People wear wetsuits to keep themselves warm (comfortable) and feel safer in the water while practicing certain sports! Most wetsuits are designed to do a specific exercise. Like surfing/ SUPing/ swimming/ triathlon/ diving.
First you need to ask yourself a few questions:
Different activities need different wetsuits. You are not going to wear the same wetsuit for diving or triathlon as you would for surfing. Ask yourself first which activity you are going to use wetsuit for most, because there will be a wetsuit design out there that would be most suited for it.
Wetsuits have different thicknesses measured in millimetres. The colder the water the thicker you want your wetsuit to be. For the cold water surfing in Tofino winter, people use at least a 5/4 mm wetsuit with boots, gloves and a hood. The number 5 stands for the thickness of the wetsuit in the torso area and 4 stands for the thickness in the arms, legs and shoulder area of the wetsuit. Underneath you will find a little bit more info on which thickness of wetsuit to choose. Keep in mind there are also 1mm neoprene tops for summer surfing and 7/6mm wetsuits for arctic surfing.
2/1 MM | cool water: 62 – 68° F / 17 – 20° C
2/2 MM | cool water: 62 – 68° F / 17 – 20° C
3/2 MM | cool water: 56 – 65° F / 13 – 18° C
4/3 MM | cold water: 51 – 58° F / 11 – 14° C
5/4/3 MM | cold water: 46 – 53° F / 8 – 12° C
6/5/3 MM | cold water: 46 – 53° F / 8 – 12° C
6/5/4 MM | cold water: 46 – 53° F / 8 – 12° C
The weather will also have an impact on which thickness you go for. Different seasons means the water will warm up or cool down and the temperature outside will be different, so keep all of this in mind while choosing your next wetsuit.
You should also make sure that your wetsuit is the right size. Female and Male wetsuits have different shapes and therefore also a different size model. Where female wetsuits range from size 0 – 16 or higher, male wetsuits go from XS – 3XL depending more on your weight. In all of these size there will also be a small version and a tall version depending on your height. When you shop online you will be able to find size guides on the brand websites, but the surf shop assistant will also be able to guide you to the perfect fit.
The prices of the wetsuits range from $75 – $750 and it all depends on the construction of the wetsuit, the brand, the thickness of the wetsuit and how flexible and good the materials used are in the wetsuit. To keep wetsuits warmer they need to be well stitched and glued so less water can move through the seams and therefore the water between you and the wetsuit stays warmer.
All of our rental wetsuits are 5/4 mm thick to make sure all of our customers have an amazing time out there and can stay comfortable in the ocean for a long time and enjoy the surf, paddle or boogie boards! All of our Swell Tofino employees are able to guide you in the right direction for your size. During the winter period we offer Boots, Hoods and Gloves too!