Neoprene Thickness Guide

Neoprene Thickness Guide


Wetsuits range from 1 to 7mm in thickness typically. Whenever you see two numbers such as 4/3mm or 3/2mm, it means that the product is made from 4mm neoprene around the chest, back and legs and 3mm on the arms. The arms tend to be thinner to allow for easier paddling when surfing and paddle boarding. There are lots of guides out there about the appropriate thickness of neoprene for different water and air temperature conditions. Depending on where you live, you will have different conditions but here is some information that can be used as an initial guide:

Wetsuit Thickness Temperature Guide

We need different suits depending on the season we surf and paddle here on the Great Lakes. If you can only afford one wetsuit, I would say start with a 4/3mm, as it will be pretty versatile and work well into fall and early in spring. Same goes for booties, invest in a 7mm pair and you are good year round. For gloves, go for the 5mm instead of 3mm. And if you are going to do winter surfing or paddling, make sure you have at a good hooded 5/4mm wetsuit  and a pair of 7mm mittens. In the past, you would want the thickest possible wetsuit you could get. However, the technology has progressed so much that nowadays a high performance 5/4mm can be much warmer than a not-so-technical 6/5mm or 7/6mm. 

For surfing, we would never wear a dry suit, as they are too bulky. For paddling, some people wear dry suits in the winter but our crew usually wear a winter wetsuit for SUP surfing. You can wear a windbreaker on top of your wetsuit for flat water paddling.

Reading next

Surf love in style this Valentine's Day
Ride into Adventure with Aldersirfung's Surfing Paradise!

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.