Although it is the dream of many surfers to spend their days with only board shorts or a bikini on, ripping up the waves under the tropical sun, this is not the reality for most of us.
For many surfers, summertime brings warmer weather, and with it, warmer water, which makes surfing in our 6mm winter suits like sitting in a sauna wrapped in a blanket.
Summer suites are perfect for warm weather as they will prevent you from overheating while protecting you from the elements.
Take a look at some of the best summer wetsuits on the market, and prepare for the sunny days to come.
What Is a Summer Wetsuit?
A wetsuit can be considered a “summer wetsuit” when the neoprene is 3mm or thinner.
Summer wetsuits come in varying shapes such as full suits, short arms, long johns, shorty, and more.
The main purpose of a summer wetsuit is to keep you insulated without causing you to overheat.
Although these suits are thin, they will protect you from the sun’s UV, wind chill, the ocean floor, and potential sea life such as jellyfish and sea lice.
11 Top Best Summer Wetsuits
- Hurley Advantage Plus (Best full suit)
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Eco Spring Suit (Best shorty)
- Volcom Stone Neo Wetsuit Jacket (Best wetsuit jacket)
- Roxy Pop Surf Chest Zip Wetsuit (Best full suit)
- O’Neill Cruise Bz Ls Long Spring Suit (Best Long-Short)
- Rip Curl Women’s Dawn Patrol Spring Suit (Best Shorty)
- Roxy Rise Collection Front Zip Long Jane Spring Suit (Best Long Jane)
- Rip Curl Junior Girl Gbomb Sub Ls Spring Suit
- Project Blank Boys High-Performance Streamer
- Roxy Prologue Girls Bz Streamer
- Rip Curl Groms Omega Short Sleeve Spring Suit
Top Best Summer Wetsuits for Men
Hurley Advantage Plus (Best full suit)
Depending on where you live, summertime might not be sunbathing weather, and although it is warmer, the ocean still has a chill.
Hurley, being one of the leaders in art, surf, and lifestyle accessories, provides the Advantage Plus, a 3/2mm top entry wetsuit perfect for the transition months before and after summer.
The wetsuit is 80% neoprene and 20% nylon which allows more breathability without sacrificing stretch.
|0.5mm neoprene tape, hand glued along seems for added protection||Could be too thick for the tropics or warmer climates|
|Full body protection from sun and sea hazards|
|Hidden key pocket on the lower leg|
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Eco Spring Suit (Best Shorty)
Wetsuits with short arms and legs (shorty) have become more and more popular among surfers, and water boat sports lovers alike.
With your arms and legs free you will have maximum flexibility in your limbs while the neoprene keeps your vital areas insulated and warm.
Rip Curl’s front entry Dawn Patrol is a 2mm E5 neoprene wetsuit ideal for those spring and summer months.
|IGBS (glued and blind stitched) with stress point tape on seems||Does not provide full protection from the sun or cold breezes on windy days|
|Provides Improved flexibility of your arms and legs||2mm shorty will not suit summer in colder climates|
|Easy to put on and remove|
|Internal key pocket|
Volcom Stone Neo Wetsuit Jacket (Best Wetsuit Jacket)
Perfect for those hot summer days when there is a slight chill in the air, Volcom’s Stone Neo jacket is the perfect 2mm wetsuit jacket.
Made with neoprene and including water-tight wrist and neck seals, this jacket will suit you well when spending hours under the sun in tropical waters.
|Glued and blind stitched seams for added durability||Waist drawstring does not seal as well as neck and wrist seals and is therefore likely to let in more water|
|Water-resistant neck and wrist seals||Only useful in warm water as it does not provide much insulation|
|Drawstring at the waist|
|50+ UV protection|
Top Best Summer Wetsuits for Women
Roxy Pop Surf Chest Zip Wetsuit (Best full suit)
When it comes to women’s surf apparel and accessories, everyone has heard of Roxy, and for good reason.
Bringing some of the best surf merchandise to the market, a Roxy wetsuit will not disappoint.
