If you’re going surfing for the first time, you might be wondering what you should wear for your first time riding the waves. While we tend to see surfers in movies wearing bikinis and Speedo’s, this isn’t always the best course of action, especially for a novice surfer. So, what should you invest in before you take your first lesson?
The key is to wear something which keeps you warm, rash-free, and comfortable. Here are our top tips to get you started with your surfing wardrobe.
Shorts And A Vest
Board shorts are always a good choice if you’re surfing in a warm climate. Boardies come in several styles and if you choose a pair that are lightweight, stretchy, and quick-drying, they’ll take you to and from the beach easily. When it comes to your upper body, you might want to consider wearing a rash guard shirt. This will not only stop you from getting sunburned, but it’ll also help to prevent you from developing the painful condition known as surf rash.
Surfing In Cold Weather
Not everyone goes surfing in glorious sunshine. Surfing can be just as much fun in a colder climate, but you’ll need to find ways to keep yourself warm. If you’re chilly in boardshorts, wearing a neoprene vest could be a good solution. In windy weather, your upper body will get cold if it’s out of the sea. A vest won’t inhibit your arms or shoulders, but your body will stay toasty. They’re also good at preventing surf rash and are very affordable. Alternatively, if you’d rather keep your arms warm, why not opt for a neoprene jacket instead? Covering your full arms, you can pair it with your boardshorts and there’ll be no wind chill even if you’re wet.
What About A Wet Suit?
If you’ve seen surfers in the water wearing wet suits, you might be wondering whether you should wear one yourself. That very much depends on where and when you’ll be surfing. In fall and spring, when the weather and water are cool, you might want a spring suit, With a 2mm thickness of neoprene across the chest as well as 1mm in the legs and arms, a spring suit will keep you warm out of season. It will cover our arms to the elbow and legs to the knees. You won’t have any restrictions but you will stay comfortable in cold water. There are also long sleeve versions that are more restrictive but better on a windy day.
If you’re surfing in cold weather or cold waters, a full suit is the answer. This classic wetsuit has long arms and legs. There are two thicknesses available – 4:3 and 3:2. There is even a hooded full wetsuit available which will keep your head wonderfully warm too on the coldest days.
What About Accessories?
There are a few key accessories that will make all the difference to your surfing experience. Let’s look at what you should wear on your feet, for example. When you participate in other sports, wearing appropriate footwear is important. When you go surfing you need some booties on your feet that keep your feet warm and protect your toes from reefs, sea urchins, and rocks. You should also consider a pair of surfing gloves so your hands stay warm on the coldest days. When your hands are numb you won’t be able to grip your surfboard or paddle properly.
Protecting Your Head
Not everyone covers their head when they surf, however, there are a few options. You could opt for a hood that will keep your head warm on cold days. They are available separate from a wetsuit as well as ones that are attached to the wetsuit. They can feel quite restricting so aren’t very popular with surfers except those in very cold climates. Some surfers choose to wear a baseball cap to protect themselves from the sun – they can prevent it from falling off by strapping it onto their heads. While wearing a helmet could help to prevent an injury during a wipe-out, they aren’t popular among the surfing community.
Now you know what you should be wearing, it’s time to hit the waves!