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Product Reviews

Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021

Stay Warm With The Best Wetsuit Brands For Surfing

Having a good wetsuit is one of the most important elements of a good surf session.  Keeping your muscles and body warm improves coordination, blood flow, cramp and injury reduction, and overall fun!

There are several brands and styles to choose from, so it can be a bit confusing.  Typically the people I know tend to choose one brand and stick with it because it seems to fit them best or they find it more comfortable.

Since wetsuits are so personal it’s hard to pick the absolute best, so we have put up a few of the top choices.  Personally I like Xcel and O’Neill because they fit me best, but you’ll find as many reasons to buy other brands out there from other surfers.  With that said, here are our top picks for the best wetsuits for surfing for the 2019 and 2020 winter seasons and beyond!

Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 1

Wetsuit buying tips:

  • When looking for suits, you should determine how often you surf, what price point you can afford, and what water temperatures you’ll be surfing in.
  • Know that taped and stitchless suits are much warmer, but break down faster and are more expensive.
  • Stitched suits aren’t as warm but tend to last longer and are cheaper.
  • Back zip suits are not as warm as chest zip and zipperless suits, but back zip suits are cheaper.
  • Most wetsuits these days are extremely flexible, and even low end suits are quite good–so if you’re a beginner, start there.
  • If you’re an avid surfer, however, you’ll probably lean more towards the warmest and most flexible suits available.
  • Check out our article about the best wetsuits for women.
  • Please note, in the tables below I have picked ONE wetsuit to illustrate each company’s wetsuit lines.  Unfortunately there are so many varieties and also men’s womens’ and children’s suits that it would be impossible to put them all into tables.  All of the text links point to general pages where you will find all the sizes, thicknesses, women’s mens, etc, and the examples in the graphic tables link to those specific suits.

    The Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2020:

    Xcel

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 2

    Xcel wetsuits are my favorite, and the suit I’ve been personally wearing for years.  They fit super well, dry fast, and they’re warm.  The only downside that I’ve found with these suits are that they don’t tend to last very long before the taping starts to deteriorate, but I’ve also found that happens with ALL taped suits.  Make sure you rinse your suits after every session to ensure that they last as long as possible.  If they do start to break down, you can ship your wetsuit back to Xcel for repair or replacement.

    Photo
    Top Tier
    XCEL 5/4mm Men's DRYLOCK Hooded Fullsuit - 2019
    Mid Range
    XCEL Drylock X 3/2mm Wetsuit - Men's Black, LS
    Entry Level
    O'Neill Mens 3/2mm Reactor Back Zip Full Wetsuit,Black, Medium
    Name
    XCEL 5/4mm Men's DRYLOCK Hooded Fullsuit - 2019
    XCEL Drylock X 3/2mm Wetsuit - Men's Black, LS
    O'Neill Mens 3/2mm Reactor Back Zip Full Wetsuit,Black, Medium
    Top Tier
    Photo
    XCEL 5/4mm Men's DRYLOCK Hooded Fullsuit - 2019
    Name
    XCEL 5/4mm Men's DRYLOCK Hooded Fullsuit - 2019
    See On Amazon
    Mid Range
    Photo
    XCEL Drylock X 3/2mm Wetsuit - Men's Black, LS
    Name
    XCEL Drylock X 3/2mm Wetsuit - Men's Black, LS
    See On Amazon
    Entry Level
    Photo
    O'Neill Mens 3/2mm Reactor Back Zip Full Wetsuit,Black, Medium
    Name
    O'Neill Mens 3/2mm Reactor Back Zip Full Wetsuit,Black, Medium
    See On Amazon

     

    O’Neill

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 3

    I also have a few O’Neill wetsuits in my quiver, and they are another one of my favorite wetsuit brands.  O’Neill was the first ever wetsuit brand, based out of Santa Cruz, and they have consistently paved the way for neoprene technology in the surf industry.  I really like the O’riginal line, which has a retro smoothskin style.  O’riginal suits are more for summer, however.  Their most advanced and warmest suit line is the Psycho Freak, with several mid and low range suits such as the Hyperfreak and the Psycho One.

