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WETSUIT AND ACCESSORIES GUIDE
How to choose a wetsuit, booties, and a wetsuit hood
A good wetsuit, booties, gloves, and hood can take you through the harshest
of winters, but you have to know what to get for the water temperature you
will be tackling. Here's a brief guide to help you pick out your wetsuit:
The important things to take note of when determining what wetsuit to buy
are "what water temperature will I be using the suit in?", and "how much can
I afford to spend?" Generally speaking, the more money you spend, the
warmer, and more flexible your suit will be. Things that seperate different
wetsuits to make one better than another are SEAM TYPE, THICKNESS, AND
RUBBER TYPE. Below is a brief rundown on these things, followed by a water
temperature guide. Use this to determine which type of suit you will need
for any water temperature. NOTE: Keep in mind that everyone has a different
tolerance to cold, so while one person may be comfortable surfing 62 degree
water in a spring suit, someone else might need a full in these water
temperatures. By the way, if you don't know what the water temps are like in
your area, click HERE.
Overlock- The least expensive type of seam, it allows water to pass through,
and can cause rash problems if located in a bad spot on the suit. Strictly
for cool to tropical water temps, this seam is used on the budget suits.
Flatlock- This is an inexpensive seam that allows water to pass through the
seam, but is flush with the neoprene minimizing rash problems. Not the type
of seam you want in a winter suit, but fine for cool to tropical water
Blindstitch- This is the warmest type of seam. It does not allow water to
pass through, and if the suit is double blindstitched and glued, it will be
extremely warm and pretty much watertight.
THICKNESS- Many suits come in a combination thicknesses to promote easier
mobility in the parts of your body that don't get cold as easily.
Springsuits and vests usually come in 2mm or less thickness. Fullsuits
typically come in 3/2mm, 3/3mm, 4/3mm, 5/3mm and even thicker for the frigid
RUBBER TYPE- There are basically two types:
Regular vs. Superstretch rubber- Regular neoprene is a quality material with
great properties with adequate flex, and great durability. Superstretch is
an outstanding material performance-wise, but is not as durable because of
the fact that it can stretch 300% more than regular neoprene which puts a
strain on it. Most people are willing to pay the extra for it to have that
extreme flexibility that comes with Superstretch.
COATING- All wetsuits use neoprene, which is a synthetic rubber, as the
insulation, and have different outer coatings. Here are the two most common:
Nylon 2- This is the best to have on the stomach of your suit so that you
can slide around and do maneuvers on your bodyboard. Not as warm as smooth
skin, but more durable and flexible. Pretty much every suit on the market
has Nylon 2 throughout most of the suit.
Smooth skin rubber- This is a very warm outer coating that resists water and
wind, but is not as flexible. Great to have on the backof the suit where
mobility isn't required. Bad on the stomach as it prevents sliding up and
down on the bodyboard for prone moves. On the suits we sell in our "Wet
Stuff" section, none of them have smooth skin on the stomach area.
ZIPPER- Basically, there are zipper and zipperless suits.
Zipper suits- If you're going with a zipper suit, it will be easy to get on
and off, and if you're taking it into cold water, you want the zipper to be
as short as possible. Many zip suits today have the watertight properties of
zipperless suits like the Aleeda Advantage and Hyperflex Amp. For extreme
cold, get an across the back or across the chest zip as opposed to the
vertical back zip.
Zipperless suits- Generally, these suits allow very little water
penetration, and are super warm in cold water. The downside is that they are
usually somewhat difficult to get on and off, and the tweaking you have to
do to get in and out of them strains the rubber which shortens the life of
ACCESSORIES- Crucial to handling it when the water really starts to chill
off! Booties, gloves, and caps/hoods come in handy when the water temps drop
into the low 50'sF/11C or below.
