I surfed around new years in rhode island with my year-old 4/3 excel, a hooded vest, 5 mm boots and 3 mm gloves. my hands were stupid cold after 2 and a half hours but the rest of my body was fine in 40 degree water. i'm not saying do as i do. 7 mm gloves would have made a big difference, i think i'm going to get a pair....
i went out this morning, this is the coldest water i've been in so far due to a lack of gear but i was in for a little over 2 hours with a 4/3, 6.5mm boots and 5mm lobster claws. for the first 45 minutes i was warm, later on i didn't get cold enough to shiver but i wouldn't say i was warm. not having a hood kind of gave me a headache
One thing I always recommend is to tuck your boots and your gloves INTO your wetsuit. keeps the water flowing up and down your body instead of just flushing fresh cold water directly into your hands and feet every time you submerge.
Yeah. It makes it a lot easier if you put on your gloves first then put a plastic bag over it and it'll slide right through the sleeve, so that way it won't be a pain to get the sleeve of the glove all flattened out. It's not worth it to use this method with booties because of the rubber soles and velcro straps (it's just easier to put wetsuit on first, then peel up the bottom of the leg sleeves and slip on the booties. I found once while trying to loan a friend gloves in the water that when he gave me back the gloves because they wouldn't go on, that if you just put them back on over the sleeves (My hands were cold and it was SUPER hard to get them back under), they'll slip off (at least a little).
i recomend the 5/4 xcel drylock with 5mm 3 finger gloves and 7mm booties. all interior seams are taped so water will not get in and also your skin wont get irritated from the stitches. Plus the tape they use is super smooth, light and warms up quickly. The suit has a waterproof zipper and keeps cold water out. Definitaly has one of the most plush interiors. enviromently friendly limestone based neopreene and hydro electric factory. Most importantly get the right size, snug but not stretched to the max.