I am in my sixties and started longboarding @18 months ago here in Florida near Sebastian Inlet. Of course I am totally hooked. Last winter I used a 3/2 Roxy wetsuit and wore a sleeveless 1 mm top under it. On windy days I wore a sleeveless zip up 2 mm vest. There were a few days I was barely warm enough.
I am thinking of getting a 4/3 for this winter as I bet the water and air will be colder than last winter.
Here's the question : if you wear a 1 mm sleeveless top under a 3/2 long suit, is it the same as wearing a 4/3 suit in terms of warmth. Or is it totally a different animal?
The 4/3 is 4mm at the core and 3mm for limbs, the 3/2 is 3mm at the core and 2mm for the limbs. With a 1mm sleeveless top under the 3/2 it would be like a 4/2 rather then a 4/3 as far as mathematics go. I think you would be warmer with a 4/3 because 1) it is thicker all around, and 2 it wouldn't be as bulky as having layers of gear on. Plus, if you get real cold, you can wear the 1mm sleeveless under the 4/3 and be extra toasty. In addition, some 4/3 suits have the optional hoodie you can attach if need be, but you are in Florida and Im not sure how cold it really gets down there.
as others have said, it would be more like a 4/2 than a 4/3. however, layering wetsuits is always a bad idea, b/c you end up w/ a far bulkier & cumbersome affair than you would w/ a proper wetsuit. i've done the hooded vest under my 4/3 thing here in nj & even found that to be more restrictive than normal; enough so that if a hood is needed, i'd rather wear a quid lid or my 5/4.
Okay, those are interesting points too. Know of a good 4/3 under $200 new for women? Are there certain things I should look for in a wetsuit? My 3/2 I got for $50 in a going outa business sale. I know that won't happen again.
I figure my 3/2 will do fine thru mid December and fine again in March.
a 3/2 should be all you need in So. Florida. Instead of going thicker, you should probably invest in some 2mm or 3mm booties for your tootsies. If the wind gets to you too much, consider a higher quality 3/2 with taped and glued seams, with a poly or charcoal inner liner for your core.
For a wide variety of inexpensive women's wetsuits, I provided a link: