA have confidence in their own wetsuit.
- Extremely lightweight: Allows you to move with ease in the water.
- Comfortable: It’s made for people competing in marathons, so unsurprisingly it’s comfortable to wear.
- 1-year warranty: If it falls apart you’ll get your money back, so you don’t have to hold any fears about its durability
- Cheap: This wetsuit also comes in far cheaper than most similar products.
- Questionable size: The only potential problem with this wetsuit is it’s size, with some users complaining it didn’t fit perfectly.
Final verdict: This is a great wetsuit without even thinking about the price, so when you consider it’s a fraction of the cost of similar products, it’s hard to go past this wetsuit. It’ll keep you warm and comfortable, and is guaranteed to last.
O’Neill Women’s Reactor 3/2mm Full Wetsuit
Our impression: This is a budget option which still provides all the features of more expensive wetsuits. The reactor is made of Fluid-Flex Foam Neoprene; at first, I wasn’t sure what Fluid-Flex referred to, but upon feeling this material I can understand the name. It feels extremely flexible, and as a result, you’ll be able to move as freely as if you were wearing a regular swimsuit while you have this wetsuit on. It’s particularly flexible around the shoulders and arms, which is useful given the amount of paddling you do while surfing. Having wetsuits which feel stiff and rigid around the shoulders is a huge problem, and causes you to tire out much more easily, so it’s good to know that that won’t be a problem with this wetsuit. At 3/2mm it’s ideal for a wide range of water temperatures, though if you go in particularly warm or particularly cold water it probably won’t be suitable.
- Flexible – Allows for a wide range of movement so your surfing won’t be hindered.
- Cheap – Considering the quality of wetsuit, this is very good value.
- Thickness – This, of course, depends on what temperature water you’ll be surfing in, but at 3/2mm it’s suitable for a wide range of climates.
- Back zip: Zips at the back are more likely to cause problems and let water in, particularly as the wetsuit gets older.
Final verdict: A great buy, particularly for those on a budget. This will fit well and keep you at a comfortable temperature in various different climates, and for a much smaller cost than many other wetsuits, it’s a great buy.
Women’s Synergy Endorphin Triathlon
Our impression: The first thing you notice about this wetsuit is its thickness. At 5/3mm, it’s far thicker than most wetsuits in this list, particularly in the body. As a result, it isn’t suitable for warmer waters, but if you’re going to be surfing somewhere where it’s particularly cold then this will keep you very warm. Ordinarily, the problem with thicker wetsuits is that they can limit your range of motion, but this isn’t the case with the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit. You’ll be able to move your limbs easily in this wetsuit, and will also be able to glide through the water thanks to the design of the wetsuit, which clearly has swimmers in mind. It also has a 30-day guarantee, so you can try it out as much as you want within a one month period to decide if you’re happy. I always like this addition, as it generally means that the company is confident they’ve made a good product.
- Flexible: Particularly considering it’s thickness, you’ll be able to move easily in this.
- Interior zip: These are generally better as they never come undone when you duck dive under a big wave.
- 30-day warranty: Enables you to try it out before you commit to it.
- Thickness: At 5/3mm, it’s great if you’ll surf in very cold waters, but will be too hot for other climates.
Final verdict: This is a terrific wetsuit with a lot of great features, and will probably be your best option if you’ll be surfing in very cold waters. It provides you with a great range of motion considering it’s thickness and is very durable too. If you’ll be surfing in warmer waters though, perhaps look elsewhere.
Do women’s wetsuit brands differ from men’s? – Not a great deal. The major brands generally make wetsuits for both women and men, though there might be a wider range of options available for men. Brands like those listed above as well as and Roxy are still the go-to brands for women.
Do wetsuits have different shapes for different body types? – Generally, they don’t, and they tend to come in generic sizes, though some brands offer ‘tall’ options. Good wetsuits are usually relatively malleable. though, and will change their shape a little to suit your body.
Do retail stores or online websites offer more range of women’s wetsuits? – You’ll be able to find a good range at both of these, though given there are generally fewer women’s wetsuits available, retail stores can be prone to getting low on stock. Online websites will allow you to easily view all of your options, but going into a store provides the benefit of getting advice from store assistants.
Should I have more than one wetsuit? – This really depends on where you live, and where you’ll be surfing. If the water temperature changes significantly throughout the year where you live, then you may need a couple of different wetsuits for different seasons, and the same applies if you’ll be traveling.
How much should I pay for a good wetsuit? – It varies significantly. The best wetsuits will be up to $700-800, while cheaper ones may be less than $200. Plenty of inexpensive wetsuits can still be good quality, though if you spend more then you’ll be guaranteed to get a lot of use out of it.
Trying to find a women’s wetsuit isn’t always easy. You have to deal with a smaller range of options, as well as wetsuits which sometimes aren’t an ideal fit. Having said that, if you look hard enough and consider a few important factors, there’s no doubt that you’ll end up with the best women’s wetsuit for surfing.