Cart 0

Your Cart is Empty

Main Menu
  • Paddle Sports
  • Boating & Swimming
  • Inflatable Boats
  • Ice Eaters &. Fountains
  • Best Wetsuits for Surfing in 2024

    by Nathan Rowan May 13, 2024 12 min read

    Best Wetsuits for Surfing in 2024

    Surfing is a challenging water activity, especially since you’ll deal with the harsh ocean environment. Because of such circumstances, you need the right wetsuit to spend more time riding the waves. However, the sea of options in the market today can make it hard to find the perfect wetsuits.

    But don’t worry, this article has got you covered. Find out what key considerations you need to make when looking for options and choosing the right pick. Plus, get a list of the best wetsuits you can use for surfing and learn about their specifications and best features.


    Why Do You Need Wetsuits for Surfing?

    You’ve probably seen surfers who wear bikinis or trunks, but wetsuits would be a good choice if you’re serious about surfing. The neoprene material of suits helps in body heat retention and more. More benefits of wearing a suit while surfing include:

    • Insulation

    The suit can keep you warm for long periods, even in cold water. This will help you avoid threatening conditions like hypothermia, especially the thickest wetsuits.

    • UV Protection

    When you surf, you’re greatly exposed to the rays of the sun and its reflection on the water’s surface. But with a suit on, you can prevent sunburn on your skin.

    • Buoyancy

    You need to be able to move swiftly in the water, especially when you’re not on the board. With the neoprene material of wetsuits, you can stay afloat in the water, even if you get wiped out by the waves when surfing. This can then help you conserve your energy when treading in the water.

    • Protection from the Sea

    Since you’re in the water, you’re still prone to getting harmed by sea life. For example, you can get cuts and scrapes from corals, rocks, and other sea creatures. Although wetsuits aren’t extremely tough to shield you from more severe situations, like a shark attack, they can still protect you from jellyfish stings.


    What to Consider When Choosing a Surfing Wetsuit

    Having the right surfing suit ensures that you’re protected from various things while surfing. It also ensures that they can perform better while doing so. To achieve this, make sure to consider the following factors and features when looking at options:

    Types Of Surfing Wetsuits

    Different types of wetsuits cater to various water conditions and needs. That’s why, depending on your specific preferences and needs, you can choose from these options:

    • Fullsuit: This covers your entire body but can come in long and short sleeves. Full-length legs and arms-sleeves can also be called steamers.

    • Springsuit: This has short leg lengths or no pants and can have short to long-sleeved arms. Mostly used in temperature climates during spring and summer.

    • Short John: This has short-length legs with a sleeveless top. Commonly used to protect the upper body.

    • Long John: It has full-length legs and a sleeveless top that keeps arms uncovered and in contact with water. This also allows better paddling.

    • Jacket:

      This has long sleeves that extend to the wrists and has a front zip. This type of wetsuit is used for warm yet windy locations.


    Most wetsuits are made with neoprene and nylon lining, and they’ve been like that for many years. However, some other materials and technologies can be used to create improved wetsuits. Some of these other materials can be:

    • Spandex: This is a flexible substitute for the nylon lining material. This material, primarily employed in wetsuit seams, is highly flexible. It provides exceptional stretch and enables an improved range of motion.

    • Yamamoto neoprene: The highest quality of neoprene and widely recognized as the thinnest, lightest, warmest neoprene available in the market.

    • Yulex: An eco-friendly alternative for neoprene. It provides comparable warmth and flexibility to traditional neoprene but with a notably reduced carbon footprint.

    • Titanium: known for extra strength and better heat retention. This is known for its strength and durability, guaranteeing an extended lifespan.

    • Thermoplastic:

      This is a strong and heat-reflective material. This is also known as Thermoskin. When worn beneath the main wetsuit, it offers extra protection and warmth.


    Wetsuits have varying thicknesses to help you keep warm in different water temperatures. For surfing wetsuits, thicknesses are often denoted with two numbers, like 4/3 mm. This means the suit's body is 4mm thick while its extremities are 3mm thick. The arms and legs are thinner to provide the user maximum flexibility and mobility, especially in the water.

