Wetsuit vs. Swimsuit, Which Do You Need for Surfing?

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the waves and learn how to surf. But before you head out to the beach, you must figure out what to wear.

When it comes to surfing, people wear two main types of clothing: wetsuits and swimsuits. Both have their own set of pros and cons. It’s essential to consider these factors before deciding what to wear on your next surfing trip. 

So do you need a wetsuit or a swimsuit? And what’s the difference between the two, anyway?

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about choosing the right outfit for your next surfing adventure.

The Pros & Cons of Wearing Swimsuits for Surfing

First, let’s examine the pros and cons of wearing swimsuits for surfing. One of the main advantages of swimsuits is that they are convenient and easy to find.

Most people already have a swimsuit in their closets, so they don’t need to go out and buy anything new.

Besides, swimsuits are also typically cheaper than wetsuits. If you’re on a budget, this might be your best option.

From a personal level, swimsuits might be more comfortable. Not everyone like the feeling of skin-tight neoprene.

However, there are also some significant disadvantages to wearing swimsuits while surfing.

For one, they offer very little protection against the elements. If you fall, you’ll likely get scraped up. And if the water is cold, you’ll be at risk for hypothermia.

Additionally, if you’re spending long hours in the water, you’ll want to ensure you have a good sunscreen lotion with SPF 30 or higher—otherwise, you’ll get sunburned!

Pros and Cons of Wearing Wetsuits to Surf

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of wearing wetsuits to surf.

Wetsuits offer more coverage than swimsuits. So they’re a good option if you want to avoid sunburn from being in the water all day long.

They also offer some additional warmth. And if the water is cold, they can help prevent hypothermia.

From a safety standpoint, wetsuits are much better than swimsuits. If you fall, they’ll protect you from scrapes, cuts, and bruises.

However, wetsuits can be less comfortable than swimsuits. They’re usually skin-tight and made from a material that some people find irritating.

Another downside of wetsuits is that they can be expensive. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to spend some money to buy one.

To sum up, wetsuits offer more protection than swimsuits. Though they can be less comfortable (for some one) and more expensive, they’re worth considering, especially if you are a beginner at surfing.

Can You Wear Regular Outfits for Surfing?

Now that we’ve gone over the pros and cons of wetsuits and swimsuits, you might be wondering if any other clothing options are suitable for surfing.

The answer is yes—sort of. If you don’t mind getting your clothes wet (and possibly ruined), then you can definitely surf in whatever clothes you have on hand.

However, remember that most regular clothes offer little protection from the sun or elements, so it’s still important to use sunscreen and take breaks often if you choose this route.

Additionally, baggy clothes can get caught on your surfboard or in the waves, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.

What Else Do You Need for Surfing?

In addition to a wetsuit or swimsuit, you’ll need a few other things before hitting the waves.

First and foremost, every surfer needs a surfboard! Alright, enough kidding around.

Besides the essential surfboard, you’ll need a few other things:

  • A wetsuit or swimsuit (as we’ve discussed)
  • Sunscreen
  • A towel
  • A surfboard wax (if you’re renting a board)
  • A leash (also called a leg rope)

Sunscreen is important because it will protect you from harmful UV rays, which can cause skin damage and cancer.

Though you wear a wetsuit, remember that it doesn’t cover your entire body, so don’t forget to put sunscreen on exposed areas like your face, neck, and hands.

You’ll also need a towel to dry off after surfing. Trust us; you do not want to sit in a wet wetsuit all day long.

Finally, we also recommend you invest in a surfing cap. We know they’re not the coolest things in the world, but they do a great job of keeping your hair out of your face while you surf.

They also provide extra sun protection, which is always a bonus.

Wrap It Up

So, what’s the verdict? Should you wear a wetsuit or swimsuit when surfing?

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference— although we recommend erring caution and going with a wetsuit if possible ( especially if you’re new surfing).

With that said, as long as you have sunscreen, a board, and a leash handy, you should be all set for a fun day at the beach!

Happy surfing!