With winter swells and dropping water temperature due to arrive in Central California by mid-autumn, I found myself in need of a new wetsuit for the season. A recent purchase of what I assumed to be a top-of-the line wetsuit transformed into a saga of undulating emotions and, more importantly, warmth.
Of course I wasn’t blindsided by this need, I knew all summer a new suit was in the cards, but procrastination persevered until October when I purchased a brand-spanking-new XCEL Drylock 4’3.
I’d been partial to O’Neill suits in the past, but after hearing XCEL’s praises sung by many friends in the water and out, I decided to sack up and drop the $460 plus tax to see what I was missing in the form of Drylock technology. I was not disappointed. Initially.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you never needed to know how to buy a wetsuit because every windsurfing spot offered waters of 30C? You could stay out as long as you liked, looking glamorous and carefree in just a swimsuit and sunscreen. Back in the real world, cold water and nippy sea air can cause windsurfers’ body temperatures to drop pretty rapidly.
Even relatively warm water of around 20C can get pretty chilly if you’re out in it for any length of time.
And while the air might feel balmy, the water may well not be, especially in temperate climates in spring or early summer, before the water has had a chance to warm up a little.
So here’s everything you need to know about how to buy a wetsuit for windsurfing.
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