The 5 Best Wetsuits for Cold Water Surfing: 2020 Buyers Guide


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So the time has come for you to embark on that cold water surfing adventure, but are you prepared? While there’s always the option of wearing your regular swimsuit, it certainly won’t keep you warm enough in cold water conditions. The gear you wear is essential to both your comfort and safety in the ocean, and the best wetsuit for cold water surfing is a crucial piece of gear to keep you comfortable and safe throughout your adventures.

The ideal wetsuit for cold temperatures will provide you with both comfort and protection. But, how will you know which one to choose? Here we’ve gathered a review of the best wetsuits for cold water surfing to make your search a breeze! Keep reading for five of the best suits on the market today, and a simple buyers guide of key features to look for in your new wetsuit.

Comparison Chart

Women's Wetsuit Top, 2mm Neoprene Long Sleeve Wetsuit Jacket Front Zip Wetsuit Shirt for Swimming Diving Surfing Kayaking (Navy, 2XL)
O'Neill Men's Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit, Black/Black/Black,X-Large
Seavenger Alpha 3mm Neoprene Fullsuit Wetsuit
Hevto Wetsuits Women 3mm Neoprene Full Scuba Diving Suits Surfing Swimming Long Sleeve for Water Sports (Blue Women Ⅰ, XLS)
Dark Lightning 3/2mm Wetsuit Women, Women's Wetsuit Long Sleeve Full Suit Premium Neoprene Womens Suit Scuba Diving/Surf/Canoe, Jumpersuit (Size 8 / M)
Goldfin Wetsuit Jacket
O'Neill Epic Full Wetsuit
Seavenger Navigator
Hevto Guardian
Dark Lightening Premium
Women's
Men's
Men's/Women's
Unisex
Women's
2mm Neoprene
4/3mm Neoprene
3mm Neoprene and Nylon
3mm Neoprene and Nylon
3/2mm Neoprene
Long-Sleeve Jacket
Full Body Wetsuit
Shorty Wetsuit
Full Body Wetsuit
Full Body Wetsuit
Sizes M - 6XL
Sizes XS - 3XL
Sizes XS - 5XL
Sizes XS - XXL
Sizes XXS - XXL
YKK Front Zipper
Black Out Zipper
#10 YKK Zipper
Zipper Pull Rope Design
Zipper Pull Rope Design
Flatlock Seams
Glued and Blindstiched Seams
Flatlock Stitching
Glued and Flat Seams
Glued and Blindstitched
5 Color Choices
9 Color Choices
3 Colors
Blue
Blue and Black
Women's Wetsuit Top, 2mm Neoprene Long Sleeve Wetsuit Jacket Front Zip Wetsuit Shirt for Swimming Diving Surfing Kayaking (Navy, 2XL)
Goldfin Wetsuit Jacket
Women's
2mm Neoprene
Long-Sleeve Jacket
Sizes M - 6XL
YKK Front Zipper
Flatlock Seams
5 Color Choices
O'Neill Men's Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit, Black/Black/Black,X-Large
O'Neill Epic Full Wetsuit
Men's
4/3mm Neoprene
Full Body Wetsuit
Sizes XS - 3XL
Black Out Zipper
Glued and Blindstiched Seams
9 Color Choices
Seavenger Alpha 3mm Neoprene Fullsuit Wetsuit
Seavenger Navigator
Men's/Women's
3mm Neoprene and Nylon
Shorty Wetsuit
Sizes XS - 5XL
#10 YKK Zipper
Flatlock Stitching
3 Colors
Hevto Wetsuits Women 3mm Neoprene Full Scuba Diving Suits Surfing Swimming Long Sleeve for Water Sports (Blue Women Ⅰ, XLS)
Hevto Guardian
Unisex
3mm Neoprene and Nylon
Full Body Wetsuit
Sizes XS - XXL
Zipper Pull Rope Design
Glued and Flat Seams
Blue
Dark Lightning 3/2mm Wetsuit Women, Women's Wetsuit Long Sleeve Full Suit Premium Neoprene Womens Suit Scuba Diving/Surf/Canoe, Jumpersuit (Size 8 / M)
Dark Lightening Premium
Women's
3/2mm Neoprene
Full Body Wetsuit
Sizes XXS - XXL
Zipper Pull Rope Design
Glued and Blindstitched
Blue and Black

Best Wetsuit for Cold Water Surfing Reviewed

1. Goldfin Wetsuit for Women

Women's Wetsuit Top, 2mm Neoprene Long Sleeve Wetsuit Jacket Front Zip Wetsuit Shirt for Swimming Diving Surfing Kayaking (Navy, 2XL)

Review

Step into those cold waters with style by picking this Goldfin wetsuit made of neoprene. Wetsuits are made of layers of different materials. For cold water surfing you must select a wetsuit made of neoprene; it will be water resistant and this rubbery material is designed to insulate your body regardless of the cold waters, which is exactly what you get with this design.

