Choosing a wetsuit for surfing or steaming is not an easy exercise, but it is still very important to feel comfortable in the water, not get cold, and be able to surf longer. In this guide, we explain step by step the 5 criteria you need to take into consideration to choose a steamer wetsuit that suits your needs.
- Choose the type and thickness of your steamer wetsuit
Steamer wetsuits (with long sleeves and legs) are generally made in 5 / 4mm, 4 / 3mm and 3 / 2mm. In Spain the 5 / 4mm is used little, the 4 / 3mm is mainly used for the winter, and the 3 / 2mm for autumn and spring, or even for the whole year in the south of the peninsula and for those less they suffer from the cold.
- The short sleeve and long-legsteamer wetsuits are ideal for surfers looking for maximum comfort in temperate waters. They are usually 2mm, for maximum flexibility, providing sufficient thermal protection for water above 20 degrees. They are widely used by high-level surfers, both for the flexibility and comfort ratio they offer and for the favorable climate of the entire northern coast of Spain in summer.
- The shortyneoprene surfing wetsuits are ideal for summer or the Canary and Balearic Islands. With short legs and short or long sleeves, they are super comfortable and flexible. They are usually made with 2mm thick neoprene.
Depending on where you live, what time of year you surf, and how often you surf, choose one or two wetsuit models.
- The type of hinge
Steamer and surfing wetsuits are now produced with three types of closures:
- Back Zip:The zip runs along the back, and the suit is very easy to put on.
- Front zip:The zip is located at the level of the chest, to prevent water infiltration and provide better flexibility.
- Without zipping(Zip free): The advances in neoprene fabrics, increasingly flexible, have made it possible to design steamer wetsuits without zipping, for maximum flexibility. They are usually high-end steamer wetsuits, which require the use of very flexible neoprene.
The choice of the type of closure will depend a lot on your budget. It is indisputable that the front closure offers more comfort than the rear one, but it is also considerably more expensive.
- The materials used
In surfing and steaming, what is expected of a wetsuit is that it is flexible and provides warmth and if it is sturdy, even better.
The comfort of a surfing wetsuit largely depends on the quality of the neoprene used to manufacture it. In both surfing and steaming, we seek the greatest possible flexibility, to feel as if we are in a bathing suit and have the greatest possible freedom of movement. Check carefully if the surfing wetsuit uses super stretch neoprene and what percentage of this neoprene is in the surfing wetsuit.
We are also looking for a steamer wetsuit to warm up, to extend the surfing days in winter. Manufacturers have made great strides in recent years, with technical fabrics that retain the heat generated by your body. Take a look at the characteristics of the neoprene in thermal protection factor.
Unfortunately, the most flexible steamer wetsuits are often the most fragile ones as well. A high-quality steamer wetsuit with 100% super stretch neoprene will be much more comfortable and warmer than a mid-range steamer wetsuit, but it will last less time, depending on how you take care of it.
- The Packaging
The making of a surfing wetsuit is also a very important parameter.
It affects the flexibility of the suit, depending on the number of panels used and how they are designed. The trend is to reduce the number of pieces that make up the suit.
Another important aspect is the sealing of the surfing wetsuit. The seam sealing prevents water from seeping through the seams and also reinforces the seams. Sealing is used on high to mid-range surfing wetsuits, but not all seams.
The sealing can be done with liquid neoprene, or with glued strips of neoprene. It can be done outside or inside the surfing wetsuit.
- The size
It is essential to choose the right size, the best steamer wetsuit on the market is useless if it is too big. A good steamer wetsuit must fit snugly against your body, without air pockets and creases. Unless you have a particular corpulence, you can trust the size charts indicated by the manufacturers.
In conclusion, the surfing wetsuit for children, women, and men must above all enjoy a high fit. We advise you to always be calm and never buy a surf wetsuit in a hustle but to go to specialized shops and online stores to try different wetsuits and feel which one is the most suitable to fulfill your needs. Pay close attention to the rubbing points and freedom of movement, which must be fluid and natural.