The UK might not seem like the obvious place to go for a dip in open water or enjoy watersports yet it is perfectly possible – and highly rewarding – if you simply wear a modern wetsuit.
Wearing a wetsuit will trap a thin layer of water between your skin and the suit, which will quickly warm to and then maintain your body temperature for a good few hours in the ocean, or any lakes, lochs or rivers.
Skipping the wetsuit will mean you will have to leave the water a lot sooner, and could cause cramps and tire you out quicker, making it more difficult to escape trouble should it find you.
Choosing a new wetsuit should be a well-thought-out process. The size needs to be perfect and the brand one that you can trust to last. Here is an expert selection of the best summer wetsuits for 2015.
Billabong Foil 2mm Short Sleeve Summer Suit
Billabong’s summer edition of the foil suit is perfect for the UK summer. The half sleeves create a stable temperature, both trapping water between the skin and suit and exposing the skin to the sun’s rays. A firm favourite among both pros and beginners to the sport, the foil suit has a summer and winter edition.
C Skins Element 3/2 Summer Wetsuit
The Element is a world-renowned brand for their commitment towards performance technology at a low cost. The Element series uses both hard-wearing Duroflex knee pads and Ultra Stretch C Flex neoprene to create one of the most innovative suits on the market. The suit is perfect for the summer months, especially in cooler climates, with full legs and sleeves.
Quicksilver Pyre 3/2 Back Zip Summer Suit
Quicksilver’s summer Pyre Suit is ideal for a summer of water sports in the UK. The 3/2 mm thick full suit will keep you warm in water temperatures between 15C and 19C – ideal for the Scottish coast – and uses neoprene to protect you from both the wind and water, meaning watersports in exposed locations are more enjoyable.
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 2mm Short Sleeve Summer Wetsuit
Rip Curl’s Dawn Patrol suit offers some of the greatest advancements in wetsuit technology, but without the big price tag. The suit uses E4 neoprene to offer increased flexibility and warmth, and less chance of cold water flushes in the suit. The suit also offers a hydrolock collar as well as glued and stitched seams to prevent cold water from re-entering the suit.
No matter what watersport you’re into, a wetsuit is needed in all seasons in the UK – especially in Scotland – remember for the summer to also choose a suit with 2-3mm thickness, as well as one that uses neoprene to protect you further.
The thickness of the suit you choose will depend on the temperature of the water you frequent most. Here is a loose guide:
- 20C plus: 2mm Shorty
- 19C – 20C: Short or 3mm
- 15C – 19C: 3mm Full
- 12C -15C: 4mm Full
- 5C – 12C: 5mm Full with Gloves & Boots on some days a hood will be required.
- 5C and below: 6mm Full with Hood and Gloves & Boots
This blog was written in collaboration with The Wetsuit Centre.