Womens 2019/2020 Winter Wetsuit Guide
Words by Secret Spot
on 11/11/2019 13:05:13
We caught up with Head surf coach at Scarborough surf School and Secret spot team member Tori, to hear all about the latest range of women’s winter wetsuits and what will keep you snug through the long winter months – Tori has over 15 years of surfing experience under her belt and has been coaching here in Scarborough for the past 7 years. Come rain or shine you’ll most likely always find her in the water.
“When I first became hooked on surfing here in Scarborough a blue moon ago the surf line up was rather sparsely populated by women. I could count the number of surf girls I might see throughout winter on one hand and the range of wetsuits readily available were even sparser. Fortunately, these days it’s a rather different story! There are more and more ladies popping up in our line up every year. It’s fantastic! and exactly as it should be! The development of women’s wetsuits has come such a long way. We’ve been heard and it’s given us an outstanding range of performance suits right on our doorstep that actually fit!”
There’s absolutely no reason for us to hold back from hitting the cold water all year round and what a good year we’ve had so far! Summer was very kind to us indeed I don’t think I went longer than a few days without a surf and Autumn certainly delivered – cranking waves more often than not! Following the year we’ve had here, I’d take our cold water and empty line ups over many warmer locations any day, and thanks to the awesome range of wetsuits that are now readily available, being cold isn’t an issue.
On the back of fitting and washing hundreds of wetsuits for customers, working in the surf industry certainly has its perks and I’ve been fortunate enough to have first pick of the best brands. I’m in the water teaching often all day long so a good quality wetsuit is paramount. Let’s face it we don’t live in the tropics here and its no-good scrimping on equipment in what can occasionally be sub-zero temperatures.”
We only stock the best womens winter wetsuits and when it comes to finding the right equipment for you, we know the industry inside out. All our stock is handpicked by us and this year Tori has been testing all our women’s winter wetsuits out – and has picked out her top 3 favourite women’s wetsuits for 2019/2020. I’ve based my top 3 winter wetsuits on Performance, Fit, Warmth, Flexibility and Durability and Value for money:
Those of you who know me are probably sick of me wittering about how much of a fan of O’Neill’s range this year. They’re my go to brand and certainly worth shouting about! So much so that I’ve bought myself a suit in every thickness for each season!
So, what’s all the fuss about? Firstly, the flexibility of ONeill’s new Techno butter neoprene is second to none. This buttery soft premium neoprene stretches like crazy! Its super lightweight with quick-dry properties and is by far the most comfortable suit on the market. It’s been a game changer for me!
The combination of the Techno butter 3 neoprene around your arms shoulders and calves with the TB-Air firewall insulating neoprene, which retains your body heat around your chest, back and thighs and keeps you warmer for longer creates the perfect balance and is the secret to this suit’s success! There’s absolutely no reason to compromise warmth over flexibility. This suit has it all!
We love this year’s feminine cut and tasteful splash of colour to brighten up those winter days!
Plus, there’s the added bonus of the watertight blind stitched, triple glued and 8mm silicon fluid weld seams perfectly holding it all together and the patented F.U.Z.E chest zip entry to top it off. Making this an all-round high-performance suit that’s reasonably priced and ultimately my first choice.
Xcel have been my most trusty brand for high end good quality suits throughout all my years of surfing and its pretty tough to top them especially for warmth and durability! This suit is our top seller amongst our hardy local community of cold water surf girls and it’s no coincidence!
The Upper body of the suit is built with Channel flex – Xcel’s newest material tech as well featuring ‘Radiant Rebound’ which uses a metal lining under the textile, that prevents cold temperatures from penetrating the outer layer. In addition, the Radiant Rebound reflects your body heat back inside the suit – keeping you in a constant state of warmth. This is a seriously high end piece of kit that’s just the thing for braving even the harshest of conditions. Love Xcel’s attention to detail in these suits!
From the engineered fit system that truly makes them fit like a second skin to the finer details such as the glide skin fitted hood, Nexskin wrist and ankle seals stopping any flushing and creating extra comfort, too the back knee flex grooves-preventing bunching or discomfort and the magnetic semi-dry zipper! It’s a in all in the detail and Xcel have nailed it!
What a blinder! C-Skins have blown us away this year! Their brand-new design has rewritten all expectations from a winter suit. I found this suit was an excellent fit. C-Skins’s clever design has eliminated any excess seams therefore providing ultra-comfort, flexibility and almost resistance free paddle zones.
Built with their exclusive Diamond flex neoprene and Dark Matter liquid skin throughout the chest, this suit is not only extra toasty and durable but also super flexible! Another example of fine technology and excellent design that was previously unseen for women in the line-up.
It’s true to its thickness and I’m certainly a fan of C-Skins choice to go with a 6/5/4mm design.
I’m known to be reluctant to have to wrap up in 6mm of neoprene In fear of feeling weighed down in the past but C-Skins have hit the nail on the head with this suit, diminishing all my fears and ultimately finding the ideal balance of both warmth and flexibility. Compromise is certainly a thing of the past and it doesn’t cost the earth! A massive thumbs up from me!
We all come in different shapes and sizes and all have different needs.. Whether you’re hitting the white water for the first time or shredding the local point. Whether you short, tall, curvy or slight. We have it covered. A good fitting suit is key to let it do its job correctly.
I would always recommend popping in store to try before you buy. We can give on the spot honest advice on the best brands and size for your body shape. If you can’t get to a store simply give us a call, we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. Gone are the days of poor fitting women’s suits! I myself am – lets say ‘vertically challenged’ – so in the past finding a suit the right length was tricky! Sound familiar? Well an O’Neill women’s wetsuit might be just what your looking for – their suits are available in short and tall lengths.
If that’s not the brand for you then just bare in mind that with most women’s suits the length of the suit increases as the dress size goes up ie, a size 6 tends to be a fair bit shorter in the arm/legs than a size 12 so its usually worth trying a couple of different sizes on.
Words by Tori Gower – Head Surf Coach and Store manager at www.scarboroughsurfschool.co.uk