The Pop Surf wetsuit by Roxy is a top entry, chest zip. 3/2 mm suit, perfect for those spring days when the water is warming up, but you are not yet ready for your shorty.
Made with recycled polyester external lining, internal fleece lining around the body and upper arms, and 100% Stretch Flight X3 neoprene, this is without a doubt a top-class summer wetsuit.
|Fused edges on neck, wrists, and ankles protect seams from fraying||Fleece lining may cause you to become too warm on hotter days|
|Exto-Flex knee pads to reduce breaking down from friction||Only available in blue|
|Flush lock 2.0 seals on wrists and ankles|
|Internal fleece lining|
O’Neill Cruise Bz Ls Long Spring Suit (Best Long-Short)
One of the more popular summer wetsuit styles among warm-weather women surfers is the Long/Short cut.
Acting like a 2mm full-length wetsuit from the waist up, and a short from the hips down, the O’Neil Cruise will keep your vital areas insulated, protect you from sun’s UV, and act as a second layer against sea life.
All of this while allowing your legs to be free, ensuring you do not overheat, and providing maximum flexibility.
|Short legs allow for flexibility as well as cooling||Zero protection from the elements from the hips down|
|Smooth Skin / Ultraflex DS Neoprene|
|Provides full upper-body coverage|
Rip Curl Women’s Dawn Patrol Spring Suit (Best Shorty)
Rips Curls Dawn Patrol is an amazing shorty, with a design for both men and women.
With short arms, short legs, and a 2mm thickness, this is the perfect alternative for when your long-short suit becomes too warm.
Made with E4 Free-flex neoprene and E-stitch seems, this is a quality shorty that is perfect for surfing both on waves or behind a boat.
|GBS with stress point tape on seams||Shorty wetsuits are not suitable for summers in colder climates|
|Mesh skin panels||Provides limited protection from the elements|
Roxy Rise Collection Front Zip Long Jane Spring Suit (Best Long Jane)
If you are the type that prefers to remain mostly covered up while surfing, but find yourself constantly overheating in a full-length 2mm wetsuit, then a Long Jane suit could be a solution.
Acting as a full-length wetsuit (except for the arms) and only 1.5mm thick, the Roxy Rinse Long Jane is perfect to protect yourself from the sun on the hottest days.
With a front zip entry, and Stretch Flight 2 neoprene, this suit is easy to take on and off, flexible, but yet surprisingly insulating.
|Limestone-derivative, eco-friendly neoprene made from scrap rubber tires and Bluesign® certified||This suit is not designed to keep you warm, but rather to provide protection from the sun, wind, and ocean hazards|
|The 1.5mm suit provides sun and wind protection without causing you to overheat||Front zip can become annoying when paddling|
|Front zip makes taking the suit on and off a simple task|
|Free shoulders make paddling easier|
Top Best Summer Wetsuits for Kids
Summer is the perfect time of the year to take the family to the beach, but it is also the most important time to protect yourself from the sun.
The Rip Curl Junior Girl Gbomb is a Long-short spring suit, perfect for your young daughter.
This wetsuit will keep the chill from their bones, protect them from the sun, all the while providing them with the freedom to play in the water and run around the beach.
|Provides upper body protection from the sun while allowing the rest of the body to be free||Does not provide full-body protection|
|Front zip makes entry and exits easy|
|Made with E5 neoprene material|
Made with Supreme Stretch Eco-limestone neoprene this suit does not make use of the petro-chemicals so popular with other wetsuits.
Being a full-length 3/2 suit, the high-performance streamer by project blank is the perfect suit to get your sun on the waves as the weather begins to heat up.
|Anti-slip cuff tape on the arms and legs helps prevent flushing||Project blank is a relatively new wetsuit manufacturer|
|Thermaflex taping & reinforcement dots for added durability.||Maybe too hot for warmer, tropical climates|
|Thermal lining in the chest area provides added warmth.|
As mentioned before, Roxy is a name to be reckoned with when it comes to surf gear for women, and they have not forgotten the younger generations.
