If you are not fortunate enough to live and surf in tropical waters, you will always need the right wetsuit for steaming or surfing. So how can you choose the right wetsuit for surfing or steaming? We hope that this article will answer all your questions and help you choose your new wetsuit. Even though it is an obligatory element of the surfer’s equipment, the knowledge about wetsuits and their choice is low. We all care about surfing and steaming, even too much.
The characteristics of a wetsuit
Like the wetsuit, the surfing wetsuit is made from neoprene; a waterproof material, resistant to sea water and chlorine. On the other hand, a surfing wetsuit is designed differently and is generally less thick than its diving cousin. More flexible, it allows greater freedom of movement, essential for chaining wipe-outs and other cutbacks. You will have understood that if you intended to recycle your spearfishing, it is missed. On the other hand, the surfing wetsuit can also be suitable for the practice of underwater sports such as spearfishing.
Selection criteria for Surfing and Steamer Wetsuits
- Water temperature
It is the most important criterion! Below 15°C, it is better to opt for a full steamer wetsuit, the thickness of which is between 4/3mm and 5/3mm. The first number corresponds to the thickness of the surfing suit at the level of the torso (which requires better thermal protection), and the second to the rest of the body.
Beyond 15°C, the thickness is reduced; between 3/2mm and 4/3mm. Under a blazing sun, you are free to choose a full surfing wetsuit or a playsuit (beware of tan lines!). The most seasoned can be satisfied with a surf jacket.
- The practice
If you’re just starting out, you don’t necessarily want to invest a lot of money in your surfing equipment. You can therefore opt for a standard neoprene surfing wetsuit, which is also perfectly suitable for occasional practice; you can reuse it every summer without problem, provided you treat it well.
If you intend to train regularly or intensively, it is better to choose a stretch surfing wetsuit: more flexible, it offers greater possibilities of figures.
What about maintenance for a steamer suit?
To prolong the life of your steamer wetsuit, you will need to apply these few basic rules:
- Avoid removing it on the beach, because the grains of sand could damage it. The trick: take off your steamer wetsuit standing up, with your feet in a basin.
- Rinse your steamer wetsuit after each session… with cold water, to rinse away sweat and kill bacteria.
- From time to time, you can wash your steamer wetsuit in the bathtub with a little soap or washing-up liquid. To completely disinfect it (after having lent it or if you opt for a second-hand steamer wetsuit).
- Above all, never put your steamer wetsuit in the washing machine, and dry it inside out. Wait until it is completely dry before storing it, to avoid any risk of mold.