Kids Wetsuits for Winter
But mum its damn cold. Don’t be soft get in there, we drove the coast looking for waves for you to make the most of it.
Let’s be real here, we live damn close to Antartica, those waves coming from the south, pretty much were born there. I grew up surfing in a 3/2 flatlock wetsuit in Christchurch, the salesperson called it a steamer, so it must be warm and all good for winter. Turning blue must be part of the experience or the salesperson knew little of what they were selling. To be fair at least the wetsuit had been invented by then, but not by much.
Winter Wetsuits have improved drastically over the last 10 years, flex, warmth, and weight have made winter surfing a fun experience, not a grin and bear it one. The big brands keep pushing the envelope every year and us the end user can stay in the water long and surf close to the same level as a board shot wearing Indo kid.
The seams! its all in the seams and fit. Flatloc stitched suits are not warm enough for the South Island winter. The water down here gets down to 8 deg C. That’s cold, put your head in a bucket of ice cream cold. Glued and blind stitched wetsuits are the minimum in construction for warmth. All the stitch lines have been glued which creates a seal at the joins. The stitch line does not come through the neoprene, flat loc does, which allows water to follow every hole the needle put through the neoprene.
Look for a minimum 4/3mm thickness in the south and 3/2mm in the upper north, what that means is a 4mm of thickness the body and legs, while 3mm in the arms and shoulders for increased paddle flexibility. Chest Zip vs back zip, not a massive difference, a fitting wetsuit is more so, but back zips are a little easier to get on, so if your child can’t put his socks on without help, maybe keep to a back zip.