The surf here in Britain is on a par with anywhere in Europe. In the summer months the water temperature ranges between a cool 12C to a respectable 16C but thanks to warm modern wetsuits our waves can be enjoyed year round. The South West provides some of the most consistent surf and a great beach lifestyle to accompany it – surf shops, beach bars and the promise of an oceanside BBQ with friends.
For water temperatures from 75 to 85 degrees, a warm water wetsuit is ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, or any water-based activity. A wetsuit designed for warm water is usually ½ millimeter to 3 millimeters in thickness, or about an eighth of an inch. The advantage of a full wetsuit over a shorty wetsuit is the increased surface area, which is far better protection when encountering the stinging tendrils of a jellyfish. Not only that, but the extra material on your arms and legs also keeps you better protected from sunburn and the cold, which will allow you stay in the water even longer.
Surf instructor Richard Dagampat tried to warn two students, both from North Dakota, that the ocean off Doheny State Beach was too warm for wetsuits.
With the intention of surfing, I head off to find myself a warm wetsuit. At this point let me say, if you are in San Diego and looking for a wetsuit, head down to Mitch’s Surf Shop in La Jolla. I looked in shops far and wide, and can promise you now, there is no one more knowledgeable and wonderful and helpful than Matt, at Mitch’s. He is a star and will help you narrow your choices all the way down so you don’t have to shimmy yourself in and out of neoprene repeatedly. On a hot sunny San Diego day, the less time spent in a stuffy changing room the better.