Written by Christina Leighton, Guest Writer
When the weather starts to warm up, the waves can quickly become entrancing; nothing beats a day in the sun riding the waves. For those that might be looking to dip their toe in the water and try out surfing, you might be wondering what to wear in the heat; surely a wetsuit would be too hot?
Well, you’re not alone; trying to gauge a weather-dependent outfit can be tricky. Even a leisurely stroll on a summer’s day can be awkward to predict; we’ve all been caught out in a cold wind once or twice!
Do I Need to Wear a Wetsuit in Summer?
The primary purpose of a wetsuit is to keep you warm so you can stay out in the waves for as long as you desire. A wetsuit maintains warmth by trapping water between the wetsuit and your skin; this layer of water helps to lock in your body heat.
Wearing a wetsuit comes down to personal preference. In general, you should have a rough idea of your personal cold threshold. So, if you get cold easily, you might want to hang on to your wetsuit during the summer.
A factor in getting the right wetsuit is finding the correct size and fit for your body. A helpful wetsuit size guide is essential if you are looking for tips and advice in getting the best fit and at the same time not compromising functionality and movement whilst wearing your wetsuit.
What Can I Wear for Surfing in Summer?
The great news is there are plenty of options to keep you cool while you carve waves throughout the summer. If you’re not comfortable with bikinis, no problem! Opt for a one-piece, shorty, or simply a rash vest and some boardies!
Some prefer to soak in vitamin D while sporting a bikini! Surf bikinis are a refreshing change from wetsuits, but when wearing one, you’ll want to make sure it’s wipeout proof!
Tight-fitting bikini bottoms are best as they tend not to roll down. Most surfers will go down a size so that they’re still tight when wet.
Your ideal surf top should be secure and have thick straps or a cross-back; these features help keep things in place and avoid surprises.
One Piece Surf Suit
If you’re prone to getting surf rash or simply want a bit more coverage than a bikini, the one-piece surf suit might be for you!
For these kinds of suits, it’s best to avoid strapless or halter necks. These will either leave you in the lurch after a wipeout or drag down your neck, which can leave you with a sore neck after a day out in the salty water.
Rash Vest or Rashies
Rash vests or rashies (rash shirts) are a great piece of kit to have around in general. Whether the sun is a bit too strong, you’re suffering from surf rash or you just fancy throwing one on, a rash vest will have your back!
Rash vests or rashies can be worn over your bikini, swimsuit or under your wetsuit. They help to protect your skin from sun, sand and salt. They’re also great at regulating your body temperature so that you can stay out in the water for that bit longer!
Depending on your preference, you can choose from short-sleeved, sleeveless and long-sleeved styles.
Similar to rash vests, boardies or board shorts are great if you’re looking for a bit more coverage or protection from the sun!
When selecting the right surf shorts, try and find some that have a tie so you can keep them snug; this way, they’ll survive duck dives and wipeouts.
For those active women looking for bikinis, rashies and boardies, be sure to check out Carve Designs.
Shorties are great for beach days; they can provide freedom of movement, coverage, and thermal insulation.
Shorties help you get the most out of the sea with the added bonus of folding up smaller, making them ideal for packing. They’re available in several different styles; you can even choose the length of the shorts and sleeves!
What to Wear for Surfing in Winter or in Colder Climates?
Some surfers like to hit the waves during the winter and we can’t blame them. Although the fervent sunshine of summer is one of the main reasons surfing is so inviting, the winter months provide a quiet, calming space where you can focus your attention on bigger waves.
Generally speaking, the winter months deliver the best surfing conditions. Winter storms can generate a more consistent surf; the waves are often larger thanks to the wind’s direction and speed.
The season’s chilly water might put off some surfers, but this is nothing you can’t resolve with the right kit. You can keep the chill off your back quite comfortably by opting for the right wetsuit thickness.
We’ve compiled a must-have list for you to stay toasty when surfing in the winter:
- Winter Wetsuit
- Wetsuit boots
- Wetsuit gloves
- Wetsuit hoods
Your winter wetsuit thickness should be in accordance with the water’s temperature. If you’re unsure of what thickness wetsuit you need, take a look at this wetsuit thickness guide for reference.
In a cold year, winter wetsuits can be worn as late as June. They are an incredibly useful piece of kit that becomes vital during the autumn and winter seasons. Naturally, once you start surfing, you won’t want to stop, so it’s best to stock up so you can keep surfing!
Surfers have been devoted to finding new ways to stay out in the water for longer, and thanks to neoprene technology, the winter wetsuit was born. So if you’re looking to make the most of the surf, then you’ll need a winter wetsuit!
A winter wetsuit’s thickness will range from between 4-7mm. If you’re going to buy a winter wetsuit, make sure to go for one that’s flexible and has strong seams so you can move freely and comfortably.
You should look to choose your wetsuit depending on the water temperature. Check out this wetsuit advice to find the perfect thickness, size and fit!
Wetsuit boots are a sure-fire way to dramatically increase your thermal insulation. Once the water is below 10-14 degrees Celsius, it’s time to whip out the boots. Wetsuit boots are not only great for when the water temperature starts to drop, but they provide foot protection too!
When putting on your boots, make sure to wear them under your wetsuit. To help get them on, you can use a plastic bag or some wetsuit socks!
If you’re easily affected by the cold or just fancy hanging out in the water for longer, wetsuit gloves are the way to go!
Wetsuit gloves will protect your hands from the cold and wind chill and give you a better grip. Wetsuit gloves can be used for a variety of different water sports, such as kayaking, water skiing and diving.
Wetsuit hoods are ideal for cold or sunny conditions; they allow you to spend more time in the water without being pummelled by UV rays.
Similar to wetsuit boots, a hood will help to retain heat and dramatically increase your overall temperature!
A Dryrobe is a great piece of kit that allows you to get changed without exposing yourself to cold winds and rain.
The shell is windproof and waterproof so that you can stay snug while comfortably changing clothes. The lining wicks the water away from your skin to dry you off while insulating you after a cold swim or surf.
When choosing what gear to use, you should ensure:
- You can comfortably move.
- You are kept warm for as long as possible.
- You are protected from the sun.
We hope this article will help you pick out the right surfing equipment all year-round!
About the Author
Christina Leighton – from Saunton Sands, Devon, UK. Christina has been a writer for over seven years and loves nothing more than hanging out at the beach, surfing. When out of water, she spends most of her time writing about being at the beach and surfing her days away!