The rule when it comes to wetsuits is “the thicker the neoprene, the warmer the wetsuit”. Wetsuits come in a range of different thicknesses in order to suit the water temperature in different locations. But just because the weather turns warmer in summer, does not mean that the water temperature is as warm. However, you may feel warmer out of the water on warmer days. So with all this in mind, let’s take a look at the following:
- How do wetsuits work?
- Does a wetsuit get hot in summer?
- Can you wear a winter wetsuit in warmer weather?
- Should you consider buying a summer wetsuit?
How Do Wetsuits Work?
Wetsuits work on the principle of thermodynamics. This principle works by allowing the transfer of heat from one body to another. In the case of a wetsuit, heat is transferred from the body into the neoprene of the suit where it is retained. Neoprene is specifically good at retaining heat and insulating the body. In other words, it keeps the heat in and the cold out. The thicker the wetsuit, the more heat it retains and the less cold it allows in.
Do Wetsuits Get Hot In Summer?
Wetsuits are specifically designed to keep the body warm in water. Ocean temperature is lower than body temperature (even in summer) and the neoprene effectively insulates the body from the colder temperature. Because a wetsuit works on the principle of thermodynamics, you may feel hotter in summer when you are out of the water. A thicker wetsuit is going to insulate better against colder temperatures whereas a thinner layer of neoprene is more suitable for warmer waters.
Can You Wear A Winter Wetsuit In Summer?
It is better to wear a winter wetsuit in summer than a summer wetsuit in winter or colder water to stay warm. A summer wetsuit that is thinner is not going to keep you warm in colder waters but a thicker wetsuit will keep the cold out in both summer and winter. It is therefore generally recommended to always choose a wetsuit that is slightly thicker than recommended for the water temperature. This will mean that you stay warm in summer and winter.
Should You Consider Buying A Summer Wetsuit?
If a thicker, “winter” wetsuit is going to keep you warm in summer, then why should you consider buying a summer wetsuit that is thinner and won’t keep you warm in winter? There are two reasons:
– If you travel to different destinations where there are warmer and colder temperatures then it may be a good idea to invest in both a summer and winter wetsuit.
– Thinner, “summer” wetsuits offer greater flexibility.
While the first and most important consideration when buying a wetsuit should be the water temperature, flexibility is also an important factor. The thicker the neoprene, the less flexibility you have which is not ideal for surfing. For surfers, it is therefore important to select the thinnest wetsuit possible for the water temperature.
What Are The Differences Between Summer And Winter Wetsuits?
Apart from the fact that a winter wetsuit has thicker neoprene, there are a couple of additional differences between summer and winter suits:
– The stitching is different in summer and winter suits. Summer suits generally have flatlock seams that result in holes in the neoprene which allows water to penetrate whereas a quality winter suit will be blind stitched and glued for better insulation and waterproofing.
– Winter suits are commonly full length with long sleeves. Summer suits come in a range of different types with short sleeves, sleeveless, short legs and so on.
Many surfers opt for thinner neoprene or summer suits to provide them with greater flexibility but may wear a rash vest or other layer under the wetsuit to prevent chaffing and for additional warmth. Keep in mind that a wetsuit is not designed to keep you dry but warm using your own body temperature. A winter wetsuit should not make you feel too hot in summer while you are in the water.
Beachin Surf offers a wide variety of surfing essentials. We have wetsuits, board bags, clothing, footwear, accessories, surfboards, and surf hardware. We are more than happy to help you with your surfing journey.
For all your surfing essentials, please visit us at 262 Maine Road, Toukley, NSW. You can also call ahead to make sure we get to assist you properly.
Please call us today on (02) 4396 5159 or feel free to send us an inquiry.