It’s true I promise, treating yourself to a new wetsuit will make you surf better and feel fantastic.
Rather than gluing up the seams on your salt stiffened, wax encrusted, urine stained wetsuit each season, cough up a few quid for a new suit instead.
Here’s why a new wetsuit will make you surf better:
Confidence and flexibility
Fresh neoprene looks good, smells good and feels good – a new suit will fill you with confidence before you even hit the water. There’s now even anti-bacterial neoprene, designed to keep your wetsuit smelling fresh and odour free for longer.
New neoprene will have all the flex and spring of a new puppy, which will allow for maximum flexibility in the water thus reducing tiredness. It’ll also put the spring back in your turns and let you paddle faster to catch more waves. If you’re catching more waves, with more energy, then you’re gonna get better quicker.
Besides the new and improved neoprene, there’s a plethora of wetsuit technology advancements that will help you surf better, including:
Zips – moving zips from the back to the chest and reducing the zip size means less flushing, more comfort and more flexibility. Cold flushes can be debilitating during paddle outs, and whilst paddle practice can be good, painfully cold paddle practice is bad. A comfier and more flexible suit gives you freedom to bust the moves you’ve seen in the surf mags.
Seams – blind stitching and taping seams has been around for a while, but many manufacturers now glue the seams as well. This prevents any water seeping through holes and gaps. In surfing terms this keeps you warmer, allowing you to surf longer. More surfing means more practice and practice makes perfect…surfers.
Design – I don’t mean the shift from fluorescent yellows to pastel shades. I’m talking about the research and development put into shaping the suit and panels so they fit better. The fit of a suit is the most important factor when making a purchase. Too tight and it will rub you red, to loose and you’ll fill up like a watering can and sink. If your suit fits like a glove then it will assist every move you make, rather than restrict your surfing.
Lining – there’s lots of fantastic names like flash, helio-plush and firecore for wetsuit linings, but they all do one of two things (sometimes both). That is keep you warm and/or dry quicker. We’ve discussed the benefits of keeping warm, but a fast drying wetsuit will help get you back in the water quicker. It will also minimise the time it’s left hanging in the shower, thus annoying partner or other shower users less – bonus!
All of these advances in wetsuit technology will let you surf in thinner wetsuits for longer. Whilst thick winter wetsuits let you surf whatever the weather, they are restrictive. Paired with hood, gloves and boots, winter wetsuit gear can literally be a drag. So the ability to surf longer in a thinner, lighter and more flexible summer suit will help you surf better for longer.
Designed to do better
For those who do more than surf in the sea there’s a wider range of wetsuits that will benefit you. For open water swimmers, tri-athletes, divers, kite surfers, wind surfers, wake boarders and other water users, there are bespoke wetsuits to help you excel and enjoy what you do more.
Each wetsuit type will have it’s own unique features, for example triathlon wetsuits are designed to be hydrodynamic and buoyant for better swim speeds. Kite surfing and windsurfing wetsuits are designed to be more waterproof, so often have a more rubbery external layer to reduce wind chill.
Using bespoke wetsuits for different sports will enhance performance.
So next time you need to justify buying a new wetsuit, remember the benefits and think ‘do I want to be better?’
This guest post came courtesy of Activinstinct, the definitive online sports store.