Choose A Wetsuit

Choosing a wetsuit


A wetsuit is an essential part of the surfer’s wardrobe, keeping you warm, buoyant and protected from the elements. In this guide, we will help you understand how to choose a wetsuit, and what thickness or type of wetsuit you need for the time of year.

Determine the Right Fit

Getting the right fit is the most important part of choosing a new wetsuit.  The fit is critical for comfort and efficiency when surfing. A wetsuit that’s too big will allow water to get in, cool you down and reduce your buoyancy, making it harder to surf. On the other hand, a wetsuit that’s too small will restrict your movements, causing discomfort and making it challenging to surf properly.

To determine the right fit, measure your chest, waist, and height, and match it with the manufacturer’s size chart.  Once you know which manufacturers sizes are a good fit for you, it’s easy to order online, but for your first suit we’d highly recommend going to a surf shop and trying on a few different suits.  We’ve all got slightly different body shapes, and a Medium in one make might fit perfectly, but be too tight in another.   When trying on wetsuits have a good stretch, and move around in it to get a feel for how it fits and whether it restricts your movements.


Spring/Summer Wetsuits (March to August)

Spring/summer wetsuits are designed for warmer water temperatures, which can range from 15°C to 21°C. In this period, you can wear a wetsuit with a thickness of 2mm to 3/2mm. The 2mm wetsuit is perfect for water temperatures above 19°C while 3/2mm is ideal when the water temperature falls between 15°C to 18°C.

These wetsuits come in full length or as a shortie with cut off arms and legs or as combination with long legs and short arms.

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Autumn Wetsuits (September to November)

Autumn in the UK heralds the beginning of colder weather conditions, especially in the water. Water temperatures can range from 12°C to 15°C, making it necessary to wear thicker wetsuits. During this period, a 4/3mm wetsuit can help keep you warm and comfortable while surfing.  You might also want to pair it with some wetsuit gloves and boots to keep you toasty and in the water for longer.


Winter Wetsuits (December to February)

Winter is the coldest and most challenging season for surfing in the UK. Water temperatures can drop below 12°C, which means you need the thickest wetsuit possible. A 5/4/3mm wetsuit is ideal for winter surfing in the UK. The 5/4/3mm wetsuit is designed with a thick neoprene layer around your core and more stretchy neoprene around the shoulders and other areas where you need to maintain good movement.    You will definitely want a pair of wetsuits gloves, boots and hood if you’re surfing through the winter.

The Olian 900 winter range is a great option for a first time winter suit and has the bonus of a built in hood.

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When choosing your first wetsuit consider the above temperatures as a guide. Remember, fit is king! The better your suit fits, the more comfortable you will be and the faster your surfing will progress.

With the right suit you can surf through the year and start taking advantage of those autumn and winter swells, when the waves are at their best and the beaches a bit quieter!




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