Wetsuits come in different styles and this particular design features a stylish top and jacket. It’ll provide you with everything you need for a pleasant surfing experience from warmth to comfort and even flexibility.

This lightweight wetsuit dries quickly and will keep you feeling dry regardless of those cold waters. It’s designed for surfing, diving, kayaking and other ocean sports, so it’s an investment you can use for all of your adventures!

Featuring a front zipper for easy entry and exit, this wetsuit is highly rated by users around the world. Did you know that wetsuits with front zippers are more effective at keeping cold water out of the suit, compared to one with a back zipper? Just another reason we recommend this design. 

You’ll move freely in this wetsuit made of stretch and recovery fabrics. Additionally, the form-fitting design also reduces drag in the water providing you movement without restrictions.

Based on user reviews, this suit tend to run a bit small. This is an easy fix by using the size guide to choose the best fit for your body type.

PROS

  • Stylish Design
  • Convenient Front Zipper
  • Form Fitting and Comfortable
  • Flexible Materials for Maximum Mobility
  • Lightweight and Quick Drying

CONS

  • Sizing may be Challenging, Runs Small
  • Not Designed for Men

2. O’Neil Men’s Epic Back Zip Full Wetsuit

O'Neill Men's Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit, Black/Black/Black,X-Large

Review

Are you looking for a well designed wetsuit for your best beach days? Then you might like this great option from O'Neil which is ideal not only for surfing but diving and paddle sports too.

You can wear and remove this suit with ease thanks to the back zip system designed for easy entry and exit. Though wetsuits with back zippers are generally easier to wear, unfortunately they tend to be more difficult to swim in. The zipper does, however, provide you with a watertight seal, and it has knee pads for your added comfort and protection on your board.

This wetsuit is 4 mm thick in the chest and 3 mm in the arms and legs. Bear in mind the thicker the wetsuit the warmer it’ll be. You’ll find that thicker suits have price tags which correspond to the added material and work, but a quality investment today prevents you having to spend more money shortly down the road. 

What we like about this wetsuit is even though it’s thick you can still enjoy extreme flexibility. This is thanks to the ultra-stretch neoprene which is also incredibly soft. This comfort will elevate your surfing performance, and make an already great day even better. The seams are blind stitched and triple glued to keep water out and increase durability. 

To top it off, this suit is ideal for most weather conditions because the wetsuit is wind resistant and the firewall panels provide you with extra insulation.

PROS

  • Thick Neoprene Material is Great at Retaining Heat
  • Easy to Take On and Off
  • Features Knee Pads for Protection and Comfort
  • Wind Resistant
  • Back Zip Design Watertight Seal

CONS

  • Material Could be Thicker for more Heat Retention
  • Not Designed for Women

3. Seavenger Odyssey 3mm Neoprene Wetsuit

Seavenger Alpha 3mm Neoprene Fullsuit Wetsuit

Review

If you want a wetsuit made for premium quality we recommend this fullsuit made of 3mm neoprene material.   

When venturing into cold waters full body coverage is non-negotiable; it’s crucial to keep warm. You’ll want as much coverage as possible, including gloves and booties if need be. With this full body wetsuit you can surf comfortably even in water with temperatures of around 65°F.

This wet suit will survive through wear and tear because it’s extra durable, thanks to the anti-abrasion technology on the shoulder and knee pads making it perfect for action water sports.

Featuring a flat-lock stitching which is comfortable enough for all-day wear, this suit provides the ultimate comfort on the water. Before deciding on a wetsuit you’ll want to determine the seals or stitches on it because these play a major role in  your warmth in the water, as well as the price of the suit. You must establish roughly how cold the water you’re planning on surfing is before deciding on the stitch. Flatlock stitches are recommended for use in water warmer than 62°F.

By selecting this brand, you can also expect ultra-flexibility thanks to the super stretch panels in the knees and armpits. This is to ensure the wetsuit flexes where it needs to without losing its elasticity.

Additionally, this product features an extra-long leash and a zipper to make it easy to put on, wear and remove.

Note the Seavenger wetsuits are designed to fit very tightly to provide maximum insulation.

PROS

  • Snug, Comfortable and Flexible Fit
  • Durable Material and Construction
  • Long Leash and Zipper for Ease in Taking On and Off
  • Unisex
  • Super Stretch Panels for Ultimate Flexibility

CONS

  • Sizing may be Challenging
  • Snug Fitting may have a Learning Curve

4. Hevto 3mm Guardian Neoprene Wetsuit

Hevto Wetsuits Women 3mm Neoprene Full Scuba Diving Suits Surfing Swimming Long Sleeve for Water Sports (Blue Women Ⅰ, XLS)

Review

In cold water, wetsuits provide extra warmth for your body keeping you safe and allowing you more time in the surf. Additionally, they offer an added layer of protection against injury from the marine environment. 

The Hevto Guardian wetsuit is specifically designed for use by adult men and women, and it’s made of 3mm neoprene and nylon elastic fabric making it comfortable to wear throughout the day. Featuring flatlock stitching, the seam line is delicate and neat to help keep water out and heat in. 

