How to choose your surf wetsuit?

Mar 16th, 2017

Category: Learn to surf

How to choose your surf wetsuit?

First of all you need to know where and when you would like to use the wetsuit. In colder areas or seasons you will go for more coverage and thicker wetsuits than in summer time.

Different types of wetsuits

Full suit: with long arms and long legs
Short arms and long legs
Long arms and short legs
Shorty: short arms and short legs
Long and Short John: cut out like a tank shirt


In Fuerteventura it’s always sunny and spring, but the water can be a bit cooler in the winter. Our most used thickness here is 4/3 during the colder days and 3/2 or 2/2 the rest of the days. A few months of the year we don’t even need a wetsuit :) The first number is the thickness of the main body, the second number is the thickness of arms and legs. A 3/2 has 3 mm neoprene on the body and 2 mm neoprene on the arms and legs.

Stitching and materials

Depending on price and quality of the wetsuit different stitching is used:

Tape: in the beginning wetsuits had little strength and let in a lot of water due to the holes that were left behind by sewing the pieces of neoprene together. So taping emerged as a way to cover the needle holes and add durability. The tape can be melted into the neoprene or bonded with chemicals.

Overlock: this is the most basic of all seams: The outside faces of the neoprene patches face each other and are then stitched together down the edge. It is a very strong stitch and a smooth outer surface. But inside the seam is raised (can cause irritation) and the seal is not very watertight.

Blindstitched: a blindstitch machine has a curved needle and penetrates the material just deep enough to secure a good stitch, but without passing through to the other side and thus avoiding the needle holes. This type of stitching is very waterproof and can be found on nearly every modern cold water wetsuit.
TDC (thermo dry celliant): TDC with smart fiber technology, an Excel exclusive, is a responsive textile that actively works with you. From the instant you put it on, TDC transforms your body into a renewable source of warmth, and improves your ability to achieve peak athletic performance.

Back zip or front zip

It is without any doubt that a front zip wetsuit is more comfortable and let’s less water in than a back zip wetsuit, though a back zip wetsuit is a lot easier to put on. That’s why on the cheaper models or in surf schools you will see more back zips, while on the professional wetsuits all goes through the front.

Size and fitting

At Protest Surfcenter we work with various brands of wetsuits, but we mainly sell Excel Wetsuits because of their quality, good pricing and especially abundance of available sizes. To get your wetsuit to fit perfectly, best is to come to our shop or any other specialized surf hardware store and try on different sizes. The Excel wetsuits come in 30 different sizes in men and women so plenty of choice :).
Wetsuits are made to surround your body with thin layer of ocean water that warms up with your body forming a nice and cosy cocoon. If the wetsuit is too big there is too much water to heat and the water just flushes through. If the wetsuit is too tight there is not enough water to heat. A new wetsuit needs to fit good and you should be able to wave your arms around with ease. A perfect comfortable fit is very necessary to get the most out of your wetsuit and surf session. Our staff will be happy to help you with your choice!

Protest Surfcenter Team

Wetsuit | Protest Surfcenter

Wetsuit | Protest Surfcenter

Wetsuit | Protest Surfcenter