Fresh from a salty week by the Devonshire coastline, I am already hungry for my next cold water adventure. Freezing sea swims and kayaking odysseys are definite hobbies I am not prepared to leave in Devon. With some research, it turns out Manchester and Salford have a wealth of operations to fix my water sport craving. However, as summer quickly evaporates into autumn, it’s becoming crystal clear that to continue this flaring sporty personality trait, I need to nab a neoprene dream, fast.
Why do I need a wetsuit?
Other than wanting to resemble a Roxy surfer girl, I need a wetsuit to essentially avoid damaging my body. Open water swimming temperatures can simply be brutal. If you’re not wearing a wetsuit and the sea is freezing, you could cause yourself to suffer hypothermia, low blood temperature and more. You should opt for a wetsuit to aid energy conservancy and to keep you safe and insulated. I personally would prefer not to loose a limb in a lake, so a wetsuit is on the cards.
What wetsuit is best for me?
Mantra: stay safe, keep warm. While a wetsuit’s main purpose is to keep you toasty, not every skin is going to keep you as insulated as another. The easiest equation to help you pick your neoprene hero is: Colder Water = Thicker Suit.
For the freezing seasons (think beginning of November to end of April) a long-length, thick suit is advised. Think 4mm/5mm for UK winter water temperatures. However, from the beginning of May until the end of October you can dare to flash the flesh with a thinner skin. This could be a lighter, full-length suit or one which only covers arms and torso. For a summer wetsuit in UK temperatures, a 4mm/3mm skin or a 3mm/2mm is advised.
As a lady who doesn’t do her spending by halves, I’m in the market for both a ‘summer’ and a ‘winter’ wetsuit. By being materialistic yet prepared, it means I can get in the water or keel over in a kayak at any point of the year. Spending money isn’t always a bad thing!
The first summer suit I have my attention turned towards is this Bahia shortsleeved spring wetsuit from O’neill. The second skin is a shorts number which features a high neck and a front zip for easy access.
I definitely fancy the black colour way, which also has a colourful botanical print pop. If black isn’t your colour however, the Bahia shortsleeved suit also comes in dark blue. The fit looks flattering; the suit is stylish and the price is pretty decent. This one definitely ranks high on my list.
The second summer wetsuit I want to throw my wages at is this Rip Curl GBomb long sleeved shorty wetsuit. The slick, flexible and oh-so-sexy suit has a 2/2mm thickness which is perfect for those balmy summer Salford Quays waters. Just imagine – you, me, a wetsuit and a kayak. Too hot to even think about!
The long sleeve aspect of the wetsuit would add some well-needed sun protection while the short-style would give me some breathing room while I swim. I’m a big fan of anything Rip Curl, and this skin might just be popping through my letterbox soon. Watch this space.
By the time I finally choose my summer wetsuit, winter will be in full swing. No fear, for I am prepared for all weather. This Rip Curl Omega 5/3mm Wetsuit is ticking all my boxes. Created with E5 neoprene (premium high stretch, lightweight) and featuring a hydro loc collar (specially designed to minimise leakage) the Omega is perfect for sub 15 degree water temperatures.
I love the assortment of colours perfectly presented on the ‘Green’ suit (green, dark blue, black and grey) however, there is also a slinky jet ‘Black’ number to choose from. Green and I are definitely vibing more than the latter,.
If you need some more convincing, the Rip Curl skin also has a triple glued, double seam as well as mesh panels which absorb solar power and reduce wind chill. Versatile, smart and stylish – I like it!
Maybe I want all eyes on me when I’m in the water? Plain, dark suits can be boring – so bring on the Roxy 4/3 Marine Bloom Womens Wetsuit. Created from “Limestone-derivate eco-friendly neoprene” and being “made from scrap rubber tires”, the Roxy winter wetsuit is both eco-friendly and eye-catching.
The Roxy suit base is dark navy, with baby blue panels from the wrist to mid-forearm. From mid-forearm to high neck, witness this gorgeous floral print, featuring hues of yellow, pink and shades of various blues. In one word? Stunning. But looks mean nothing if the skin isn’t up to scratch.
The wetsuit features a thermal fleece lining as well as seals to stop water flushing up from the ankles and the wrists. The eco-suit’s seams are triple-glued and blind stitched while the neoprene used is super light and flexible.
Roxy advise the wetsuit to be used in water temperatures between 9-13 degrees, which is fine for my cold canal swimming dreams. She looks like the dream and her properties live up to the hype. I think I am in love.
So, there you have it – four diversely different wetsuits to tickle your fancy. Maybe you want to be slick and sophisticated in the Rip Curl GBomb Shorty, or want to catch eyes in the Roxy Marine Bloom winter wetsuit? Hopefully this has served as some inspiration… All it has done is made me want them all! Payday, are you here yet?
None of the promotional images are my own – I do not own the images. Images have been used for picture reference only.