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Wet Suit and Accessories Guide

 Wet suits come as; Spring suits or Shortys , Short Johns, Long Johns, and Full Suits

 Spring suitís keeps just the upper body warm.  It has a short legs and short sleeves.  It is used mostly in warm temperatures.  The thickness of the suit is typically 2 mm.

 Short Johns are like spring suits but without the sleeves. Thickness of the suit is typically 2 mm.

 Long Johns are like Short Johns but have a full length in the legs.  The typical thickness is 2 mm.

 Full suits depending upon cool to cold will determine the thickness of the suit.

  1. For cool water temperature suits the whole suit may use a 2mm thickness while a cold water suit will have a combination of 2 different thickness of neoprene. The two thicknesses refers to having a thinner neoprene in the arm area specifically the sleeve and under sleeve area to allow for easier arm movement and the thicker neoprene for the rest of the suit keeping them as warm as possible.  The suit is designated by two numbers such as 4/3 which means 4mm in the body and 3mm in the arms.  Typical combinations are 3 /2, 4/3 and for real cold water 6/4.  Most people (even small women) will be very cozy in a 4/3 wetsuit in Santa Cruz for 9 months out of the year.  You can also wear a nylon/spandex top or suit (see below) for added warmth under the wet suit.  If you plan to surf down south in San Diego a lighter suit say a 3/2 or just a 2 mm suit will do.  (If you are not sure ask the local surf shop which thickness they recommend for the local water at different seasons of the year.  You may also want to let them know if you are a cold or warm blooded type of person).

 Things to look for in a surf wet suit

  1. Flexible neoprene in upper torso, shoulder.  You will be moving your arms paddling the surf board and want free movement in this area.
  2. Pre-bent knees with kneepad feature make moving the legs easier especially when performing the pop up onto the board.
  3. Is the neck area sealing with out choking or itching  i.e. 2MM smooth skin collar feels pretty good after a day in salt water.
  4. Check the seams are they Double-glued and blind stitched seams or maybe the latest glue welding technology.
  5. #10 Heavy duty zipper, with a hook and loop closure system to keep zipper from opening up.  

  6. Hidden key pocket is a nice thing to have instead of trying to hide the car key in the bumper or on the car frame or on the wheel. 

  7. Gender specific suits fit and are more comfortable than unisex suits.



For those who get cold feet or just donít like placing skin onto the reef bottom.

 Booties come in two major styles: round toe and split toe.  The round toe is like a boot keeping all the toes in one compartment while the split toe allow a split in the toe area with the big toe having itís own compartment and the rest another compartment.

 Most booties are 3mm thick but can be up to 7 mm for real cold water use.

 Surfing with or with out booties is an individual preference.  Some say they get a better feel or grip without booties but then again there are a lot of surfers who have booties on.



 Nylon/spandex tops and suits can be worn under the wet suit as an added warmth layer or to minimize direct skin contact with the wet suit or used when no wetsuit is worn when surfing warm waters.  The most common is the Rash Protection which minimizes the chaffing and rash from direct contact with the wet suit.

 They come in 3 types. 

 U.V. and Rash Protection - 5oz.
Designed for use as a rash guard, U.V. protection.  The 5oz. skins feature nylon/spandex composite material. Key thing to look for is the stitching where good stitching assures they are flexible and durable.

 U.V. Protection - 7.3oz.
Designed for use as U.V. protection.   The 7.3oz. skins feature nylon/spandex composite material. Again the key is the stitching where good stitching assures they are flexible and durable

 The Full Long Sleeve

The Full Long Sleeve can come with an attached hood with sun visor and boardshort connector. Usually comes with a back/lumbar stash pocket and wind resistant ear panels as well.




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