Here’s why the 3/2mm wetsuit is the best wetsuit ever made, and, in addition, here are some sartorial tips on how to dress, and etiquette tips on how to act when you paddle out to a surf spot.
If you surf pretty much anywhere in California, on the East Coast, Florida, Texas, you do not need anything more than a 3/2mm wetsuit. In fact, a long-sleeve 3/2mm wetsuit, full or shorty, just may be the most comfortable wetsuit you will ever wear! And that includes for diving, too.
Here are some dressing for success tips. A 3/2mm wetsuit is one of surfing’s classic stand-bys. 3/2mm means that the 3mm thickness is in the torso for warmth, 2mm is on extremities for flexibility. Unless it’s Nome, Alaska do not show up at your local summer break in some 5/4 rig replete with booties, gloves and hood. If you wear a shorty, a short john, or vest, or board shorts with vest, or anything without legs, think very seriously before you show up in reef booties, even if you are surfing a reef or rocky point break. Sure, they make sense, but you are on borderline ‘kook-wear’alert if you do. (Older surfers can get away with this). Booties and shorties – remember it’s a no-no.
If you’re long boarding it, and making a leash-less ‘I’m cool’ fashion statement, do not lose your board. If you do, don’t paddle back. If you’re screaming your rights to a wave, don’t blow the take-off, which means you better catch the wave. If you don’t, don’t paddle back. If you had clam sauce for dinner the night before, brush your teeth. Summer surfing is a crowded cozy affair, everybody’s sitting on top of each other. Nobody wants to smell your bad breath, dude! Nobody wants to see your sorry self if you blow take-offs or lose boards.
Assuming you don’t know anybody out there, saying nothing is always appropriate. If there’s a diver out there in full scuba regalia, try not to comment on the obvious like, ‘Ooh, look at the scuba diver. I wonder if he could retrieve the fin I lost last week.’ If the surf is firing, try not to comment on the obvious like ‘Ooh it sure is firing out here.’ Try to avoid obvious cliches like ‘Wow, you should have been here yesterday (last week, last month, an hour ago.)
If you’re getting on in age, try not commenting on how you remember how it used to be out here before the crowds (short boarders, long boarders, spongers, girls, divers, SUPs, skim boarders etc). Don’t ask anybody the obvious, which way the tide’s going, or when’s high or low tide. Avoid bragging about some trip to Cloudbreak you just got back from. In other words, when in doubt, just wear your 3/2mm wetsuit and shut up!