Wetsuit Buyers Guide

Introduction

At Aggie Surf Shop, we provide a wide range of wetsuits covering all bases. This includes the cheaper entry-level wetsuit range, the excellent valued mid-range wetsuits, and also the top of the range premium wetsuits with all the latest technologies and features.

Deciding which wetsuit to buy can be a difficult choice at first, but our wetsuit buyers guide should help you decide which wetsuit is best suited (pun intended) for you. We value flexibility, warmth, strength and quality in the wetsuits we offer and have been providing surfers with wetsuits for over 30 years so you can be sure your in safe hands. 

Wetsuit Thickness

If you are lucky enough to live in the UK, you are going to need a wetsuit at some point especially during those cold, frosty winter months! Average sea temperatures in the UK can range from as high as 15-20C in the summer and 6-10C in the winter depending on location. Generally, wetsuits come with a mix of two neoprene thicknesses. 3/2, 4/3 and 5/3 wetsuits are the most common suits sold and these numbers refer to neoprene thickness. 

A 3/2 wetsuit would mean that the main torso of the body being covered by 3mm of neoprene (to ensure your core is kept warm), and 2mm in the areas such as the arms and knees (anywhere which requires greater movement). The same principle can be applied to 4/3 and 5/3 wetsuits.

However, these wetsuit numbers only provide a rough estimate and you might find that some wetsuits feel thicker than others. This is because wetsuit manufactures can classify their wetsuit thicknesses differently as some including lining and others not. 

Check the table below to give you a rough guide of what wetsuit thickness you will need dependent on water temperature!

 

Back Zip vs Chest Zip vs Zipless

Traditionally, back zips were the chosen format for how you entered your wetsuit. These zips ran the length of your back and were attached to a cord string which allowed you do the zip up. These wetsuits are super easy to get in and out of and are usually amongst the cheapest wetsuits on the market.

Chest zip wetsuits are now the most popular type of wetsuits available. They involve entering through the top of the wetsuit, pulling a flap over your neck, and the fastening the zip located on the chest panel to secure the fit. Not only does a chest zip wetsuit feel comfier as you don't have a zip running down the length of your back, but it is more flexible because the zip across the chest is much shorter in length.

A zipless wetsuit is what it says on the tin; a wetsuit with no zip! Its design is similar to a chest zip wetsuit as you enter the wetsuit through the top, pull the flap over your neck, but this time there is no zip to fasten, simply just tighten a cord. This type of construction creates easy entry and exit whilst reducing weight and bulk. These suits are believed to be the most comfortable and flexible on the market as there is no zip to restrict movement.

Wetsuit stitching

The way at which a wetsuit is stitched together can impact massively on your overall opinion of it. With the wetsuits that we provide, they consist of either flatlock stitched or glued and blindstitched (GBS).

Flatlock stitching

This is where the stitching involves laying the neoprene panels over each other, then stitching the neoprene together. This provides the wetsuit seams with strength. However, it is often said that this type of stitching is subject to high water penetration and is less comfortable than a GBS stitched wetsuits. This type of stitching is often found in wetsuits at the cheaper end of the market.

Glued and blindstitched

This is now the most common method of wetsuit stitching. It is where the neoprene is joined together with glue then stitched on the inside, the needle does not pass straight through the material resulting in a comfier and more water tight wetsuit. This type of stitching is most common amongst winter wetsuits and are often slightly more expensive than wetsuits that have flatlock stitching.

 

For any more information on the features or construction on the wetsuits we provide, please get in contact with us!