Wetsuits are worthy investments for surfers. They're the ideal attire for the water sport, especially in cold waters.
So, how much is a wetsuit nowadays? If you're shopping for the first time or replacing your old one after quite some time, read on to find out the current rates in the market and see how you can get more value for your money.
Average Cost of a Wetsuit
Low-end wetsuits can cost around $50 for a shorty wetsuit or spring suit, which has shorter arm and leg coverings. Meanwhile, the price of a low-end full-body wetsuit or full wetsuit is about $75. Basic, entry-level suits for summer surfing could be worth up to $130. Meanwhile, all-year-round fullsuits can range from $145 to $200.
Performance wetsuits made of stretchy but lightweight neoprene range from $300 to 400. Finally, the price of high-end suits with soft, pliable and watertight material can cost up to $1,000.
What goes into the high pricing of some wetsuits? Cost varies from brand to brand due to a variety of factors. Watch out for the following qualities besides looking at the price.
The cost of a suit is mainly determined by the type and quality of material used.
Different materials are used to make neoprene. Standard neoprene used to be petroleum-based. Today, its high-end versions are made of other natural or plant-based components such as limestone and natural rubber. They’re more flexible but typically have higher prices.
Open cell vs. closed cell
An open cell wetsuit doesn't have an inner lining, allowing the neoprene to stick directly onto your skin. Meanwhile, a closed cell wetsuit has a fabric lining inside that's made of polyester or nylon.
Most wetsuits used by surfers are open cell types because they're mainly exposed to water, sand, and the surfboard, compared to scuba divers who can encounter marine life and other objects underwater that can rip their suit. However, open cell is more expensive.
A full suit is generally more expensive than a spring suit and shorty, which don't provide full-body coverage.
The cost of a suit goes up the thicker the material is. Thus, wetsuits for cold water and winter surfing would have a higher price tag.
Quality of the seams and basic stitching
The pricing is also affected by its construction. Those sewn with basic flatlock stitching are less inexpensive than those that feature blind stitching or fluid-sealed seams. Although flatlock stitches are flat and produce minimal abrasion, their many needle holes allow water flow. Wetsuits with this type of construction will be all right to use during the summer months. But pick suits with liquid or taped seams if you need to feel warmer.
Wetsuits featuring the more common back zipper are cheaper than those with chest zippers. Zipper-free wetsuits can also be pricey, as their production is currently limited.
In the end, a combination of these six features should contribute to your optimal range of motion for surfing.
Recommended Budget for a Wetsuit
Experts advise that you shop for a couple of wetsuits that you can use for different months of the year. This will give you several thickness options. The prices of decent fullsuits start at $100 for warm water surfing and over $300 for cold water surfing. But if you have extra money, spend it on suits that range from $200 to $350.
Taking Care of Your Wetsuit
On average, a surfing wetsuit should last you two to three years if you go out to surf twice a week. But if you only use it occasionally, you can use it for up to five years with attentive care.
Still, think twice before you decide to spend on a suit with a low price tag— low-quality wetsuits may only last for one season or two. Moreover, inexpensive suits often get dumped at landfills after the end of their functional life. Recycling methods have yet to be discovered.
The following contribute to a wetsuit's length of usefulness:
- Neoprene type used
Higher-quality neoprene will have a longer lifespan than cheaper ones.
- Frequency of use
As with other goods, your wetsuit will tend to deteriorate more quickly if you use it daily compared to just a few times a year. If you do shore scuba diving on the side, your wetsuit will undergo more wear and tear than if you do boat diving.
Wetsuits will last longer when rinsed with fresh water after your surfing session, followed by air-drying and proper storage.
Rough handling and leaving tears unattended can also shorten a suit's lifespan.
- Type of water you surf in
Chlorinated water can make a wetsuit degenerate faster than salt water.
Even the best wetsuit will need proper care to prolong its life and performance. Following these tips can make it more durable.
Washing and Drying Tips
- Stand in a tub or mat when you change out of your suit to prevent any debris or harmful chemicals from attaching to your wetsuit.
- Don't pull on the seams when taking it off. Avoid digging your fingernails into the material, especially the smooth sections.
- Thoroughly wash the suit inside and out in cool fresh water as soon as possible. Use a toothbrush to rid zippers of debris. After rinsing, gently squeeze from the shoulders, going down to the wrist openings, and do the same for the suit's lower half.
Just like for scuba diving suits, soak your wetsuit in fresh cold water mixed with neoprene soap or shampoo—there are inexpensive brands you can use—once a month. Don't use a washing machine to do this. If you've peed on your suit, the special soap can help deodorize it.
- Turn your suit inside out and hang it on a clothes hanger along the waist, not from the shoulders or neck to keep it from stretching out. Never tumble-dry your wetsuit.
- Air-dry in a shady place, away from direct sunlight. This will prevent the neoprene from breaking down or becoming worn prematurely. When the outer side feels dry, turn the suit the other way to complete the drying process. Avoid leaving your wetsuit outdoors overnight to keep it from attracting morning dew.
- Use a wetsuit hanger (made of plastic and broad-shoulder) and store the suit indoors.
- Put it away when it's completely dry so it won't smell moldy.
- Don't fold it, as creases will cause the neoprene to crack. But if you need to, hang it halfway by the waist.
- Avoid exposing your suit to hot water or putting it on top of a heater or inside a hot car trunk so it won't lose its stretch.
- Don't hang wetsuits in the garage where they can be subject to car fumes and dampness.
- Check to see that there aren't any sharp objects that can tear through your suit's surface.
Benefits of Wearing Undergarments
Yes, most surfers do. Wearing an extra layer of clothing under your wetsuit is helpful for the following reasons:
Some people prefer going bare under their wetsuits because wearing them already feels tight. However, wearing undergarments allows you to remove your wetsuit anywhere. Removing a wetsuit can take time. It’s awkward to do so while holding a towel to keep your private parts out of sight.
Also, you can feel too warm or even hot after being in the suit for some time. With undergarments or swimwear underneath, you can cool off and bring down your wetsuit tops for a while wherever you are.
Underclothing protects your intimate areas, especially if you're wearing a rented wetsuit.
Sports underwear can prevent chafing produced by the seams or other materials inside the suit.
- Added insulation
Although you've already picked a thicker wetsuit for surfing in cold waters, you might need swimwear underneath to keep you warmer.
Here are the different garments you can put on before getting into your wetsuit, especially if you think that the thin layer of water that it traps against your skin won't get warm enough with your body heat.
- Underwear suitable for watersports (not made of cotton)
- Swimsuits (for women)
- Surfshirts or rashguards
- Sleeveless vest
- Diving or bicycle shorts
- Tight swimming trunks (men)
- Full-body jumpsuit
Check the thickness of your undergarment as more material can restrict movement and make you feel warmer than needed during summer.
Shop at Buell Surf
Buell Surf's wetsuits use limestone-based Ninja Neoprene, which is among the softest and most lightweight neoprene out there. Its water absorption is 30% less than average rubber, making it a quick-dry brand.
Its fullsuits feature a plush and waffle-like interior lining that combines warmth and comfort. You get more flexibility when paddling as the liner doesn’t cover the sleeves, only the upper legs, and main torso.Our wetsuits come in varying thicknesses and at the best price range to suit your local water temperature and personal preference. Check our collection online or visit any of our outlets today.