    However, they can also come in three numbers, like 5/4/3 mm. This means that the torso is 5mm thick, the legs are 4mm thick, and the arms are 3mm thick. Ultimately, the thickness depends on the temperature of where you’re going. Here’s a reference for that:

    • 65 - 75ºF: 0.5 - 2/1mm
    • 62 - 68ºF: 2 - 3/2mm
    • 58 - 63ºF: 3/2 - 4/3mm
    • 52 - 58ºF: 4/3 - 5/4/3mm
    • 43 - 52ºF: 5/4 - 5/4/3mm
    • < 42ºF: 6/5 - 6/5/4mm

    Zip Type

    Wetsuits can also have different types of zippers. There are a few to choose from:

    • Back Zip: This classic design is common in budget wetsuits. The zipper runs from the base of the back up to the neck. It’s also known to be easier to get in and out of.

    • Front Zip: This might not be suitable when surfing since laying on a zipper while paddling can be uncomfortable.

    • Chest Zip: This is located on the upper chest near your shoulder. It’s more common for steamers and provides better flexibility than the others. However, it can be harder to put on and take off.

    • Zipperless: This is more common in a short suit and can be a hassle to get into and take off.

    Seam Construction

    The seams are what bind the parts of the wetsuits together. They can affect the insulation qualities of a suit as stitching can punch holes in the material and let water inside the suit. Here are the most common types of seams you can encounter:

    • Flatlock: This is a basic sewing method you’ll usually find in everyday t-shirts or jeans. Wetsuits with this type of seam are usually the cheapest and are constructed by placing two pieces of neoprene side-by-side and sewing their edges together.

    • Glued and Blind-Stiched: This is more common in surfing wetsuits where the neoprene panels are glued together. Then, its stitching doesn’t extend all the way through to the exterior panel of the suit. This can stop any water from getting inside the suit.

    • Taped:

      This is known for its extended durability as it sits on the top of already glued and blind-stitched seams to prevent water from getting inside.

    Fit and Sizing

    There’s no universal or standard sizing when it comes to wetsuits. The sizing will ultimately depend on the specific brand. So, when you’re choosing, make sure to check the brand’s size guides and measurements. Make sure you know your measurements to ensure what you’ll get will fit snugly.


    Lastly, consider the costs of your options. Check if their price tags give justice to their features and quality. It would be best to decide on a budget for easier narrowing down of your options. How much are you willing to spend on your surfing suit? This will help you pinpoint the best choice for your needs and financial capability.


    11 Best Wetsuits to Wear When Surfing

    1. XCEL Drylock X Series

    XCEL is a known and reliable brand in the market, and some of their surfing wetsuits are from their Drylock X series. It features the brand’s patented Celliant Black Smart Fiber technology, incorporating heat-retaining elements into the fabric. With this, you can handle even Arctic Circle waves when surfing.

    This set of wetsuits is known for having it all and can handle cold water better than most suits on the market. Plus, unlike the previous Drylock series, this Drylock X has a watertight design. It even comes with a waterproof upper chest zipper, ensuring no water can enter the suit.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 3/2 to 6/5 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene, Thermo Dry Celliant lining
    • Seams: Stitch-free Power, Fusion X taped seams


    • Channel Flex tech in the upper part
    • Wrist and ankle seals
    • Water-repellent exterior fiber
    • Super warm when worn
    • Available in a wide range of thicknesses
    • Complementary hoods, boots, and gloves


    • A little pricey

    2. Barefoot Iron Sleeveless Wet Suit

    For a more flexible suit, go for the Barefoot Iron Sleeveless Suit. It’s popular for its double-thick flotation padding that you can use to glide easily while surfing. This will allow you to easily do jumps, tumble turns, and flips.

    Plus, with its short-length legs and sleeveless top, you can get better mobility in and out of the water. It would also be ideal to surf in warmer waters or tropical locations.


    • Type: Short John
    • Thickness: Not Specified
    • Materials: Neoprene, Flotation padding
    • Seams: Glued and Blind-Stiched


    • Available in extra small to triple XL sizes
    • Forms to the body after several uses
    • Easy to get into and take off
    • Comfortable and durable to use


    • On the expensive side

    3. O'Neill Hyperfreak 2mm Chest Zip Long Sleeve Springsuit

    This Hyperfreak 2mm Springsuit is one of the best springsuits in the market. It’s known for its high-quality construction that you rarely see in 2mm wetsuits. It’s a good option to surf in warmer places since it’s a thin and flexible shorty. Plus, it has short-length legs for better mobility when starting and surfing.

