When choosing a wetsuit, there are several factors to take into account:
- Water temperature
- Water conditions
- Wind speed
The water temperature is the primary factor in selecting the most suitable thickness of wetsuit for you. Wind chill is shortly followed as a secondary factor.
You can look at the average water and air temperatures for your area across the year from any detailed weather report. Once you know which temperatures you will be out in, you can use our wetsuit thickness chart below to choose the right wetsuit with combination of wetsuits and accessories suitable to keep you in the water all year round.
In general, you should taketh following into account when making a decision:
- Your level (if you fall easily into the water the wind will cool you down easily),
- The water conditions (if you go wave riding or flat water on a lake)
- The weather conditions (for example if the wind comes from a northern direction that is colder).
- The features of the wetsuit (if there is a thermal linned inside, the type of seams, tape, overhead backup, glideskin Neck etc.)
STAND UP PADDLE
If you are Stand Up Paddle boarding, as a rule of thumb, the perfect wetsuit outfit that we recommend for is a Long John/Jane and then you can always wear a neoprene hoodie on top. This way you keep the high flexibility in the shoulders and you can easily adjust the heat by adding wool underwear underneath. Same for your feet where you can add wool socks inside your shoes.
Summer is usually not the biggest issue here. You can easily feel the weather and knows if you should go out in board short, wear a Longh John/Jane, or a 3/2mm short sleeve. Again, a neoprene Hoodie on top can do miracles.
If it is a very cold winter with water temperatures below 10°C or you go wave riding, you should definitely choose a 5/3mm wetsuit and minimum 6.5mm shoes. And if there is wind, we recommend to wear a Neoprene Hoodie on top.
But remember a 5mm wetsuit is not just a 5mm wetsuit. The wetsuit can be build with lots of different features such as thermal linned inside, glideskin double neck, overhead backup etc. We have designed our wetsuits for cold water conditions that is usual in scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (not for wave surfing in winter where integrated hood is recommended).
If you go when water temperature are below 5°C, you can easily wear a layer of wool underneath your wetsuit, and of course add the neoprene hoodie on top.
If you practice a watersport where wind is the main factor, it is important to take the wind direction into account as a wind from north is typically colder than a wind from south. Of course, it depends on how the low pressure and the high pressure move, respectively.
The weather can vary a lot during the summer and for windsurfing and Kitesurfing it may be necessary to have both a 3/2mm short sleeve and a 3/2mm long sleeve wetsuit. If you are on a budget we recommend to wear a 3/2mm long sleeve for scandinavian countries.
As soon as we enter autumn and the air temperatures reach 15°C, you should go for a 5/3mm wetsuit – preferably with thermal linned inside the chest, back and upper legs. And then minimum 6.5mm shoes, also with thermal linned. This way, you will only need one wetsuit for the whole winter by adding a neoprene hoodie on top and some wool underwear for the very cold days.