Most surfers love to go on the water without neoprene, but unfortunately this is not possible at many spots in Europe because the water is simply too cold. So if you don't fly thousands of kilometers away on your surfing vacation, you have to look for a suitable neoprene for better or worse. Fortunately, surf suits have been continuously improved over the past few years, so that they are now available in extremely light form, they are very supple on the body and can easily accommodate any movement, even if they are full suits . The suits are now perceived as less annoying than they used to be.
But which factors have to be considered when choosing the right neoprene full suit? Which is the surf suit that is best for you? To find out, you can either go to a shop and look at the different suits and try them on, or you can read about them first and then guess your decision on this basis or at least get a first impression.
With the neoprene full suit, there are more important things than the price
A pretty important point when buying a wetsuit is not just looking at the price. Even if a cheap suit might look chic, it is much more important that it fits perfectly. A lot has happened in the development of wetsuits, especially in recent years. Modern suits no longer have much in common with the first uncomfortable models. As a result of this development, there is now a large variety of manufacturers, materials, models and features. This makes it difficult to keep an overview and it is good to have a precise plan of how to go about looking for the right suit.
A good neo is characterized by warmth and flexibility
Wetsuits are suitable for a whole range of water sports enthusiasts, such as divers, windsurfers, kiters, wakeboarders, rafters, but also for swimmers and triathletes. The most important thing about neoprene is certainly its warming effect, but its flexibility is also a decisive factor, because when freedom of movement is restricted and it becomes strenuous, the sport is much less fun or maybe even no longer fun.
When do I need my own suit?
The demands on a suit certainly differ depending on the sport, but there are a number of factors that are generally important for choosing the right suit. Whether you even need your own suit can be seen by answering the following questions: How long do I go surfing and will I do it more often? How warm is the water at my vacation spot?
Normally you can rent a Neo wherever water sports are practiced. That usually costs around 10 to 15 euros a day. A separate suit for the beginner, which is of high quality, is available from around 200 euros. This means that your own suit has already paid off for a vacation of 3 weeks or more. In addition, if you take good care of your suit, you can use it for a good 5 years.
What are the conditions like at my spot?
When choosing the right suit, it is also important what the conditions are like at the respective water sports spot. In addition to the water temperature, this also includes the strength of the wind, the amount of sunshine and personal coldness. Depending on your personal feelings, the limit on whether a Neo is needed or not is at a water temperature of 22 to 24 degrees. Even if the water is warm, it is advisable to wear a suit. The body always cools down in the water. As long as you are in action, you may not notice that it is getting too cold or only when you have actually cooled down. One thing is certain, without a suit you always run the risk of cooling down. In addition, a suit not only protects against the cold, but also against sunburn and injuries. The protection provided by the Neo is particularly recommended for beginners, as it reduces bruises and skin abrasions.
The size of the suit
The most common mistake when buying a wetsuit is choosing the wrong size. Most people choose a suit that is too big without advice. This is completely normal, because anyone who has never had a Neo Full Suit does not know how tight it really has to be and that it will widen after a few times. When buying a Neo, it should always be so tight that it can hardly be closed. With a suit that is too big you can hardly do anything afterwards, because if too much water can penetrate it first becomes unnecessarily heavy and blocks all movement and secondly it no longer fulfills its purpose of warming. A wetsuit provides warmth by holding a thin layer of water around the body that is warmed by body temperature. To do this, the water must not flow out of the suit and new flow into it every time you go into the water.
How do I find the right size?
Tables from the manufacturers provide approximate orientation for the correct size. In addition, the suits differ in elasticity, depending on the material and manufacturer. For these reasons, the size charts are not really reliable and can only provide a rough guide. The actual size of a neo will be similar to that of normal clothing, but it can also differ. In addition, the sizes usually take into account other information than those of normal clothing, such as a T that appears in the size. This means that the suit is made for thin people. Sizes with an S in their name, on the other hand, are more suitable for wider people.