    Photo
    Top Tier
    O'Neill Psycho Freak Z.E.N. Zip 3/2 Wetsuit - Men's Black/Black/Black/Black, MT
    Mid Range
    O'Neill Hyperfreak 3/2+ mm Chest Zip Full Wetsuit Black/Black MD (5'9"-5'11", 150-170 lbs)
    Entry Level
    O'Neill Mens Hammer 3/2mm Back Zip Wetsuit, Black, 3X-Large
    Name
    O'Neill Psycho Freak Z.E.N. Zip 3/2 Wetsuit - Men's Black/Black/Black/Black, MT
    O'Neill Hyperfreak 3/2+ mm Chest Zip Full Wetsuit Black/Black MD (5'9"-5'11", 150-170 lbs)
    O'Neill Mens Hammer 3/2mm Back Zip Wetsuit, Black, 3X-Large
    Top Tier
    Photo
    O'Neill Psycho Freak Z.E.N. Zip 3/2 Wetsuit - Men's Black/Black/Black/Black, MT
    Name
    O'Neill Psycho Freak Z.E.N. Zip 3/2 Wetsuit - Men's Black/Black/Black/Black, MT
    See On Amazon
    Mid Range
    Photo
    O'Neill Hyperfreak 3/2+ mm Chest Zip Full Wetsuit Black/Black MD (5'9"-5'11", 150-170 lbs)
    Name
    O'Neill Hyperfreak 3/2+ mm Chest Zip Full Wetsuit Black/Black MD (5'9"-5'11", 150-170 lbs)
    See On Amazon
    Entry Level
    Photo
    O'Neill Mens Hammer 3/2mm Back Zip Wetsuit, Black, 3X-Large
    Name
    O'Neill Mens Hammer 3/2mm Back Zip Wetsuit, Black, 3X-Large
    See On Amazon

     

    Rip Curl

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 4

    Rip Curl suits are another extremely popular brand.  Known for being very fast drying and flexible, Rip Curl suits offer an extended line of entry to elite level suits.  Most people I know that wear Rip Curl suits are extremely loyal to the brand.  Remember, sometimes suit fits can be very brand specific for your body type, so it does pay to try one on if you haven’t purchased that brand before.  Rip Curl suits are also known for their bright color options.

    Photo
    Top Tier
    Rip Curl Flashbomb 4/3 Hooded STMR Wetsuits, Small, Black/Black
    Mid Range
    Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Back Zip 4/3 Wetsuit, Black, Small
    Entry Level
    Rip Curl Omega 3/2 Back Zip Fullsuit Wetsuit
    Title
    Rip Curl Flashbomb 4/3 Hooded STMR Wetsuits, Small, Black/Black
    Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Back Zip 4/3 Wetsuit, Black, Small
    Rip Curl Omega 3/2 Back Zip Fullsuit Wetsuit
    Top Tier
    Photo
    Rip Curl Flashbomb 4/3 Hooded STMR Wetsuits, Small, Black/Black
    Title
    Rip Curl Flashbomb 4/3 Hooded STMR Wetsuits, Small, Black/Black
    See On Amazon
    Mid Range
    Photo
    Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Back Zip 4/3 Wetsuit, Black, Small
    Title
    Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Back Zip 4/3 Wetsuit, Black, Small
    See On Amazon
    Entry Level
    Photo
    Rip Curl Omega 3/2 Back Zip Fullsuit Wetsuit
    Title
    Rip Curl Omega 3/2 Back Zip Fullsuit Wetsuit
    See On Amazon

     

    Billabong

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 5

    Billabong wetsuits have been around for ages, and are another leading brand in the surf world.  They have an extended line of suits catered to all skill levels and price points, and also offer industry standard warranty on their suit integrity.  The women’s Salty Dayz line offers great suits with fun prints.

    Photo
    Top Tier
    Billabong Men's 4/3 Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Fullsuit Black X-Large
    Mid Ranges
    Billabong Mens 3/2mm Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Wetsuit Camo - Thermal Warm Heat Layer Layers Furnace Lining Quick Dry
    Entry Level
    Billabong Men's Foil 3/2 Back Zip Flat Stitch Seam Full Wetsuit, Black, Large
    Fun Women's Suits
    Billabong Women's Standard Spring Fever Long Sleeve Springsuit, Serape, 6
    Title
    Billabong Men's 4/3 Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Fullsuit Black X-Large
    Billabong Mens 3/2mm Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Wetsuit Camo - Thermal Warm Heat Layer Layers Furnace Lining Quick Dry
    Billabong Men's Foil 3/2 Back Zip Flat Stitch Seam Full Wetsuit, Black, Large
    Billabong Women's Standard Spring Fever Long Sleeve Springsuit, Serape, 6
    Top Tier
    Photo
    Billabong Men's 4/3 Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Fullsuit Black X-Large
    Title
    Billabong Men's 4/3 Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Fullsuit Black X-Large
    Mid Ranges
    Photo
    Billabong Mens 3/2mm Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Wetsuit Camo - Thermal Warm Heat Layer Layers Furnace Lining Quick Dry
    Title
    Billabong Mens 3/2mm Furnace Revolution Chest Zip Wetsuit Camo - Thermal Warm Heat Layer Layers Furnace Lining Quick Dry
    Entry Level
    Photo
    Billabong Men's Foil 3/2 Back Zip Flat Stitch Seam Full Wetsuit, Black, Large
    Title
    Billabong Men's Foil 3/2 Back Zip Flat Stitch Seam Full Wetsuit, Black, Large
    Fun Women's Suits
    Photo
    Billabong Women's Standard Spring Fever Long Sleeve Springsuit, Serape, 6
    Title
    Billabong Women's Standard Spring Fever Long Sleeve Springsuit, Serape, 6

