Wetsuit Requirements for the South of England

November-May
Use a 4-5mm thick wetsuit. Hood, boots and gloves may be required.

June-October
A 2-3mm thick "shorty" (short arms and short legs) should be enough.
Buying a Wetsuit
The wetsuit suit industry is a multi-million pound industry. Wherever money is involved in something, information tends to get distorted.
However you want to get a wetsuit that fits.
Don't get one simply because some world famous surfer was photographed wearing the label.
What type of wetsuit?
Get a wetsuit that:
- fits well
- suits the local water temperature

If conditions are not going to be harsh (ie warm and clean) the quality of the wetsuit matters less and you should think about getting a second hand wetsuit.

Be fussy. If you're not sure try on another one, In my experience surf shop will usually tell you that what you're looking at is exactly what you need. (I think it's because surfers are such an agreeable lot)!
Buying a New Wetsuit
There are many shops from which you can purchase a new wetsuit.
Personally, I would recommend that you get one near to the place that you surf, simply because if there was anything wrong with it you can get it replaced, repaired or changed very quickly.
Additionally, the staff can advise the type of wetsuit suitable for the area.
The other advantage of these places is they tend to be run by people "close to the action".
Buying a Second Hand Wetsuit
The small adds of most local newspapers contain surfing accessory bargains.
There are a few websites that contain items, though most are out of date.
Surf shops sell second hand wetsuits.
Home Page

Located at: http://www.lingard.co.uk/jonathan/sg-wetsu.htm
Selected Wetsuit Shops
  1. Second Skin
    Specialist wetsuit manufacturer.
    Wetsuits are off-the-peg and made to measure.
    Based in Braunton near Croyde, North Devon.
    Tel: 01271-812195
    Run by old surfer Andy Shollick; you can see him surfing (in 1975!) on the web page: Here (for Second Skin)

  2. Zuma Jay
    Excellent surf shop with many accessories.
    Wetsuit selection good, often with special offers.
    Based in Bude, North Cornwall.
    Tel: 01288-354956
This list is not supposed to be comprehensive list, but simply some places that you can rely on if you're at a loss as to where to look.

Westwinds UK Surfing index has a long list of shops around the country:
Westwind UK Surf Index Shop List

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