THE BEST NEO FOR SURFING
You want to surf and are looking for the right wetsuit? In this neoprene guide, we'll show you what to look for when choosing and how to find the best wetsuit for your needs.
It offers you protection from the cold, from the sun's UV rays and from slight chafing of the skin on the surfboard. To find the best suit for you, it has to fit you and your situation exactly. Four points are particularly important:
- The thickness or strength
- The zip system
- The fit
- The finish
WHICH WETSUIT SUITS WHICH WATER TEMPERATURE?
We wear a wetsuit when surfing so that we don't cool down so quickly in cold water. Wetsuits store a thin layer of water in the material, which is why they are also called wetsuits. The water layer has an insulating effect and protects you from the cold. Depending on the water temperature, you need a wetsuit with different thickness or strength. This is one of the most important points in your choice, because in a suit that is too thick you will definitely get too hot and in one that is too thin you will probably freeze.
At a temperature of about 16 degrees, a 3/2 wetsuit is good. The first number stands for the larger areas of the wetsuit, the second number for the areas where more flexibility is needed, such as under the armpits or in the crotch. It is therefore between 2 and 3 mm thick. For lower temperatures, for example in autumn or winter, you need a 4/3 or even a 5/4 wetsuit. You can find more detailed information in the infographic or in the recommendations in our table:
|Above 16 ° C||3/2 mm|
|10 to 16 ° C||4/3 mm|
|Below 12 ° C||5/4 mm|
Important: Due to the nature of the material, the wetsuit gives you buoyancy in the water.
There are different types of wetsuits for the summer, for example the so-called jumpsuits or steamers, which have either short arms or short legs. However, if you are surfing in particularly tropical regions, it is advisable to use super thin functional shirts such as lycras or rashguards instead of wetsuits.
NEOS BY TEMPERATURE
Under 12 degrees
10 to 16 degrees
Above 16 degrees
WHICH ZIPPER SYSTEM IS BEST FOR ME?
Each zip system has its advantages and disadvantages. Essentially, there are three different varieties of zips: Back Zip, Front Zip or Zipless. The classic back zip has a long zip at the back, is the easiest to put on and is usually the cheapest. However, it also has the poorest seal and allows more water to pass through. The zipless version seals best, but is also the hardest to put on. A compromise is the Front Zip or Chest Zip, which only has a short front zip and is a little easier to get into. That's why it's Marco's recommendation - he explains his best tips in the video.
NEOS AFTER ENTRY
THE WETSUIT SIZE CHART: WHAT FIT DO I NEED?
To make sure your wetsuit fits properly, the fit is crucial. You can find it in our wetsuit size chart. However, different brands may have cuts that differ from the norm. If you are interested in a particular model, you should check on our respective product page whether the manufacturer has its own size chart. You will always find it directly on the product.
To ensure that the wetsuit fits you correctly, it is not only your body size that is important, but also your build. MS or MT both stand for medium sizes, but MS means a wide and short physique, whereas MT is more suitable for people with a long and narrow physique.
A proper surf suit fits close to the body but does not restrict the movement of your arms. You should feel a slight tightness in the wetsuit but be able to breathe normally, then you will survive your wetsuit. There should be no crease in the lower back - then it is neither too big nor too tight. In the water, the material will weaken over time anyway and the neoprene will stretch a little.
|Normal||Wide & short||Narrow & long|
GLUES AND SEAMS: HOW CAN I RECOGNISE A GOOD WETSUIT?
Wetsuits in higher price segments have better quality. Which in this case translates into more warmth and more freedom of movement. Of course, more warmth and freedom also means more fun surfing.
– Teamrider Jonas Rosenbauer
You can tell the quality of your Neo by turning it inside out. This is where you can see the seams of the wetsuit that connect its different thicknesses. How well wetsuits seal depends on how they are sealed:
- Are the seams sealed on both sides?
- Or are the seams only taped from the inside?
The more elaborate the work, the better the wetsuit. As a potential weak point, you are best advised to take a closer look here, because the seams are the first to tear during prolonged use.
PUTTING ON THE WETSUIT
When you put on your wetsuit, your skin should be dry, as this will reduce friction. If you are sweaty or wet, it will be much harder for you to put it on. To further reduce resistance when getting into the wetsuit, you can put a bag over your feet or leave your socks on first, but this is not essential. If you pull the legs of the suit open a little before getting in, your feet won't have to go all the way through the neoprene. When pulling the material, only pull along the seam to protect it. You should also avoid digging in with your fingers, especially for women with long fingernails this can be a problem and scratch the neoprene.
With the arms of a front zipper, you should slip into the right one first, where you have less space, and only then into the other one. The other way round is hardly possible. Finally, put the collar over your head, close the zip and pull the cord a little.
WHAT DO I WEAR UNDER THE WETSUIT?
WASHING AND CARING FOR NEOPRENE PROPERLY
WHAT SHOULD I USE TO WASH MY WETSUIT?
HOW CAN I MEND MY NEO?
If the seams of your neo tear, it will leak. A last resort to save your neo is to repair it. There are three methods that can be used depending on the problem:
- Gluing neoprene: If the material comes apart easily, you can glue it back together with special neoprene glue.
- Sewing neoprene suits: If the seams have come apart more, they can be sewn back together. However, sewing with a sewing machine is not recommended for everyone as it requires a lot of patience. If you decide to do it anyway, it makes sense to proceed slowly and carefully edge to edge and with a zig-zag stitch.
- Mending wetsuits: For larger tears in the material, the best method is to patch it straight away with a neoprene repair kit. You can apply a patch of neoprene from the outside or inside.
In any case, make sure that the wetsuit is clean and dry before you start the repair.
WETSUIT ACCESSORIES: BONNET, GLOVES AND BOOTS
Wetsuit accessories include surf bonnets, surf gloves and surf boots. Surf bonnets and surf gloves are used more in winter. Their main purpose is to protect your head and hands from getting cold. Surf bonnets are available in thicknesses between 2 - 5 mm, surf gloves between 1.5 - 5 mm.
Surf boots or neoprene shoes are there to protect your feet from injuries caused by sharp objects in the water - these can be large or small stones as well as sea urchins or corals. They also offer extended protection against the cold. Here you will find different thicknesses from 1 - 7 mm.
THE MOST POPULAR WETSUIT BRANDS
Which brand you like best depends on your taste, of course. The differences are mainly to be found in the design and in the special properties of the materials. Popular brands such as Billabong, Rip Curl, Roxy or Quiksilver are characterised above all by their particularly long durability and higher UV protection.
Although most surf suits are made of neoprene, there is now also an alternative without neoprene, for example the Yulex model from Patagonia. This neoprene-free wetsuit is largely made of natural rubber and is produced in an ecologically sustainable way.
Here you can directly compare a selection of brands:
SUMMARY: YOUR PERFECT WETSUIT
Your perfect wetsuit fits the temperature of the water you are surfing in. It fits close to your body and you can get into it easily. If you treat it right, it will give you years of pleasure. Whether it's Munich's Eisbach, the Floßlände or one of the most popular surf spots in Europe - find your perfect wetsuit at Planet Sports and then hit the waves!