Atlanic Ocean Wetsuit Guide. How to choose the right one
So. You’ve booked your surf holiday to the Portuguese Algarve. You’re ready for that sun on your face, sand between your toes and surfing those light blue barreling waves wearing nothing but board-shorts and a rashy. And to be honest, you’ve got that dreamy image almost right. It’s just that one step in the Atlantic ocean will bring you right back to reality… Because let us tell you: the water here is cold all year round!
If you’ve come to Lagos deceived by the 30+ degrees and sunny weather, you are not alone. But fret not: you’ll be able to find a wide range of wetsuits in our Jah Shaka Surf Shop and to make your life even easier we are here to help you choose the right one.
What difference does it make?
There are many, many steamers (long arm and leg suits of >3mm thick) on the market. With prices for such wetsuits easily going into the hundreds, it’s important to be sure of your choice. So what are the things you should be paying attention to when choosing your new neoprene friend?
The waters around Lagos are cold, but not freezing. The average water temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius in winter (Dec – April) to (just over) 20 degrees in late summer (Aug – Oct).
Ideal is a 3:2 (= neoprene thickness in mm) wetsuit in summer and a 4:3 for the winter. But a high range 3:2 or all-round 4:3 could last you all year round as well.
Brands come up with new materials to keep you warm all the time. Check the suits’ specifics for more details and don’t hesitate to pass by Jah Shaka Surf Shop to feel and try the difference.
The stitching of the seams is a big influence on the amount of water (and thus – cold) coming into your wetsuit. Basically a blind stitched suit is top range, followed in rank by flat-lock stitching and overlock stitching. When the stitches are enhanced with glue or (liquid) tape, they hold better and keep more water out.
If you’re on a mission to tear some waves to bits, you’ll want a wetsuit that fits like a glove.
To really find out which of the wetsuits suits you best, just drop by our shop in the centre of Lagos and try some different brands and types. This will help you in your selection. New wetsuit when trying it in the shop will always feel tighter than in the water though it should still be the correct size.
The flexibility of your wetsuit influences the freedom of movement you have in it. But the durability as well. It’s all about balance.
The more panels (separate neoprene parts), the better the fit. But it also means more seams and therefore potentially less durability and more water seeping in. New neoprene inventions do make for better designs with less panels.
Zip (way of entry)
Starting a discussion about this is like talking politics at the dinner table; it’s easiest to just agree to disagree. Again, you’ll really have to try what works well for you. But generally a back zip is smoothest getting into, followed in order by the front zip and zipless. The easier it is for you the get in, the easier it is for the water as well.
At Jah Shaka Surf Shop we offer a range of wetsuit brands for both women and men with wishes and wallets of all shapes and sizes.
If you’re new to surfing and not sure how many sessions you’ll be able to squeeze in or just familiar with the looks of an empty wallet: the Rip Curl Omega could be perfect for you. Low-budget but still of great quality. For the ladies the Roxy Syncro is a great option as well!
Our absolute favorite for both men and women is the Rip Curl Dawn Patrol. It’s an everyday wetsuit with good flexibility that will keep you warm for many sessions to come. And it comes in black as well as in some fun color schemes! Or what about the great options from Quiksilver and Roxy?
Top of the line
For the dedicated surfer that needs a durable and toasty steamer to last him all year round, we’ve got some top of the line wetsuits like the VISSLA 7Seas, ECO Seas and Excel Infinity. If you are much into environment protection you will most likely to be interested in this cutting edge material a Natural Rubber Foam which VISSLA used in their the new 100% neoprene-free wetsuits range. Eco Seas are coming soon to Jah Shaka Surf shop and it's definitely worth of your attention. Find more about this new class wetsuits in one of the next Reviews.
Meanwhile see the specs below and drop by Jah Shaka Shop to give it a try!
|Brand||Model||ZIP||Specs||3/2 mm||4/3 mm|
|Rip_Curl||Omega 4/3||back||Light freeflex + superstretch neoprene mix; glued double blind stitched, comfortable neckline||145€|
|Dawn Patrol||back||Freeflex mixed with E4 neoprene in key performance levels; warm and quick dry flash lining; glued double blind stitched seams; batwing system against water flushing||195€||205€|
|G Bomb 4/3||zipper-less||Performance: lightweight and superstretch; minimal panelling; 100% E4 neoprene; liquid tape outside & E4 tape inside on strategically placed seams||290€|
|Flashbomb 4/3||zipper-less||Warmth: super toasty & flexible, E4 neoprene and E4 flash lining for warmth and quick dry; stichless with E4 tape inside; no seams in paddle zones||340€|
|ROXY||SYNCRO||front/back||F'N lite lightweight neoprene & Thermal smoothie wind and water repellant neoprene mix - triple glued and blindstitched seams; comfortable neckline||169€||189€|
|XY||back||F'N lite lightweight neoprene; DryFlight heat technology; triple glued and blindstitched flexible COILLOCK seams; comfortable neckline||259€||279€|
|XCEL||Infinity||front||warmth: TDC Thermo Dry lightweight wetsuit lining; ultrastretch neoprene; blind stitched seams - glued and taped; back-knee cutouts for flexibility; flush lock on arms and ankles||295€||330€|
|Brand||Model||ZIP||Specs||3/2 mm||4/3 mm|
|Rip_Curl||Omega 4/3||back||Light freeflex + superstretch neoprene mix; glued double blindstitched seams; comfortable neckline||145€|
|Dawn Patrol||front||Freeflex mixed with E4 neoprene in key performance panels; warm and quick dry Flash Lining; glued double blindstitched seams||215€||225€|
|E Bomb 4/3||front||Performance: lightweight and super stretch; minimal panelling; 100% E4 neoprene, liquid tape outside & E4 tape inside on strategically placed seams||300€|
|Flashbomb 4/3||zipper-less||Warmth: super toasty & flexible; E4 neoprene and E4 flaslining for warmth and quick dry; stitchless with E4 tape inside; no seams in paddle zones||340€|
|VISSLA||7 Seas||front||Less is More: tailored fit; triple glued doublestitched seams with superstretch tape; superstretch neoprene with hollow fiber lining for warmth and quick dry||250€||269€|
|VISSLA||ECO Seas 3/2||front||NaturalPrene™: Natural Rubber Foam; 100% neoprene-free; water based Aqua-A™ lamination glue; no harmful chemicals; fast drying Upcycled Thermal full body lining;||on request|
|XCEL||Infinity 3/2||front||Warmth: TDC Thermo Dry lightweight wetsuit lining; ultrastretch neoprene; blind stitched seams glued and taped; back-knee cutouts for flexibility; flush lock on arms and ankles||300€|
|XCEL||Infinity 4/3 v2||front||Warmth: TDC Thermo Dry lightweight wetsuit lining; ultrastretch neoprene; blind stitched seams glued and taped; back-knee cutouts for flexibility; flush lock on arms and ankles||270€|
|XCEL||Infinity 4/3 v2 Comp||front||Performance: ultrastretch neoprene with lightweight V Foam and quick dry lining; blind stitched seams glued and taped; minimal panelling; zero seams from upper chest to knees||300€|
|Quiksilver||AG 47 - 4/3||front||F'N lite lightweight neoprene & Thermal smoothie wind and water repellant neoprene mix; hydrolock & Red Seal seam mix for flexible watertight seams; flush lock at wrists and ankles; watertight and comfortable neckline||300€|
We have more colours available for some models. Please don't hesitate to contact us on sizes and colours available in stock!