All these guys are totally giving you trashy advice. My buddy got a 5/4 Quiksilver Cell from Chauncy's for $200 flat, so don't think you have to spend more than $300 on a suit. 5-15 surfs a year will not wear out your suit for years, and will definitely last you more than 10 if you take care of it, rinse it throughly when done. dry it properly, etc.
I wear a 3/2 Body Glove suit that has to be from the early 90's, possibly older, judging on the materials, colors and seamstyle. And I got that on eBay for less than $70. There was only hole in the crotch, but I simply stitched that up myself. And the suit has no dry rot, rips, tears, stretch-outs, nothing wrong with it.
Look for a used one first is my suggestion, that way you will save $$, you will not be buying virgin rubber, and they may still carry a warranty if something goes wrong. My second suggestion is definitely try several styles on, wherever you can do it, and decide which style, thickness you will require. 4/3 isn't too bad, but you may find yourself a little bit too warm and less flexible when the water gets warmer. 3/2 is definitely your best for all-around warmth, durability, and functionality.
Who gives a hoot if you're a noob/kook, ya gotta start somewhere. All these other goons did too.
just dish out the extra money and get the e3 bomb 4-3 thats what i got
inexpensive, stretchy, super warm.... buy a Rip Curl Fireskin and shut the fu*k up.
If I stretch the pocketbook a little more (into the $240 range) I could look at a few top shelf wetsuit models....a 3/2 Hyperflex AMP series or the 3/2 Jet Pilot Chamber Elite. These 2 also have a water repellent technology included (which I've read from others really does work well) with 100% stretch, sealed/taped seams and poly fleece lined on the inside. In other words...all of the bells and whistles. Does anyone know or talked to anyone who has either Hyperflex or Jet Pilot wetsuits? Being "cold" rather easily, I'm just leaning more towards a 4/3 I suppose, but if alot of you feel a top-quality 3/2 model would keep my boney-a$$ warm in April and November than I guess I'll consider a few of those when I go to try some on.
A 3/2 will not keep you warm in april. we are a week away from april and most sane people are in full winter gear still.
go to a surf shop ask around . dont b a kook in and out of the water
go for the amp 4.3