Beginner's Guide to Wetsuits: Types and Seasons

When it comes to enjoying water sports and surfing, having the right wetsuit is essential. Wetsuits not only keep you warm and protected in the water but also offer flexibility and comfort for an enjoyable experience. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore different types of wetsuits and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision during your wetsuit shopping journey.


Thermal Wetsuits

thermal wetsuit illustration


Thermal wetsuits are specifically designed to provide maximum warmth, making them ideal for colder water conditions. These wetsuits feature a thicker neoprene construction, typically ranging from 5mm to 7mm, which offers excellent insulation against low temperatures. Additionally, they often have sealed seams and an additional thermal lining, such as fleece or polypropylene, to further enhance heat retention. The combination of thicker neoprene and thermal lining ensures that your body heat is effectively trapped, providing optimal insulation in chilly waters. Thermal wetsuits are suitable for winter and colder seasons when the water temperature drops significantly, ensuring you stay comfortably warm throughout your water adventures.


Springsuit Wetsuits

springsuit wetsuit illustration

Springsuit wetsuits, also known as shorties, are versatile wetsuits that cover the torso and provide short sleeves and short legs. They offer a good balance between warmth and flexibility, making them suitable for transitional seasons or milder water temperatures. Springsuits are typically constructed with 2mm to 3mm neoprene, allowing for enhanced mobility and freedom of movement. The shorter length of the arms and legs ensures increased flexibility and a greater range of motion, making them popular among surfers and water sports enthusiasts. Springsuits are an excellent choice when the water is not excessively cold, providing an added layer of insulation without compromising on comfort and flexibility.


Hooded Wetsuits

hooded wetsuit illustration

Hooded wetsuits are designed to provide full coverage, including a built-in hood to protect the head and neck from cold water and wind. They offer maximum insulation, making them ideal for extremely cold conditions. Hooded wetsuits feature a thicker neoprene construction, typically ranging from 5mm to 7mm, ensuring exceptional warmth in frigid waters. The hood provides added protection to your head and prevents heat loss from this critical area. With a hooded wetsuit, you can confidently venture into icy waters, knowing that your entire body, including your head, will stay comfortably warm. Hooded wetsuits are commonly used in winter and colder months, allowing you to brave the elements while keeping your head and core protected from the cold.


Steamer Wetsuits

steamer wetsuit illustration

 Steamer wetsuits, also known as fullsuits, are the most common and versatile wetsuit type. They offer full coverage with long arms and legs, providing comprehensive protection and insulation. Steamer wetsuits are suitable for a wide range of water temperatures and seasons. They come in various thicknesses, typically ranging from 3/2mm to 4/3mm or even 5/4mm, allowing you to choose the right one based on your local climate and personal preferences. The thicker neoprene in the torso area provides enhanced insulation, while the slightly thinner neoprene in the arms and legs ensures optimal flexibility and freedom of movement. Steamer wetsuits are an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile wetsuit that can be used in different water conditions throughout the year.


Wetsuit Jackets

illustration of wetsuit jacket

Wetsuit jackets are an excellent option for adding extra warmth and versatility to your wetsuit collection. They are typically worn as an additional layer over a wetsuit top or springsuit. Wetsuit jackets offer insulation for the upper body while allowing flexibility and freedom of movement. They are designed with varying thicknesses, usually ranging from 1mm to 3mm, depending on the level of warmth desired. Wetsuit jackets are ideal for slightly cooler conditions or when you need added protection from wind or occasional splashes. They can be easily paired with different wetsuit bottoms or shorts, providing customisable warmth and adaptability.


Choosing the right wetsuit is crucial for your comfort and enjoyment during water sports and surfing. Understanding the different types of wetsuits and their suitability for various seasons is essential for making an informed decision. Whether you're looking for maximum warmth with thermal wetsuits, flexibility with springsuits, or comprehensive coverage with hooded and steamer wetsuits, The Surfboard Warehouse offers a wide selection to cater to your needs. Remember to consider the water temperature, local climate, and your personal preferences when selecting your wetsuit, and enjoy your water adventures to the fullest.