These particular wetsuits are suitable for 50-67 degrees fahrenheit water temperature, and work well for a variety of water sports such as diving, swimming, surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking. 

The Hevto Guardian series suits are warranted against manufacturing defects for 1 year, and they offer a 30-day money back guarantee. Additionally, because sizing can be tricky, if you’re having trouble finding the right fit for your body type, they also provide customizable sizes. 

PROS

  • Durable Materials and Construction
  • Comfortable, Form-Fitting Design
  • Unisex Design is Easy to Take On and Off
  • Company Offers Customizable Sizes
  • 1 Year Warranty

CONS

  • Sizing may be Challenging
  • Could be Thicker Material for More Heat Retention

5. Dark Lightning Premium Thermal Neoprene Wetsuit

Dark Lightning 3/2mm Wetsuit Women, Women's Wetsuit Long Sleeve Full Suit Premium Neoprene Womens Suit Scuba Diving/Surf/Canoe, Jumpersuit (Size 8 / M)

Review

Of many different styles and feature options on the market today, this wetsuit is ideal for keeping you warmer in cold water through it’s snug fitting design and CR neoprene. 

It features a heavy duty 10V back zipper, making taking this suit on and off a breeze, and ectoflex knee pads designed to reduce abrasion, and to extend the longevity of the suit. The seams are created using durable flatlock stitching to keep water out and heat in. 

With a variety of sizes, there is a Dark Lighting suit to fit just about everyone. Even better yet, this wetsuit is great for both amateur surfers and those more advanced in water conditions above 45 degrees fahrenheit. 

Additionally, maintenance of this suit is a breeze, and it provides both fashion and function to keep you warm and feeling free while surfing. It also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, ensuring your purchase is one you’ll enjoy for years to come. 

Some customers suggest the sizing can be tricky, so pay close attention to the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer. 

PROS

  • Heavy-Duty Back Zipper
  • Easy Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Wide Variety of Sizes for All Body Types
  • Snug-Fitting Neoprene Design
  • Eco-Flex Knee Pads to Reduce Abrasions

CONS

  • Sizing may be Challenging
  • Some Customers Report Sensitivity to the Material Smell

Choosing a Cold Water Surfing Wetsuit: Buyers Guide

If you’re looking to invest in a wetsuit for surfing, you may feel overwhelmed deciding which is right for you. There are several key features you should watch for in your search for the right suit, and this guide will help you better understand everything you need to know before making a purchase. 

Types of Wetsuits

Wetsuits come in a variety of styles and types, each made to suit the individual needs of that water-goer. Understanding your goals on the water and the type of water you’ll be swimming in will help you decide which is right for you. 

  • Wetsuit vest
  • Wetsuit jacket
  • Short john wetsuit
  • Long john wetsuit
  • Springsuit
  • Short arm steamer
  • Full suit

Size and Fit

Most brands produce wetsuit sizes ranging from XXS to XXL, which is a measurement that corresponds to a mixture of sizes and heights depending on the individual's size. 

Here’s what the letters mean:

  • S: small
  • M: medium
  • L: large
  • T: tall
  • X: extra tall

This means that XS is extra small, LT is large tall, and so on. Use the size chart to find the right size of suit for your particular height, weight and size. An ill-fitting suit can cause a range of issues on the water, so make sure you choose the fit that’s best for your body type.

Thickness of Neoprene for Water Temperature

When shopping for a wetsuit, prepare to have ultimate success in the water by knowing the water conditions where you’ll be surfing. The thickness of the wetsuit will determine its ability to help your body retain heat throughout a day in the ocean. 

The water temperature of the location you’ll be surfing should determine the thickness of your neoprene suit investment. 

Stitching

There are a few types of stitching typically used in wetsuit construction, each used for different styles of suits. 

The 3 types of stitching are:

  • Overlock Stitching- This method of stitching is the simplest approach, and the least effective at keeping water out- making it great for warm water surfing suits, but not for cold water surfing. 
  • Flatlock Stitching- This method of stitching creates a flexible and strong seam in the neoprene. Because it creates more holes in the stitching process, it becomes less resistant to water leakage and better suited for warm water conditions. 
  • Blindstiching- Blindstitching creates a unique seam through the process of glueing neoprene pieces together, and stitching along the inside without puncturing holes through the outside of the fabric. This is the ideal type of stitching for cold water use. 

In your search for the best wetsuit to meet your needs, this guide should help you understand what to look for to set you up for success on the water. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best cold water wetsuit for surfing depends upon your needs and preferences in the water. Using this guide, we hope you find the information you need to get one step closer to your next surfing adventure! Which wetsuit did you decide to invest in, and have you started planning your next trip to the shore? Share it with us in the comment section below!

Additionally, if you’re looking for more beach guides and gear reviews, check out these Seaside Planet articles:

The 5 Best Wetsuits for Cold Water Surfing: 2020 Buyers Guide