To help you pick the right wetsuit see the chart below:
WATER TEMP (Fahrenheit/Celcius)
TYPE OF SUIT / ACCESSORIES NEEDED
75F / 23C plus Rash guard, vest
(Click here to see our rash guards, or vests)
70-75F / 20-23C Short John, pullover jacket
(Click here to see our short johns, or jackets)
65-70F / 18-20C Short sleeve spring suit w/any stitch type or pullover
(Click here to see our spring suits , or jackets)
60-65F / 15-18C Long sleeve spring or 2/2 full or 3/2 full with any type of
(Click here to see our spring suits , or fullsuits)
55-60F / 12-15C 3/3 or 3/2 full with blindstitching and 2mm booties for some
(Click here to see our fullsuits)
45-55F / 8-12C 4/3 full with blindstitching + 2mm, 3mm or 5mm booties and
3mm gloves/surf cap
(Click here to see our fullsuits, or booties, gloves & hoods)
44F / 7C and below 5/3 full with blindstitching + 5mm booties and 5mm
(Click here to see our fullsuits, or booties, gloves & hoods)
Click here to go to our wetsuit page
Email us with any specific questions: info@eBodyboarding.com
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CHOOSING THE RIGHT PAIR OF SWIMFINS
When choosing a pair of fins, we recommend that comfort and fit be the
number one most important factor. Second should be performance, and third is
price. Let's address these factors.
1. Comfort- The fin should fit snugly without squeezing your foot. If it
squeezes, you'll get cramps. All of our fins are comfortable and top of the
line. Make sure you pick the size that corresponds to the sizing info given
with each fin description. (Check "fin accessories" at the bottom of this
page). When you get them, wear them around the house for a half an hour.
Walk around, sit down. If they hurt your feet, you need another brand or a
different size. We take returns or exchanges minus shipping costs as long as
you haven't used them in the surf and you return them within 30 days after
you receive them.
2. Performance- A fin should provide good thrust. We basically sell
"asymmetric" which have a blade that is diagonal, and "symmetric" which is a
blade that is shaped the same on both sides. Shorter blades provide quicker
starts, but it means you have to give more kicks to travel the same distance
as a longer fin.
3. Price- Think about how often you are going to use the swimfins and if the
fins you're looking at are within your budget
Now here's a rundown of our fins and how they work and the accessories that
go with them (all fins float unless indicated):
Clones- With a nice tall foot pocket, and soft rubber within it, the Clones
are definitely comfortable. Symmetric blades make for a nice, even kick,
with great thrust. Average in weight.
Custom X- One of our lightest all-rubber fins, it's also quite stiff. The
blade is symmetric, and the foot pocket is very soft. They also float. Great
for dropknee riders especially, and priced well.
Churchill Makapuus- These are the original bodyboarding fins. The design has
stayed the same since they were first developed many years ago. These fins
now float (for many years they didn't) . The blades are asymmetric and
fairly short making them good dropknee fins, and they provide average
thrust. They are moderate in weight.
Kicks- My current favorite, and the lightest all-rubber fin we carry, these
symmetric fins have a round blade making them ideal for dropkneers. The
thrust is average, but to me the light weight and ease of use of this fin
make up for that. A nice thin-profile heel strap for minimal heel irritation
and a nice comfy foot pocket. They work great for prone riders too.
Churchill Slashers- One of the most comfortable fins we sell, these fins
were designed around the foot pocket using a foot mould to design the
pocket, so they are comfy. The thrust is fair at best as these very buoyant
fins are a touch more difficult to sink when you're kicking. The blade is
asymmetric and is fairly short making them good for prone/dk riders. Weight
Laguna Swimfins (formerly "Neofins")- These unique fins are without a doubt
the most comfortable fins we sell. They are also the most compact and
lightest. Highly recommended for first-timers or folks that have problems
with sores on their feet caused by wearing fins. The entire foot pocket is
lined with neoprene. The strap is adjustable (a one-of-a-kind in
bodyboarding fins) in length and tightness. The thrust is quite good, and
they float. They are great for travel also because they compact well. The
blade is symmetric, and made of silicone unlike our other fins that are all
made of rubber. The strap is nylon and neoprene.