The Prologue is a 3/2mm full-length wetsuit, perfect for the winter to summer transition months, or surfing in cooler climates during summer.
With Flatlock seams, Hyperstretch 3.0 on the arms and lower legs, and Supratex knee pads, this summer wetsuit is perfect for young girls and teens alike.
|Hyperstretch 3.0 for added flexibility around the arms and legs||Available sizes are limited|
|Full body protection|
|YKK #10 plastic zip|
Available in both blue and pink, the Groms Omega from Rip Curl will help keep your smallest children warm and protected while playing at the beach during summer.
This 1.5mm wetsuit is ideal for toddlers of all genders as it will allow them to freely experience the ocean, sand, and sunshine, all while remaining warm and shielded from the sun.
The suit makes use of ultra-light neoprene and flexloc stitched seams which keep the wetsuit durable while remaining unrestricted.
What to Look For When Buying a Summer Wetsuit
Before you head out to the store to buy a wetsuit for summer you should first consider what type of wetsuit you will need.
The location, time of year, and general climate should all be considered before buying a new wetsuit.
- Insulation and Wetsuit Thickness: If you will be surfing closer to the equator, chances are that you will not be wanting to use a 3/2mm full-length wetsuit.
If your wetsuit is too thick or provides too much cover in warm water, you could quickly find yourself becoming overheated.
This can be at best, uncomfortable, but in severe cases can lead to heatstroke.
Similarly, if you find yourself surfing in the UK during summer, a shorty wetsuit will likely still leave you shivering.
- Sun Protection: The heat is not all you should consider when buying a summer wetsuit.
UV from the sun is well known to be a cause of skin cancer, and it is important that we take precautions against it.
If you are surfing in an area with high UV levels or sun exposure, you may want to consider using a wetsuit that provides more cover, such as a 2mm full suit, or a short-long cut wetsuit.
- Ocean Hazards: It is important to consider where you will be spending most of your time surfing before you buy a wetsuit.
If you are going to be spending your summer days surfing over a sandy-bottom beach break, then a simple wetsuit jacket could be all you need.
However, if your favorite surf spot is above a sharp shallow reef, surfing with limited protection from the coral and rocks may not be the best choice.
When Should I Use a Summer Wetsuit?
The exact timing for when you should move from your thicker winter wetsuit to your thinner summer suit is entirely up to you as it will depend on your personal comfort level, as well as the general climate at your location.
That being said, the chart below provides suggested wetsuit thicknesses for different water
|Water Temperature (°F)||Wetsuit Thickness||Suggested Wetsuit|
|65 – 75||0.5mm – 2/1mm||Jacket/ Shorty/ Long short|
|62 – 68||2mm – 3/2mm||Spring Suit/ Full Suit|
|58 – 63||3/2mm – 4/3mm||Full Suit & Boots|
|52 – 58||4/3mm – 5/4/3mm||Full Suit, Boots, Gloves & Hood|
|43 – 52||5/4mm||Full Suit, Boots, Gloves & Hood|
|42 and below||6/5mm +||Full Suit, Boots, Gloves & Hood|
As you can see, the above suggested wetsuit thicknesses provided by Evo suggest using a summer suit once water temperatures reach approximately 62 °F – 68 °F (16 °C – 20 °C).
Above this, you should consider the air temperature, wind speed, and your susceptibility to the cold.
Choosing the right wetsuit for the conditions you will be surfing in will make a huge difference to your surfing.
Just as it is uncomfortable to surf with a wetsuit that does not keep you warm, surfing with a wetsuit that is too thick can be just as annoying.
Thicker wetsuits tend to be less flexible, bulkier, and can quickly lead you to overheat during warmer months.
If you live in a climate with large changes between summer and winter, you should consider finding a wetsuit that keeps you sufficiently warm during winter, as well as a suitable summer wetsuit for when the temperatures begin to rise.