    Most importantly, this spring suit uses the brand’s patented material and technology in its design. It has the TechnoButter 3 for the suit’s core body and legs and the TechnoButter 3X for the arms and shoulders. This shows their environmentally friendly approach to producing wetsuits.


    • Type: Springsuit
    • Thickness: 2 mm
    • Materials: Recycled neoprene
    • Seams: Fully taped glued seams, Blind stitching


    • Convenient chest zip with drain holes
    • Use recycled materials
    • Lightweight and flexible
    • Available in different colors
    • Minimal seam design
    • Affordable


    • Might be too thin for colder water 

    4. Body Glove Heritage 2mm Mens Long John

    This Heritage Long John Suit is a high-quality and easy-to-use suit. It’s specifically designed to provide maximum comfort, protection, and flexibility while surfing. One of its best features is its magnaflex underarm panels that ensure a secure fit, reduce chafing when worn, and prevent water from entering the inside of the suit through the arms and legs.

    This suit has nano-tritec knee pads to protect your knees from abrasions while in the water and from wear and tear. Also, it boasts its heavy-duty, short back zipper for easy on and off. This closure even comes with a velcro lock for better security and fit.


    • Type: Long John
    • Thickness: 2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene, Nylon fine mesh
    • Seams: Flatlock stitching


    • Budget-friendly
    • Seamless underarm paneling
    • Lightweight 
    • Fine mesh material helps maintain warmth in cold water
    • It comes with an elastic cord for your keys


    • Specifically designed and sized for men only

    5. Rip Curl E7 Flashbomb Heatseeker

    Rip Curl is an innovative brand incorporating its best innovations and designs with this E7 Flashbomb Heatseeker. It’s most known for its comfortable and durable construction. It’s made of stretchy neoprene materials with a super-cozy fleece lining throughout the suit. This type of lining effectively generates heat while you paddle when surfing.

    With this suit, you can stay warm and active in the water for longer. Plus, you can’t find this feature in most wetsuits in the market today. If you’re looking for the warmest suit you can use for colder waters, this is an excellent choice to consider.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 4/3 mm, 3/2 mm, 5/4 mm hooded
    • Materials: Neoprene, Fleece
    • Seams: Taped seams


    • Available in black and pink colors
    • Traps heat so it dries quickly
    • No obvious seams to sit on
    • Unbroken panels on the back and shoulders for ease of movement
    • Fits snugly
    • Available in versions that you can use for warm and cold waters


    • A little pricey

    6. Billabong Furnace Comp Chest Zip

    Billabong is another reputable brand in the market, especially regarding steamer wetsuits. This Furnace Comp Chest Zip is a comfortable cold-water surfing suit in different thicknesses, allowing you to choose the best option for your preferred location. Some of the best features of this suit are its construction and the materials used.

    The suit uses a lightweight, limestone-based Smart Foam made of 30% recycled car tires, scrap rubber, and oyster shells. It’s also made with Airlite 4D stretch jersey infused with the brand’s graphene tech made with 100% recycled fibers. With this combination, the suit has better and longer heat retention, which is advantageous when battling cold water when surfing.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 4/3 mm, 3/2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene, Nylon, Elastane
    • Seams: Taped internal seams


    • Heat-holding qualities
    • Eco-friendly design and construction
    • Fleece lining
    • 3/2 mm is ideal for cold-but-not-freezing surfing conditions
    • Lightweight and stretchy
    • It uses graphene, which is a Nobel-Prize-winning “wonder material”


    • A little pricey

    7. Ho Stevie Men’s Surfing Wetsuit

    If you’re really tight on budget, go for this Ho Stevie! Men’s Surfing Wetsuit. Aside from those on a budget, this steamer would be a good option for surfers who are just starting out and don’t want to invest in a more expensive suit immediately. Despite its affordable price, this suit offers quality, especially flexibility and comfort.

