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  1. #1

    Best Wet Suit for Mid Atlantic

    'Afternoon,

    Just wondering if you all could give me some ideas on a wet suit for a gal wanting to surf as many months out of the year in Virginia as I can. I'm looking to buy one suit that is versatile and will keep me warm. I notice the water temps here are about 40 degrees now but I remember surfing mid-sixties water temp last October with a long sleeve 1mm shirt and board shorts.

    Any advice? I am a first time buyer if that helps so I am pretty much wetsuit dumb.....
    Thanks in advance for the help

  2. #2
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    I'd go with a 4/3

  3. #3
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    You can, I guess, get one suit that you can use all different times, but that's not logical. Your best bet is to figure out when you surf the most and if you surf year round then to get a couple suits.

    There's a mighty difference between mid-60's and 40's when it comes to the water.

  4. #4
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    It really all depends on how long you would like to stay out during the year. Here are some basic guidelines for wet suit thickness in the Virginia area.

    Trunks - july through september.
    3/2 - end of May, June, October, beginning of November (maybe).
    4/3 - April, May, November, December
    5/3 - Jan, Feb, Mar

    As far as brands go... there are lots of quality options. The best suit is usually the one that fits you best, so I would go to a local shop and give some a try.

  5. #5
    Your probably going to hear a lot of grom idiocy during this thread. But take it from a vet. Get a good 4/3. By far the most versatile suit you could own. Oneil's 4/3 Mutant is probably the best because you can remove the hood for warmer temps. Xcel also makes a great 4/3, they make them with or without a hood. Of course you'll need a hood,boots,gloves for 40. The 4/3 is great from low 40's to upper 50's which constitute 2/3 of the year. 3/2's and 5/4's total about 4 months of actual necessity here in NJ(maybe 2mo.s for each respectively). VA water is a bit warmer.
    Last edited by Salty J; Feb 11, 2009 at 05:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rgnsup View Post
    You can, I guess, get one suit that you can use all different times, but that's not logical. Your best bet is to figure out when you surf the most and if you surf year round then to get a couple suits.

    There's a mighty difference between mid-60's and 40's when it comes to the water.
    yes that's very true. you lose body heat 20 times faster in water than in air.

  7. #7
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    I've never had to wear thicker than a 4/3 in MD.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salty J View Post
    Your probably going to hear a lot of grom idiocy during this thread. But take it from a vet. Get a good 4/3. By far the most versatile suit you could own. Oneil's 4/3 Mutant is probably the best because you can remove the hood for warmer temps. Xcel also makes a great 4/3, they make them with or without a hood. Of course you'll need a hood,boots,gloves for 40. The 4/3 is great from low 40's to upper 50's which constitute 2/3 of the year. 3/2's and 5/4's total about 4 months of actual necessity here in NJ(maybe 2mo.s for each respectively). VA water is a bit warmer.
    i resent that. but remember when u put all that rubber on you can go a little lower in water temps. because for me down in the southeastern i can wear a 4/3 5/4 boots and 2 mill gloves and go into the 40s as in water temp with cold temps outside and a 3 mill hood as you lose most ehat out of the head.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Psycho Freak, 3.5

    If you can afford it, I highly recommend the 3.5 Psycho Freak. It's warm, actually pretty dry, and especially flexible. Like others have suggested, it's not just about the suit, because the overall warmth of the suit will be directly related to the overall warmth of the boots and gloves you settle on. 5m gloves, 7m boots, all taped. When the water gets up into the 60's again, you can either opt for thinner boots and gloves or none at all.

    One final note, make SURE the suit fits right. An ill fitting suit (male or female) will result in large scale flushing everytime you go in the water, and nothing will get you cold as fast as large and frequent flushing with 40 degree water.

    As for 70% of your body heat being lost through your head, it's a widely believed in myth. http://wildernessmedicinenewsletter....d-hypothermia/
    The head only accounts for 7-10% of body surface area, and it subsequently radiates a similar amount. What you need to worry more about with your noggin is protecting the ear canals from the cold. Over time, the inner ear bone thickens subsequently closing down the ear canal. Surgery is required to remedy that condition, and from what I hear, it's not fun. (notice I said I ''hear'') Also, the above referenced article also addresses the issue of hair- which on humans lacks density sufficient to make any difference, especially when wet, but I'll be keeping mine anyway thank you very much.
    Last edited by MDSurfer; Feb 11, 2009 at 11:14 PM. Reason: http://wildernessmedicinenewsletter.wordpress.com/2007/02/14/heat-loss-through-the-head-and-hypothermia/

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wbsurfer View Post
    i resent that. but remember when u put all that rubber on you can go a little lower in water temps. because for me down in the southeastern i can wear a 4/3 5/4 boots and 2 mill gloves and go into the 40s as in water temp with cold temps outside and a 3 mill hood as you lose most ehat out of the head.
    Uhhhh