Surfing wetsuits and spearfishing wetsuits come in a variety of materials, linings, and colors. This article describes the various wetsuit varieties and what to consider while choosing a suitable spearfishing wetsuit and surfing wetsuit.
All of these distinct models of surfing wetsuits share one feature, which we will go over in more detail later in the article. Open-cell or “semi-dry” wetsuits are the only genuine spearfishing wetsuits and surfing wetsuits. They resemble the scuba diving wetsuits used for surfing in appearance, but they function very differently.
Open Cell Wetsuits
Neoprene, a form of foamed rubber material, is used to make all wetsuits. Standard surfing wetsuits are also used in surfing and scuba diving, and they are double-lined, which means they have a layer of fabric, such as nylon, covering the neoprene that makes up the suits on both sides (the side in contact with the surfer’s body and the side in contact with the outside world). This style of wetsuit allows a layer of water to enter the suit, forming a barrier between the surfer’s body and the wetsuit.
This layer of water inside the suit will be heated and keep the surfer warm as long as the surfer moves while surfing and creates body heat, which is the situation with a recreational surfer.
While this type of wetsuit is excellent for surfing, it is less effective for those who spend most of their time relaxing, breathing, and getting ready for surfing, such as spearfishers. These individuals don’t produce as much body heat as surfers who are constantly active, and they will not be able to warm up this layer of water in a standard wetsuit, causing them to become cold relatively quickly.
Using an open-cell or “semi-dry” wetsuit will help spearfishers and surfers deal with freezing wetsuits. The same neoprene that all wetsuits are made of is used to make open-cell wetsuits, but instead of having fabric on the inside of the wetsuit (the side that touches the surfer’s skin), the top layer of the material is virtually removed, creating a permeable yet sealed surface that is also known as open-cell neoprene.
The open-cell neoprene, which adheres to the surfer’s skin with a suction effect when it does, is particularly efficient in stopping any water flow into or out of the wetsuit. As a result, the neoprene material itself functions as an insulator and is significantly more successful at trapping any body heat created by the surfer. This is in contrast to the water layer, which must be continuously heated to isolate the surfer from the surrounding environment.
A well-fitting 5mm open cell wetsuit may keep a surfer warm for 40–50 minutes in cold water (0° temperature) because of the extreme warmth retention effect of the material.
Types of Neoprene
Compared to typical casual surfing wetsuits, the neoprene material used in open-cell wetsuits is typically softer and offers a wider range of motion. The most popular type of neoprene used for spearfishing and surfing wetsuits ranges in hardness from the hardest to the softest.
The degree of softness (comfort) and robustness of the various forms of neoprene varies; the softer a neoprene material, the less resilient it is, and the more likely it is to tear when in touch with things like a reef or undersea rock.
Now that the inner layer of our spearfishing wetsuits and surfing wetsuits (open cell) has been thoroughly discussed, it is time to review the exterior layer of your wetsuits. Both spearfishing wetsuits and surfing wetsuits with or without an outer layer are available in online stores.
Wetsuits Coated wetsuits have an exterior layer made of a material like an incredibly durable nylon fabric that covers the outside of the wetsuit.
The protective layer makes coated wetsuits far more resilient to tears and other potential damage, even though they provide greater resistance underwater.
Surfers and spearfishers frequently utilize coated wetsuits, which come in a variety of camouflage designs.
2. Super-skin/Smooth-skin Wetsuits Wetsuits
Have nothing covering the outer surface of the neoprene without an outer coating. Neoprene’s exterior is entirely soft instead. A “Smooth-skin” or “Super-skin” wetsuit is the term used to describe this style of surfing wetsuit and spearfishing wetsuit.
Comparing smooth-skin wetsuits to covered wetsuits, there are certain benefits and drawbacks. When compared to coated wetsuits, they produce significantly less drag underwater, allowing the surfer to travel through the water more quickly. They also dry quickly once the surfer exits the water and maintain body heat even in cold weather.
The major drawback of a Smooth-skin wetsuit is that it is significantly more vulnerable to tearing and environmental damage because it lacks an outer layer for protection.
Smooth-skin wetsuits are frequently worn by skilled surfers and spearfishers equally, and they are available in a number of camouflage patterns.