To fully enjoy windsurfing, you need lots of wind once you step on your board. However, the combination of chilly water and wind gusts can easily make you cold, even on warmer days. Feeling cold will take all the fun out of your activity and shorten your stay on the water.
If you wish to avoid this, getting a well-made wetsuit is a smart thing to do. As you maybe know, there are many different types of wetsuits with varying length, thickness, design, and extra features. With so many models to choose from, making a decision can be a bit difficult.
Our buying guide breaks down these features and offers all the information you need to decide which type of suit you need. But before we jump into the guide, check out some of the best windsurfing wetsuits we picked out for you, guaranteed to keep you warm and make every session a success.
How To Choose A Windsurfing Wetsuit – Buying Guide
When it comes to the style of a wetsuit, you have two options available: shorty and full length. Which one you’ll pick mostly depends on the air and water temperatures. Shorty suits are better for warmer weather, while full-length wetsuits work better when it’s a bit cold.
Shorty wetsuits cover the upper part of the arms and legs as well as the body core. Think a pair of neoprene shorts and a t-shirt joined together. They are great for warm climates where you don’t need to cover the entirety of your body. An additional benefit is that they give more flexibility and freedom of movement. If you don’t need full-body coverage, then this is the suit for you.
Full wetsuits cover the arms and legs completely, as well as the body. They are great for keeping you warm in colder climates. How warm your full wetsuit will depend on neoprene thickness, which we’ll explain in the next section.
As a blend between the two mentioned styles, spring wetsuits fully cover your arms and only the top of your legs (like shorts). They are a great wetsuit if you want a mix of a shorty wetsuit and a full wetsuit.
While you should base your choice mainly on water temperature, the style of your wetsuit can also be a personal preference. Within the three main styles, you can also choose among many different designs and colors.
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Wetsuit thickness determines how warm your suit is going to be on the water. The thicker the suit, the warmer you will be. A 5-7mm suit will keep you warm in the coldest of waters and typically the best winter wetsuit windsurfing will have thickness in this range.
If you want something universal, a 3-4mm windsurfing wetsuit is a great all-around suit – it keeps you warm when it’s chilly, but won’t feel too hot on warm sunny days. And, if you are in a tropical region, then a 2-3mm wetsuit will protect you from the water and help keep you cool.
Don’t be confused if you see suit thickness presented as 4/3mm (5/4, 3/2, etc) – this means that is doesn’t have the same thickness throughout. The larger number is the thickness in the core area, while the smaller number is neoprene thickness on the limbs.
Zippers are what allows the wetsuit to be sealed, hug your body, and prevent water from circulating. They are also the entry and exit point of the wetsuit. While you can find zipper-less wetsuits, it is more likely that you will have a wetsuit with a zipper on it.
A plastic zipper will react less with the water, but they are not as durable as their metal counterparts. A metal zipper will last much longer, but there is a chance that the water can corrode it. However, the advances in coatings on zippers are making that less and less likely. It’s also a big plus if the zipper comes with a long leash, allowing you to zip and unzip the wetsuit on your own.
A proper fit is very important – a bad-fitting wetsuit can lead to all sorts of problems and annoy you while wearing it. After you get in the water, the water will make the neoprene expand slightly. This means that a wet wetsuit is looser-fitting than a dry one. You should keep that in mind when you are trying wetsuits on.
You want a dry wetsuit to fit snugly, without being too constricting. A wetsuit that is too tight can cut off circulation or make it harder to breathe. On the other hand, a wetsuit that is too loose can flop around on you and become a nuisance when you are on your board. It can also chafe and rub, giving you blisters and rashes. Additionally, the water can become trapped inside a loose wetsuit, throwing you off balance.
Q: Why Do I Need A Wetsuit While Windsurfing?
There are two main reasons why wearing a windsurfing wetsuit is a good idea – it keeps you warm and gives you sun and impact protection. By trapping a thin layer of water between you and the material, a good wetsuit will give you warmth in the colder climates, but will not make you too hot when the weather is warm.
When you are out windsurfing, there is a good chance that you are going to come off your board at some point and hit the water. A wetsuit provides some protection against your impact. When you do hit the water, the material will provide a buffer between the water and your skin, softening the hit. If you feel you need extra impact protection, you can wear a windsurfing vest on top of the wetsuit.
A wetsuit also provides great protection from the sun, preventing irritation and sunburns. Covering up your skin in the sun is always a good idea, and a wetsuit helps you do that. As an alternative to wetsuits, some windsurfers choose to wear a drysuit for windsurfing – it can provide many of the same benefits but is often heavier and more expensive.
Globo Surf Overview
A good wetsuit will keep you warm, whether you’re in the water or standing on your board. As a bonus, it will protect you from the inevitable bailout and protect your skin from burning. Suits on our list are tested to give you all the protection you need while providing a full range of motion and top-level comfort. Adding a wetsuit to your gear will significantly improve your windsurfing experience – try it out and see for yourself.
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