Surfing Wetsuit Brands

Wetsuit Buying Guide – Surfing and Kitesurfing

The most important aspects of a wetsuit to keep you warm are: Type, Thickness, and Size

Ease of entering the wetsuit is chosen by the zipper placement or Zip Entry

The quality of the wetsuit is determined by the Seams, Neoprene, and Inner lining

To be warmer in your wetsuit you can upgrade with Wetsuit Accessories

Wetsuit Type

Water Temperature guide


Choose your type

Wetsuit Thickness

Wetsuit thickness guide

Every wetsuit has different neoprene thicknesses in different places. The thickness of a wetsuit is measured in millimeters (mm) of neoprene and is described in one, two, or three numbers. Given in a certain order see here below.

Thickness Water Temperature guide

Choose the right wetsuit thickness for your water temperature. See the table here below.

> 22 °C> 72 °F1 mm
19 °C – 22 °C66 °F – 72 °F2/2
15 °C – 19 °C59 °F – 66 °F3/2
12 °C – 15 °C54 °F – 59 °F4/3
8 °C – 12 °C48 °F – 54 °F5/4

Wetsuit Size

A wetsuit should fit like a second skin. There are 7 signs a wetsuit has a perfect fit for you (see image below)

Fitting guide

Wetsuit Size charts





Rip Curl




Wetsuit Entry / Zip System

Back zip

  • Easiest to enter and take off
  • Less expansive
  • Most water flushing
  • Less flexible

Front zip / Chest zip

  • Less water flushing
  • More flexibility
  • Not that easy to enter and take off
  • Pretty expansive


  • The least water flushing
  • Most flexibility
  • Hardest to enter and take off
  • Pretty expansive

Wetsuit Seams

Seam types

wetsuits overlock seams
Wetsuit flatlock seams
wetsuit blindstitch seam
wetsuit welded seams
  • Less expansive
  • Less durable
  • Less waterproof
  • Less flexible
  • More durable
  • More flexible
  • More waterproof
  • More expansive

Seam guide

Summer wetsuits and low-end wetsuits

Most summer and low-end wetsuits have overlock and flatlock seams.

Winter wetsuits and high-end wetsuits

Most winter and high-end wetsuits have blindstitched and welded seams

Wetsuit Neoprene or Rubber

Neoprene and Rubber types

From the outside, it is hard to see what type of neoprene or rubber is used in the wetsuit. Most new wetsuits will have a label inside with the name of the rubber or neoprene used.

Here below you have the 3 most common neoprene types.

Oil-based neoprene


Limestone Neoprene (Yamamoto)

Natural Rubber (Yulex)


Neoprene guide

There are 4 indicators that give you the best neoprene qualities

Flex and stretch

Premium wetsuits mostly have more flexibility or stretch neoprene. Here you have an elongation indication.
Keep in mind that the thicker your wetsuit the less flexible it is.

Low elongation
100% and lower

Average elongation
100% / 200%

High elongation
200% and higher


The weight of the wetsuit depends mostly on the wetsuit type and thickness of the neoprene but the lighter the wetsuit the less drag you have in the water.


Not only does the thickness of the neoprene give you more insulation also the type of rubber and how it is made.


The durability is a very important factor for a wetsuit but is not easy to measure. Keep in mind that

Inner Lining

What is the inner lining of a wetsuit?

Easier to put on and off, Comfortable, protect the neoprene, dries faster, and extra insolation.

Lining types

Nylon or Spandex

How are wetsuits seams stitched and sealed?

Jersey (fleece or flash)

What type of inner lining wetsuit do you need?

Lining guide

Normal wetsuits

Easier to put on and off, protect the neoprene

Premium or high-end wetsuits
Most high-end wetsuits have fleece lining inside the wetsuit and that has 3 big advantages:

It is more comfortable, dries faster, and gives extra insulation.

Wetsuit accessories

To stay even warmer in the water you can upgrade your wetsuit with these accessories.
Mostly you use these in water temperatures underneath 10 degrees or 50 Fahrenheit.

Thermal layers




Extra Tips

Wetsuit Design

Thickness layers

Stretch and flexibility