What To Wear When Surfing: A Guide For Beginners

What To Wear When Surfing: A Guide For Beginners

Surfing is a sport that requires not only skill and agility but also proper attire. The ocean can be unpredictable and unforgiving, so wearing the right gear can make all the difference in both your safety and performance on the waves. Pacific Surf recognizes the importance of proper attire and provides guidance to beginners on what to wear when hitting the waves. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned pro, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about what to wear when surfing. From wetsuits to board shorts, rash guards to surf booties, we have got you covered. So let’s dive in and start exploring everything there is to know about surfing apparel!

Choosing The Right Wetsuit

When it comes to surfing, choosing the right wetsuit can make all the difference. The right wetsuit not only keeps you warm and comfortable but also helps protect you from rashes, sunburn, and potential injuries. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to consider when choosing a wetsuit for surfing.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Wetsuit

When choosing a wetsuit for surfing, there are several key factors that you should consider:

  1. Water Temperature: 

The first consideration when choosing a wetsuit is the water temperature where you’ll be surfing. Wetsuits come in different thicknesses and materials that offer varying degrees of warmth depending on how cold or warm the water is.

  1. Your Level Of Experience: 

If you’re new to surfing or watersports in general, opt for a more flexible suit that allows greater movement but may not be as warm as thicker suits.

  1. Fit And Comfort: 

A good fit is crucial for maximum warmth and flexibility in the water. Make sure you try wetsuits on before purchasing them.

  1. Thickness: 

As mentioned above, thicker suits provide greater warmth but may compromise flexibility.

  1. Durability: 

Consider investing in a higher-quality suit if you plan on using it frequently or in harsher conditions.

  1. Brand reputation: 

While the brand isn’t always indicative of quality, certain brands have earned reputations for producing reliable, high-performance wetsuits.

Other Essential Clothing Items For Surfing:

Along with a wetsuit, there are other essential clothing items that you should consider when preparing to hit the waves. These items can help enhance your surfing experience by improving your comfort and safety in the water.

  1. Rash Guard

A rash guard is a tight-fitting shirt made of spandex or lycra that protects your skin from irritation caused by friction from sand or wax on your surfboard. It also offers protection from harmful UV rays.

  1. Board Shorts

Board shorts are designed to be worn while surfing and provide more freedom of movement than regular swim trunks or shorts. They are typically shorter in length, which reduces drag while paddling, and have a secure waistband to prevent them from coming off during wipeouts.

  1. Booties

Booties are neoprene boots that protect your feet from sharp rocks, coral reefs, or cold water temperatures. They also provide better traction on wet surfaces and reduce the risk of slipping on the board.

  1. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin against sunburn and skin damage caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays. Make sure to choose a waterproof and sweat-resistant option with an SPF of 30 or higher for maximum protection.

  1. Wetsuit Gloves

Wetsuit gloves provide additional protection and warmth for your hands during cold water surfing sessions. They also offer a better grip on the board and help improve overall control.

Choosing the right clothing items for surfing can make all the difference in keeping you comfortable, safe, and protected in the water. Be sure to invest in high-quality gear that fits properly to enhance your overall surfing experience.

Footwear Options For Surfing:

When it comes to footwear for surfing, most surfers opt to go barefoot. This allows for a better feel of the board and helps with balance. However, if you prefer to wear footwear while surfing, there are a few options available.

  1. Surf Booties 

These are neoprene boots that protect your feet from cold water and sharp rocks or shells on the ocean floor. They provide extra grip and can be worn with or without fins.

  1. Reef Shoes 

These are similar to surf booties but have a thinner sole and less padding. They are designed for walking on rocky beaches and coral reefs, but can also be used for surfing.

  1. Sandals

If you prefer an open-toe option, sandals may be a good choice. Look for sandals with good traction and straps that will stay securely on your feet.

Remember, whichever footwear option you choose, it is important to ensure they fit well and won’t slip off while surfing.

Additional Accessories To Consider

Apart from wearing the right wetsuit and footwear, there are some additional accessories that every surfer should consider. These include:

  1. Surf Wax:

Surf wax is applied to the top of your surfboard to give you better traction and grip while riding the waves.

  1. Sunscreen: 

Sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays while out surfing for extended periods in the open water.

  1. Earplugs: 

Exposure to wind and cold water can cause ear infections and water buildup in your ears. Therefore, it is essential to wear earplugs to prevent this and improve your overall surfing experience.

  1. Board Bag: 

A board bag provides protection for your surfboard when storing or traveling with it, preventing any unwanted damage.

  1. Leash: 

A leash attaches your surfboard to your ankle or calf, ensuring that the board doesn’t drift away when you wipe it out during a session.

By considering these additional items, you can help enhance your safety, comfort, and overall enjoyment while surfing. For more detailed recommendations on what to wear when surfing, including specific considerations for different weather conditions and skill levels, Pacific Surf is ready to assist. Give us a call, and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to provide you with further guidance tailored to your individual needs and preferences.


In summary, choosing the right wetsuit is crucial for anyone who wants to enjoy surfing in comfort and style. With the right wetsuit, you’ll be able to stay warm, dry and protected from the elements while also looking great on your board. In addition to a good wetsuit, there are many other essential clothing items and accessories that can help enhance your surfing experience and keep you safe out on the waves. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, investing in high-quality gear is always a smart choice.

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