    Patagonia

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 6

    Patagonia builds their brand on eco-friendly neoprene, leaving the smallest environmental footprint per wetsuit.  In general, neoprene wetsuits are not the most eco-friendly to produce and recycle, and Patagonia has set out to create wetsuits made from natural rubber technology that is extremely environmentally friendly.  These suits also have a reputation for great warmth and durability.

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 7
    The Patagonia Yulex

     

    Matuse

    Best Wetsuits For Surfing 2021 8

    Matuse suits are a high end brand, focusing on the best materials and craftsmanship.  These suits are expensive, but make up for it in terms of warmth, lightness, and flexibility.  Although a newer brand, Matuse made a huge impact on the wetsuit market when they entered the industry, quickly becoming a household name in terms of premium rubber.  Matuse suits have streamlined cuts and generally come in all-black.

    • Best Bet: Matuse Dante Geoflex

     

    Hayley Gordon

    Hayley is an avid surfer and the founder of this website. She splits her time surfing between Encinitas, CA and Montauk, NY.

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    10 Comments

    1. I tried on a diving wetsuit before just to see whether it plausible and had a horrible experience. It had knee pads that were limiting and hard, maybe not the kind of movement which you do while surfing.

      If you’re interested which wetsuit I tried on: Waterproof 5mm Lynx Jumpsuit

    2. There is another excellent brand called Secondskin, custom made in Braunton, Devon, UK.
      Served me well over many years.

    3. Hi Hayley,
      Do you have any idea or information about the liquid seal supplier for the surfing wetsuit ?
      we are surfing wetsuit manufacturer, the reasonable cost is our advantages, many customers asked for the liquid seal wetsuit, but we can’t find the suitable supplier that able to provide the good liquid seal chemicals.

    4. Hi Hayley,
      Now I am 6’2, 155 lbs, 37” chest 32” waist. I have had wetsuit of O’Neill, Henderson, Blue Seventy. But now I can not wear them because they are too small, I’ve had them two years ago. Do you think wetsuit of Matuse suitable for me?
      Thank you.

    5. Have you heard anything about the brands; need essentials, Feral, Adelio. I am in the market for a new 3/2. I have been surfing for 15 years or so based out of San Clemente. I have had Excel, Quicksilver, and Rip Curl wetsuits. I have been interested in something different lately. Looked into Patagonia but not stoked on the price. I surf probably 2-5 times a week depending on waves. Just interested in your opinion if you have a suggestion on a off brand wetsuit.

      Thanks!!

      1. Hey Bradley, my friend got a free suit from Feral a month or two ago and told me it was really good and warm. Not sure about Adelio or Need, but have heard good things about Need. You can also check out Reunion. You can hit him up for measurements and custom fit, but it’s a bit more expensive. They make sick looking suits though: http://www.intermission-info.com/reunion/ . I should add these to this post soon.

      2. I have the fully lined NeedEssentials 4/3 with a hood for Pacific Northwest. It is a great suit and very reasonable.
        I have a 5.5/4 Patagonia for dead of winter days in Washington State, but the 4/3 NeedEssentials is a good suit also. Get the fully lined model. It doesn’t cost much more and is toasty warm.

        1. Yep, have heard great things from a few of my friends! Have not tried one myself yet, but intend to soon.

      3. Adelio is upmarket (i.e. pricing is more in line with top tier models of brands mentioned in this article), NEED is down market (i.e. low end entry pricing). Both are Australian brands, NEED only sells online, Adelio (to my knowledge) also sells in a few local stores. Both are excellent quality. Due to pricing NEED appears to becoming the talk of the town at my local beach.

        Another Australian brand to consider is Ocean & Earth, mid range pricing but excellent quality (not sure if they ship outside AU). They mostly focus on surfing hardware, they claim to have the worlds strongest legropes.

        I currently use a Rip Curl Dawn Patrol but needed to get it repaired under warranty after a month due to some bad stitching (customer service was terrible so that was the last time I spent any money with Rip Curl!). 8 months in the neck is already falling apart. Next buy will be NEED and O&E (I’m Australian and prefer to support local!).

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