A wetsuit protects against hypothermia as well as against dangerous UV rays. Neoprene has the positive property that it does not let any of the dangerous rays of the sun through the material and you are not only protected from sunburn but also minimizes the risk of skin cancer. The stronger and thicker the wetsuit, the better your body is protected from possible cooling. On top of that, neoprene protects against skin abrasions and small cnidarians that would otherwise come into direct physical contact with you.
There are three types of wetsuits. These include the steamer (and long sleeve steamer), the long john, and the shorty. You can now find out what exactly is behind the terms:
Most of the time, surfers use the steamer. The steamer is available with both short sleeves and long sleeves. If the temperature of the water is between 7 ° C and 19 ° C, you are well-advised and taken care of with the steamer.
Sailors and paddlers like to use Longjohns. In contrast to the steamer, the neck area of this type of wetsuit is much freer and the missing sleeves ensure sufficient freedom of movement when paddling.
A shorty is – as the name suggests – the short version of the wetsuit. It keeps your upper body sufficiently warm and at the same time offers more freedom of movement than the steamer. Taking a shorty is particularly worthwhile in tropical temperatures. The “short one-piece” is particularly popular for snorkeling, diving, kiting … and of course surfing.
The right wetsuit fits like a second skin. You should therefore know exactly the correct size and, at best, seek advice from a specialist shop when you buy it for the first time. Since the wetsuit expands while surfing, you should not buy it too big. A suit that is too big and does not fit well prevents a good warming effect.
So that you can move well despite being “tight”, it is best to ensure that the material has a high percentage of stretch. Of course, you should be able to put on and take off your “second skin” comfortably. In most cases, this is very easy thanks to the zippers on the neoprene cable.