    The construction and design of this steamer use neoprene derived from limestone with good stitching. This ensures a snug and secure fit that will help you keep water out when you’re moving in the water. The material is also stretchy so you can move with ease. It even features an entry point via a chest zip with a YKK zipper.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 4/3 mm, 3/2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene
    • Seams: Glued and blind stitching


    • It comes with a key-loop/pocket for the storage of your essentials
    • It offers great value for money
    • Available in sizes up to triple XL
    • Environmental friendly build
    • Corrosion-resistant zippers
    • Watertight seams
    • Good heat retention


    • Can be susceptible to flushing

    8. BUELL RB1 Accelerator

    Buell wetsuits, in general, are known for the flexibility they offer. This RB1 Accelerator is a straightforward suit, unlike most innovative options in the market. It has a comfortable and natural “ergonomic” design that can make it easy to move while surfing. It also features good heat retention since it uses pliable neoprene material and has perfectly placed panels.

    Plus, it comes with a key pocket where you can store your keys and other small essentials. It also offers an over-the-top, chest zip entry for easy take on and off. You also don’t have to worry about the water getting inside the suit as it has S-seal waterway seals at the wrists and ankles.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 4/3 mm, 3/2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene, Ultra-span flex fabric lining
    • Seams: Triple glued and blind stitched


    • Affordable and offers great value for money
    • It has internal seam tapes at junctures
    • It comes with embossed Supratex Tuff knee pads for extra protection
    • Stretchy neoprene material


    • No super advanced technologies and features

    9. Body Glove Red Cell Chest Zip Suit

    If you want a more stylish and attention-grabbing suit, go for the Body Glove Red Cell Chest Zip Suit. It’s popular for its unrivaled warmth and performance. Its best feature—the Red Cell Wetsuit lining—conserves the heat-generating infrared. This ensures you can stay comfortable and warm in the water, just like sitting in your car.

    This full suit features a glide-skin interior neck seal and a front and back integrated drain system. These characteristics ensure that no water can get into and remain inside the suit. It also has seamless underarm paneling and raw-edge wrist and ankles for more mobility in the water.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 5/4/3 mm, 4/3 mm, 3/2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene, Nylon
    • Seams: Taped seams


    • Evo-dry exterior material
    • Chest zipper for easy entry and take-off
    • Stitch-free ergonomic panels
    • Nano-tritec 2.0 knee panels
    • Available in a hooded version with a face ring draw cord and lock


    • On the expensive side

    10. Body Glove EOS Back Zip Women’s Full Suit

    For a more women-specific suit option, you can consider the Body Glove EOS Back Zip Women’s Full Suit. This suit is exclusively designed for female surfers. It features an internal pullover floodgate to ensure no flush through the zip. It even comes with smooth Fairskin front & back panels to enjoy surfing with increased wind-chill resistance. Plus, it has thermo-plush interior upper-body panels and is specifically designed for cold waters.


    • Type: Fullsuit or Steamer
    • Thickness: 4/3 mm, 3/2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene
    • Seams: Glued & blind stitched


    • Affordable and offers great value for money
    • Engineered interior key pocket
    • Nano-tritec 2.0 knee panels
    • Interior spot tape
    • Magna-Flex exterior material
    • Adjustable-fit collar
    • Easy-to-use back zip entry


    • For female surfers only

    11. NRS Men's 3.0 Farmer John Suit

    If you really want a long-john suit but one that’s wallet-friendly, get the NRS Men's 3.0 Farmer John Suit. Many surfers consider it a staple because of its warmth and performance, especially for its price. Since it’s a sleeveless suit, you have better flexibility when surfing, especially during the paddling. These generous armholes will allow you to move however you like. 

    Additionally, this suit features a Fuse Cut™ technology that seals the cuffs and edges of the suit without limiting its stretch. Plus, it has a titanium laminate adhesive that will reflect the heat back to your body so you can stay warmer and longer in the water.


    • Type: Long John
    • Thickness: 3/2 mm
    • Materials: Neoprene
    • Seams: Glued & blind stitched


    • Great value for money
    • Extra-long, durable-pull YKK zipper
    • Front zip for easy entry and take-off
    • It comes with high-stretch panels behind the knees
    • ThermalPlush™ interior for extra warmth


    • Available in one thickness only



    Using surfing wetsuits not only ensures that you’re safe while surfing but it also ensures that you can move well when surfing. They can provide you protection without compromising your mobility and flexibility. Just think about your size and preferences, especially regarding type and zipper. Don’t forget to weigh your options regarding material, thickness, seam design, and price.

    If you want to check out more surfing-related options, you can visit our wetsuit collection. We offer quality gear that you can use for your next exciting water adventure, and for competitive prices!

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.