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Why You Need a Thicker Wetsuit

While spring may indeed when be when a young person's fancy turns to love, for surfers it's a time when your toes feel like they're frozen solid and your head hurts after two duck dives. The spring season brings the coldest water temps of the year in California and the US West Coast, from a laughable 56 degrees in SoCal to 49 here on the Central Coast and all the way down to the mid-forties in Washington state. Why does it get so dang cold in the spring? It all starts with the winds.

The relentless northwest winds blowing off the ocean create a current pushing the surface water down the coast, and the deeper, colder, water layer rises up to take its place. Spring is a double-whammy; it's always windy and always freezing, and if you're not protecting yourself from these inhospitable conditions you're probably not going to surf much, or at least be miserable when you do.

Most of the people you see surfing in the spring with a smile on their faces are all wrapped up in a nice warm suit that's a little thicker than usual. If a 4/3 is your go-to, a 5/4 is going to make a world of difference from March to May. While a millimeter may not sound like a lot, it has a huge impact. It's the difference between chattering teeth and frozen bones or pulling your hood off to keep from overheating. Paddling is a little harder in a thicker suit, but with the advanced level of wetsuit technology we are blessed with today it's a minor inconvenience rather than a chore.  

Why is investing in a suit for spring (not a spring suit!) a great idea? First, it's going to allow you to surf in comfort during the coldest time of the year. Without one your sessions will be short and cold, and you'll dread every duck dive no matter how small the wave. Second, you'll get years of use out of this suit, since it's only in use for a few months. With proper care, you should easily get three springs out of your thicker suit. Finally, your usual suit will last longer too, as it can sit in the closet for a few months each year.

 How do you know which suit to buy? Just go up one increment in thickness from your usual winter suit. If you wear a 4/3, get a 5/4 (5/4/3). If you normally wear a 3/2, step up to a 4/3. We also recommend getting your thicker wetsuit in a hooded version. Integrated hoods cut down immensely on getting flushed with cold water and will prevent the dreaded cold-water ice cream headache. Trust us on this one: get a hooded suit. 

We've got great suits and killer deals for you at Central Coast Surfboards. From the staff favorite O'Neill Hyperfreak 5/4+ Hooded to the unbeatable value of a Buell RB1 5/4/3 Hooded, check out all our wetsuits here!