Tech Fins- A very comfortable foot pocket, light to moderate weight fin. The
blade is symmetric, and curved, and the thrust is excellent. They have a
good design for aiding in holding an edge on the wave when you're prone
riding. A very good product.
Tech Fins 2- Made from opaque silicone, these fins offer a foot-shaped,
soft, comfortable foot pocket with a cool new look. Asymmetric blade, but
remember, they DO NOT float! Excellent thrust.
Vipers- Vipers' main benefit is the fact that unlike most other fins, they
have a soft neoprene padding glued into the inside top of the fin. This not
only pads the top of your foot, but also helps to prevent blisters. The
blade of the fin is symmetric. They offer both short and long blade styles
(V5's having a 5" long blade and the V7's having a 7" long blade). The V5
Flex model are a bit more flexible with a bit less thrust. Some people like
to get these to reduce the strain on their calves. Customizable in that you
can cut the blade to desired shape and length for prone or dk riders. Vipers
are one of our heavier fins. They have a good design for aiding in holding
an edge on the wave when you're prone riding.
Unit X - A solid symmetric fin with a medium length blade that suits them
well for both prone and DK riding. Medium weight, and a stiff blade.
BZ Rubbers - BZ Rubbers are an asymmetric-blade fin meaning there's a right
and left foot fin. The fins are shaped similarly to Redleys, but that's
where the similarities stop. The foot pocket is one of the most comfortable
on the market, and thrust in the fin is above average, but not incredible.
The other benefit of this fin is it's light weight. That makes them easy on
Voit Duck Feet- These fins were one of the first-ever swimfins used for
bodyboarding when the sport was invented. With their long blade, relatively
heavy weight, and powerful thrust, I don't recommend them for anyone who
aspires to dropknee, but if you want a solid, economical fin, this is your
baby. Symmetric blades.
BZ Black Tipz- Symmetric, very stiff, and somewhat heavy, these fins will
provide solid thrust, but lack a bit in the comfort department for some
riders. If you're on a tight budget, a great buy, especially if combined
with a pair of fin socks to greatly improve the comfort.
Click here to go to our swimfins page.
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Fin Socks- Neoprene socks that cover your entire foot except the ball of
your heel. Prevents fin sores and also makes swimfins more comfortable. 2mm
thickness. We sell several brands.
Aleeda Surf Socks- 3mm neoprene booties that cover your entire foot and
ankle and go up part way onto your calf. Beside preventing fin sores, these
also keep your feet warm in cold water and comfortable in swimfins. You may
want to consider getting your fins a size larger if you're planning to wear
these with them.
Aleeda or Finis lycra fin socks- Made of thin lycra to wear when your main
purpose is to prevent fin ulcers or cuts. They cover your entire foot, and
aren't thick and bulky like other neoprene socks.
H2Odyssey socks- We offer these in 3mm and 5mm thickness, and they are
blindstitched to handle the coldest conditions out there. You will almost
definitely need a larger size of fins to fit over these unless you want
unbearable cramps in your feet. These incorporate a built-in fin tether.
Heel Pads- A neoprene strap that velcros around the strap of your fin to
prevent sores on your heel and ankle. We sell these from Custom X and
Nuisance cinches or H2Odyssey Fin Tethers- Just like heel pads, but with the
added benefit of a nylon strap that goes over the top of your foot to "lock"
the fin on your foot so it doesn't get blown off in heavy surf.
Island Style/Gyroll Connectors/Custom X fin savers/Bully's Tethers/Nuisance
Strings/BZ Tethers/Morey Tethers/eBodyboarding.com tethers- Straps that
attach to the strap of your fin with the other end to your ankle to prevent
the fins from floating away in the event that they get blown off in big
TIP! If you plan to use your fins in cold water mostly and want to wear
booties (3mm or more)under them then you might want to get 1 size up in the
fins than what you would normally wear. The booties will make the fins fit
tighter, can be uncomfortable and may cause cramping.
Click here to go to our fin tether page.
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