Getting prepped for the UK’s autumn and winter weather changes with the right wetsuit and accessories is essential. Every UK surfer faces the catch-22 situation of huge autumn and winter swells but extremely cold weather that makes getting into the water and staying in there that bit more difficult. That’s why it is important that you have the right gear so you can get in the water and stay just as warm as you were in the summer months.
5MM Full-Length Wetsuit
Thickness: A thicker and longer wetsuit is all important for the autumn and winter months. Whereas in summer you may been using a thinner 3mm wetsuit, a 5mm wetsuit will provide you with the additional insulation needed to maintain body heat levels. By having thicker neoprene, the body’s heat radiation does not expel from the wetsuit as quickly or easily.
Fit: Just as important as the thickness of the suit, a wetsuit needs to fit right. Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water between your skin and the neoprene. As your body heats up, the thin layer of water around you heats up, which helps you to stay warm. If you have a poor fitting suit, cold water will constantly flush the warm water out, meaning it will be much harder to stay warm.
Length: In the UK’s autumn and winter months, a shorty wetsuit will not be enough to keep you warm. That’s why we recommend you buy a full-length wetsuit. A full length wetsuit provides full coverage of the body, in comparison to a shorty that only cover the legs and arms partly.
A rash vest or rashie is a great addition to a water sports enthusiast’s arsenal for any season. Great for providing sun protection in the summer and an extra layer to keep you warm in the autumn and winter. The extra layer not only helps you to maintain your body heat, it also makes getting in and out of your wetsuit a hell of a lot easier. Great for when you’re getting changed in some icy winds!
There have always been myths that we loss 50% of our heat from our heads. Although the figure is more like 10%, it can be said that an exposed cranium results in increased core cooling rates, which is backed up by studies suggesting that the head is more susceptible to changes in temperature than any other part of the body. A wetsuit hood is essential then for maintaining body heat when faced with a dramatic change in water temperature.
Just like you would in cold conditions on land, a Wetsuit Glove is a great piece of kit of cold water conditions. Having cold hands can sometimes make it almost impossible to do things. Feeling for your board or gripping hold of your paddle in a kayak may prove particularly difficult. Not only do they act in the same way as your wetsuit, they also provide extra grip.
Perfect for being worn under a wetsuit boot or when wearing fins, a Wetsuit Sock provides that extra bit of thermal insulation. Just like hands, feet are one of the first areas of the body to have reduced blood flow as the body tries to direct warm blood to the core. That’s why a low cost wetsuit sock can provide an affordable but very effective solution to the harshest of conditions.