What's the best way to get in, in a tight suit?
A surf suit that really fits is difficult to put on. Fortunately, there are some helpful tips on how best to do it. The best strategy to slip into a neo is to first pull up one leg while sitting, in the best case up to the thigh. Care should be taken to ensure that the knee pad sits correctly. Then you can slip into the second pant leg. It is important to always handle the material carefully and not to pull it with force so that the suit is not damaged. Once the legs are in, the neoprene full suit can be pulled over the hips until it sits smoothly and without wrinkles on the legs. Then it is rolled up under the armpits. Now you can slip your left arm into the sleeve and then your right.
What to look for when trying on
Anyone who buys a Neo in stores has the advantage that a seller can be consulted who is particularly familiar with the sizes. But there is nothing wrong with ordering a suit online if you pay attention to a few things and definitely have a selection sent to you. When trying on the following things should be considered:
- it should be difficult to put the neo on, because only then is it tight enough
- There must be no free spaces between the skin and the suit
- there must be no wrinkles, not even in the crotch or the hollows of the knees
- There should only be a small crease under the armpits, but this should no longer be visible when the arms are outstretched
- The freedom of movement of the arms and legs should be given to the full extent
- you should still be able to stretch your arms up and lift your armpits
Shorty, FullSuit, Steamer and the thing with the fat
Surf suits are available in different designs, which are also suitable for different uses. If the suit is worn in very warm waters, a shorty with short arms and legs is sufficient. If you know that you want to go surfing in colder waters, you should definitely get a full suit or steamer with long arms and legs. But not only the cut is important, but also the thickness of the material. Most suits have two measurements of thickness because it is often different on the body and on the arms and legs. The information is in millimeters and is usually one millimeter higher around the body than on the arms and legs. The advantage of this strategy is that the upper body can be kept warm better and the arms and legs have more freedom of movement.
Thickness is not the same as thickness and seam is not the same as seam
The question of which thickness is recommended at which water temperature also depends a little on the quality of the suit. If you are freezing in an entry-level model, you can sweat in a premium model with the same thickness and the same water temperature. Exact prognoses are as good as impossible, since the perception of warmth varies greatly from person to person and can also be related to the length of time it is worn. Experience shows that the longer the session lasts, the colder you get.
An important point in the surf suits are also the seams. Cheap models are usually only sewn, while more expensive models are often sealed with an inner tape. This ensures that the seams remain flexible, but are still particularly waterproof.
Do i need a zipper?
Another question is about the zipper. Again, this depends on the preferred use of the suit. What is certain is that suits without a zip or with a front zip have a decisive advantage over the back zip: They let less water into the suit and therefore retain the heat better. For those who don't care, because they only go surfing in summer, for example, a normal backzip also works.
Entry-level models, medium quality and premium suits
To get a better overview, the suits can be divided into three quality and price categories. The cheapest suits, which are between 60 and 150 euros, are definitely suitable for short trips and destinations in the sun with warm water. Suits in the middle price segment cost between 150 and 250 euros and usually have sealed seams, flexible materials and a front zip. You can keep warm pretty well even with water temperatures around 17 degrees. Premium suits are available at prices between 250 and 400 euros. They have the best material that is very stretchy and well made and are very versatile. A good suit with a normal material thickness of 2/3 mm can still be completely sufficient even with cooler water in spring and autumn. If you are thinking of buying a summer suit and one for the colder days, you should consider whether a more expensive suit could be an option for both.
Proper care of the Neo
Anyone who has bought a Neo should know one thing right from the start: It must never be washed in the washing machine. In order to clean it so that it does not smell, there are special detergents for surf suits . Here the Neo just has to soak for a few minutes, then dry and it is fresh again.
When it comes to drying, you should also know that a Neo should never be dried in the sun so that the material does not become porous. It should also not be kinked while drying. It is best to place it on a wide surface or hang it on a coat hanger in the shade.
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